Snugglepot & Cuddlepie, the Musical

Snugglepot & Cuddlepie, the Musical


Posted 2017-02-16 by Brian McIverfollow

Sat 21 Jan 2017 - Sat 25 Mar 2017

"Finally I made little figures of flowers and hats and caps and that's how the gumnuts started. I used to lie down on the grass so that my eyes were on the same level as the ants. One night lying in bed quietly, I thought of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie…." – May Gibbs, interview by Hazel de berg, 1968, National Library of Australia.

May Gibbs' delightful tale of two gumnut babies, and their adventures meeting the rest of the bush inhabitants, form a cherished part of the childhood readings of many Aussie kids. The story of two foster brothers exploring their surroundings resonated with parents and children alike when it was first released, due in no small part to being the first ever fairy tale set in an Australian setting.

It has never once been out of print since its release in 1918.

Now Snugglepot and Cuddlepie: The Musical has started its run in Brisbane, and by all accounts it is fantastic. The performances are vivid, the costumes are world class, and there are plenty of jokes for both adults and kids. It's not an overly long show, and there is an intermission in the middle for a chance to stretch your legs.

Brisbane Arts Theatre welcomes children and families to the theatre nearly every weekend of the year; the musical adaptation of Snugglepot & Cuddlepie includes a cast and crew of professional actors, children, directors, technicians, students of Brisbane Arts Theatre's College of Theatre Practice and amateur theatre practitioners.

That the musical has been so popular is due in no small part to a combination of Peter Combe's catchy music and the larger than life characters invented by May Gibbs.

Nuts and Blossoms, Kookaburra, Mr Lizard, Mrs Snake. The Banksia Men, Frogs, Possum, Frilly and Fish Folk, John Dory and Anne Chovy show off the most magnificent costumes. The story takes the gumnuts on a boat, under the sea, then in a bottle ever pursued by the Banksia men. Will the gumnuts ever see a real human? Will Snugglepot lead the way? Will Cuddlepie hold his nerve?

While the characters in this story are truly captivating, the people bringing them to life are just as special.

Natalie Mead, the director of Snugglepot & Cuddlepie, has been working with Brisbane Arts Theatre for 19 years. She is a passionate admirer of May Gibbs' book and conceived that both the set and costumes of the play should be as true to the original illustrations as possible whilst introducing a modern twist. As the characters have such human characteristics, Natalie believed the costumes should reflect real people too.

Frances Foo created each of the costumes. When asked how she came up with such unique ideas, she said she walked across the road from the theatre and looked at gum leaves, gum nuts and the wide range of textures and colours before deciding on the materials and colours for each costume. Her personal favourite costume is for 'Obelia'. Obelia's wig has been lovingly hand-painted and spiked by Frances and is carefully stored after every show in pride-of-place on the dressmaker's table.

Amy Wiseman, otherwise known as Snugglepot, is 11 years old and in Grade 6 at St Dympnas School in Aspley. She has been acting for about 4 years, beginning with drama eisteddfods. Amy is a student at Brisbane Arts Theatre's College of Theatre Practice and attends Saturday morning classes. Amy's mum Tracy says that Amy loves 'everything' about being on stage. Her most exciting moment each performance is the opening of the curtains and realising she has an audience! Amy has really relished the companionship of the older children in the cast and has benefited both personally and technically from her role as Snugglepot.

Amelia Watt, playing Cuddlepie, is 11 years old and a student at Bald Hills State School. In 2014 she joined Brisbane Arts Theatre in her very first production - The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents. When she grows up, Amelia would love to be a movie star - or a super star, she doesn't mind which! The only lessons she takes are singing lessons and while she's auditioned for several shows at Brisbane Arts Theatre, she hasn't always been successful. Her mother, Mel, says that the auditioning process is great for learning, building confidence and resilience – she thinks that Brisbane Arts Theatre provides a wonderful series of pathways for young performers to develop in a healthy environment.

You'll have the chance to meet Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, as the characters will come out to the courtyard after each show to meet the children and sign autographs - a 50-year tradition of Brisbane's oldest theatre.

Brisbane Arts Theatre is rolling out some really spectacular shows this year, so be sure to like their Facebook page to keep up to date.

Throughout its history, Brisbane Arts Theatre has served as the gateway to performing arts careers, not just for those on stage, but also for those behind the scenes. The list of legends of stage and screen that began their journey on the Arts Theatre's stage is vast. Shane Porteous, Russell Dykstra, Kate Foy, Jennifer Flowers, Anna McGahan, Lucas Stibbard and the late Carol Burns are just some of the household names, while an extraordinary number of technicians have gone onto professional careers in lighting, sound and set design.

Today, Brisbane Arts Theatre distinguishes itself as an iconic independent theatre company, producing engrossing, high quality, accessible theatre like Snugglepot and Cuddlepie: The Musical. If you haven't already been to the theatre, it's surprisingly easy to find. Located at 210 Petrie Terrace, it's only around an 800 metre walk from Roma St Station.

Free 4-hour parking is available on either side of Petrie Terrace after 7pm on weekdays and at all times at weekends. On Suncorp Stadium game days, Petrie Terrace is excluded from the Lang Park Traffic Area's 15-minute restrictions. To avoid a parking fine, do not park in the side streets during events, which are limited to 15 minutes where unsigned. Alternative parking is available on Countess Street below Hargraves Park, parallel to the Busway.

!date 21/01/2017 -- 25/03/2017
190168 - 2023-06-16 03:24:27


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