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Children’s productions take centre stage at QPAC


Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) is the place to be from May to July this year for children and their adults with four fantastic family shows on offer.

Bluey fans will be thrilled to hear that QPAC’s Playhouse will again be home to everyone’s favourite Queensland Heeler family as Bandit, Chilli, Bluey and Bingo take to the stage in a return season of Bluey’s Big Play The Stage Show from 4 to 9 May 2021.

A theatrical adaption of the Emmy award-winning children’s television series Bluey, Bluey’s Big Play The Stage Show features an original story by Bluey creator Joe Brumm and new music by Brisbane based Bluey composer, Joff Bush.

Following its sell-out official world premiere season at QPAC in December 2020, families will want to make like Bandit with a takeaway spring roll to secure tickets for this highly-acclaimed heart-warming show, presented by QPAC’s Out of The Box in association with BBC Studios, Andrew Kay and Windmill Theatre Co.

Continuing the canine theme, QPAC will present the world premiere of Dogs in the Schoolyard from 5 to 15 May in QPAC’s Cremorne Theatre in association with Flipside Circus and Assembly of Elephants.

Combining circus, story-telling and original music, Dogs in the Schoolyard is performed by kids for kids. Suitable for all ages, but recommended for children aged 3 – 8 years, it explores themes of inclusion and exclusion, friendship, play and resilience through the lens of young dogs' experience with other pups.

From the schoolyard to a swamp like no other, Swamp Juice, featuring bickering snails, neurotic snakes, opera singing mice and a cranky man out to capture a bird, will captivate families in the Cremorne Theatre from 1 to 5 June 2021.

Using shadow puppets made from everyday items and household objects, acclaimed Bunk Puppets puppeteer Jeff Achtem creates a wildly imaginative adventure about life in a swamp in this engaging show for children aged eight years and under.

This award-winning favourite of family audiences and critics has toured the world, was an Edinburgh Fringe hit and is coming to QPAC for the first time. It’s billed as a riveting theatrical joy ride with a spell-binding 3D shadow puppet finale.

The on-stage adventures continue at QPAC with Emil and the Detectives by acclaimed Adelaide-based Slingsby Theatre Company in QPAC’s Cremorne Theatre from 14 to 18 July 2021.

Based on Erich Kästner’s 1929 novella, this is a story about courage and self-discovery, the value of friendships, taking risks, and the empowerment of young people.

Using projections, shadow puppets and Slingsby’s (The Young King) signature intimate theatrical style, Emil and the Detectives is told by two skilled actors immersed in smoke and mirrors, miniature worlds and a cinematic score.

Winner of the 2018 Helpmann Award, Best Presentation for Children this must-see production offers audience interaction, intrigue and delight for audiences aged eight and upwards.

QPAC’s Out of the Box Festival Director Brett Howe said the full program of children’s productions reflected the Centre’s commitment to presenting and producing quality children’s performances every year.

“With more than 30 years’ experience in delivering arts programming for children, including our Out of the Box Festivals, we’ve learnt that kids are actually the toughest critics, and you know very quickly if you’ve connected with them or not,” Mr Howe said.

“Through the arts we speak to children in their natural language of ‘play’. Before they even learn to talk – they know how to sing, laugh, act and they inherently speak in the language of the arts.

“That is what we aim to tap into at QPAC year around, as we program, produce and co-produce children’s shows featuring music, circus, puppetry and theatrics for kids to experience at a time in their lives when they are most receptive.

“We hope they come, have fun, learn and build lifelong memories and an appreciation of the performing arts.

“We are thrilled to present this great line-up of productions by leading national and local children’s theatre companies and performers offering engaging arts experiences for children from ages three and up.

“Be it seeing their beloved Bluey come to life on stage, helping them navigate schoolyard relationships through Dogs in the Schoolyard, fostering resilience with Emil and the Detectives, or thrilling them with Swamp Juice’s puppetry, we have something for children of all ages and their families,” said Mr Howe.

Tickets for the four family shows at QPAC are on sale now at qpac.com.au or phone 136-246.