BWW: SNUGGLEPOT AND CUDDLEPIE: LIVE ON STAGE Announced
Tuesday 12 May 2015, Nutcote, Neutral Bay
In the waterfront gardens of historic Nutcote, the residence of Australian artist and author May Gibbs, CDP Theatre Producers, in association with Monkey Baa Theatre Company, announced their upcoming production of SNUGGLEPOT AND CUDDLEPIE: LIVE ON STAGE. Drawing on Gibbs' classic stories that have captivated the imaginations of children for almost 100 years, this new work brings the Gumnut Babies and their Bushland Friends and foes to life with a "modern, funny and enchanting" production.
Actress, Comedian, Author and Ambassador for Northcott Disability Services, Jean Kitson, welcomed the media with a brief background of Gibb's 80 year career as an illustrator and author. Kitson pinpointed Gibb's enduring appeal with generations of children when she stated that Gibbs "Illustrated the childhoods of millions of children because she illustrated her own childhood". Gibbs immigrated to Perth Western Australia from Kent, England with her family when she was 4 years old. As she grew up she returned to England to complete her artistic training before settling in Sydney in 1913 at the age of 36 and moving into Nutcote with her husband in 1925. Gibbs continued to live at Nutcote with her dogs after her husband's passing until her death in 1969 at which point, following her wishes, the house was bequeathed to UNICEF and the royalties from her books and illustrations were willed to the Spastic Centre of NSW (Now Cerebral Palsy Alliance) and the NSW Society for Crippled Children (Now Northcott Disability Services).
Gibbs' first book, GUMNUT BABIES was published in 1916, 28 years after her first drawing was published at the age of 12. Along with a the books she wrote and illustrated, Gibbs was also a cartoonist for a number of English and Australian magazines and produced postcards and bookmarks that were particularly popular during World War I, providing the troops a link to home.
Her most famous books which include SNUGGLEPOT AND CUDDLEPIE (1918), LITTLE RAGGED BLOSSOM (1920) and LITTLE OBELIA (1921), which later formed THE COMPLETE ADVENTURES OF SNUGGLEPOT AND CUDDLEPIE (1940) are the basis of the adaptation that Eva Di Cesare, Sandra Eldridge, and Tim McGarry of Monkey Baa Theatre Company have created for the new work where the Gumnut babies seek out to see a human, "but only at a distance". They have retained the mischief, mystery, "homespun philosophy", moral statements, and love of nature that filled Gibbs' work.
Christine Dunstan, Director of CDP Theatre Producers confirmed that whilst the work has been adapted from the language that is now a century old, the modern script is sympathetic to Gibbs' work. Dunstan confirmed that this production will differ to any previous interpretations of the Gumnut babies by being a pure play with no songs as it entertains 5 - 10 year olds and "their adults". It will retain the style and the era of the books in its storytelling of the "boys own adventure" story. The work is intended to open children's' minds to imagination and possibility, in keeping with the original works that have enchanted generations of children.
Dunstan also advised that, in conjunction with the performances, CDP Theatre Producers have a extensive set of learning resources for schools including partnering with the Royal Botanic Gardens to give schools access to live streaming discussions with botanists and other specialists, tours of the gardens at Mount Annan for Sydney students and Botanic Gardens around the country as the show tours. The production will also be accompanied with an exhibition of a selection of May Gibbs' artwork s from THE COMPLETE ADVENTURES OF SNUGGLEPOT AND CUDDLEPIE as the production tours the country after it's World Premiere season at The Playhouse at the Sydney Opera House on Saturday 27 June 2015.
Cast: Georgia Adamson, Kirk Page, Christopher Tomkinson, Jacob Warner
Director: Susanna Dowling
Production Design: Imogen Ross
Costume Design: Matthew Aberline
Lighting Design: Trudy Dalgleish
Sound Design: Daryl Wallis
Premiere Season Details:
Venue: Playhouse, Sydney Opera House
Dates: Saturday 27 June - Sunday 12 July
Times: Sat 27 June, 10am, 12 noon & 2pm then Tuesday - Sunday 10am and 12 noon
Prices: $30 - $49
Bookings: www.sydneyoperahouse.com or 9250 777
SNUGGLEPOT AND CUDDLEPIE is part of The Balnaves Foundation Open House Program which offers socially and economically disadvantaged adults and children $5 tickets to selected performances. For more information please visit www.sydneyoperahouse.com/balnaves
Special School Season Details
Venue: Lend Lease Darling Quarter Theatre
Dates: 17 - 20 June 2015
Bookings: www.monkeybaa.com.au or 02 8624 9340
Venue: The Concourse, Chatswood
Dates: 22 - 23 June 2015
Bookings: www.ticketeck.com.au or 1300 795 012
Venue: Casula Powerhouse
Dates: 24 June 2015
Bookings: www.casulapowerhouse.com or 02 9824 1121
Venue: Riverside Theatre, Paramatta
Dates: 15 - 18 July 2015
Bookings: www.riversideparramatta.com.au or 02 8839 3399
Venue: Seymour Centre, Chippendale
Dates: 20 - 22 July 2015 (Special Access Performance 21 July)
Bookings: www.seymourcentre.com or 02 9351 7940
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