"I have done the character Captain Fun Pants since 2007 in kids' galas and ten minute spots here and there and I've always really enjoyed it," Harley confides, "It's such a break from what I normally do as a stand-up: it's a completely different style of performing, it's very character based, it's lots of loud noises and movement, it's fart sounds…that's pretty similar to my stand-up really," he laughs, treating me to a perfectly timed punch line.
Harley continues, "My mate Heath Franklin - he plays the character 'Chopper' which is inappropriate for a kids' show - both of us have kids around the same age and we were just sort of having a chat over a beer and we went, 'Why don't we write a kids' show?' and so that's exactly what we did. We've written a 45 minute action/adventure show about the mystery of the fun-o-matic fun wand."
"There's no 'too young'. We've had heaps of babies in because they've got older siblings," he says, "I've got a mate who's got a one year old; she was there, sitting up, attentive, clapping along on his lap, having a wonderful time."
The perfect age is between four and eight. Six and seven year olds are really into it but we've had older siblings as well, you know, sort of the teen age bracket or even pre-teens that have enjoyed it. It's got lots of stuff in there for the parents and adults - lots of jokes that the kids won't get – they're not rude jokes, they're just references that will keep the adults entertained as well."
The show has already been treating family audiences to lots of fun, interaction and laughter at the Adelaide Fringe Festival. I don't want to spoil any of the story, but Adelaide audiences had something fun for the kids to take away from the show as a memento, and reviewers reported a lot of interaction from clapping and booing to dancing and saying the obligatory pirate catchcry of, "Arrrrrghhhh".
Expect your kids to dive into the dress ups box when they get home, as Captain Fun Pants and the Mystery of the Fun-O-Matic Fun Wand is sure to fire the imagination with its lo-fi costuming and props.
Harley maintains, "We wanted to do a show that kids could watch and think, 'I could go home and do that'. All the props and costumes are just stuff you could find around the house."
"It's a rollicking good time!" he enthuses, and I tend to believe it will be. Tickets are on sale for Captain Fun Pants and the Mystery of the Fun-O-Matic Fun Wand now.