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Comedian, writer, actor and TV host Alan Brough's side-splitting book Charlie and the War Against the Grannies will be brought to life on stage in a world premiere at Arts Centre Melbourne from 28 March - 5 April, 2020. Commissioned by Arts Centre Melbourne, Charlie and the War Against the Grannies is the first large-scale work to be commissioned by Arts Centre Melbourne as part of the Families and Children program for the Playhouse stage.

Writer and star Alan Brough (Spicks and Specks) teams up with musician/composer Kit Warhurst (Rocket Science) and director/co-writer Sarah Kriegler (Lemony S Puppet Theatre ) to present a rampaging musical comedy for children featuring shadow puppetry, live music and three really stinky farts.

Charlie and the War Against the Grannies is the story of constantly anxious 12-year-old Charlie Duncan who only ever wanted a simple paper round. Instead he uncovers a league of evil grannies plotting to set up a 'Granny State', where everyone will be forced to wear brown cardigans, go to bed early and there will be NO CHILDREN! The stakes are high and it's up to Charlie and his adventurous best friend Hils to go to war with the fiendish grannies and stop them taking over the world.

"The message of this show is simple but very important: grannies are evil and should be blown up," says writer and actor Alan Brough.

"My children and I had the opportunity to watch the creative development of the show and we loved it. It was funny, the songs were superb and the characters were quirky and fun. Arts Centre Melbourne prides itself on supporting the creation of exciting, new work and we're thrilled that more kids and families will get to see this original production by the much-loved Alan Brough brought to life on our Playhouse stage," says Arts Centre Melbourne Chief Executive Officer Claire Spencer.

Comedian, writer, actor and TV host Alan Brough is a man of many talents including being an acclaimed children's author. From an early age Brough wanted to be a writer and then an actor. He worked on Kath & Kim as well as in films including The Craic, The Nugget and Bad Eggs however is best known for his role as a team captain on ABC TV's Spicks and Specks. In his words 'there wasn't much (acting) work for a 6 foot 4 inch guy with a slightly lopsided face and thick curly hair', so he tried broadcasting, dancing (true!), singing, and being a professional music nerd. Recently, he got around to the writing part, creating Charlie and the War Against the Grannies and Charlie and the Karaoke Cockroaches.

Charlie and the War Against the Grannies, his debut book, was short-listed for ABIA Book of the Year for Younger Children 2017 and the Australian Book Design Awards 2017 and was long-listed for Indie Book Awards 2017.

Arts Centre Melbourne has been working with Alan Brough and his team on Charlie and the War Against the Grannies since 2017. Arts Centre Melbourne commissioned this work to support local artists to make work of scale for young audiences.

The production will be presented as part of Arts Centre Melbourne's year-round Families and Children Program. Launched in August 2009, it has grown in reputation to become a highly respected program nationally and internationally. Featuring intimate and large-scale theatre from some of the world's most respected companies and a diverse range of interactive workshops, the program is robust and growing in size, scale and scope.

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