Since first announced as part of Queensland Theatre's 2019 Season, Storm Boy, the stage adaptation has been much-anticipated by Brisbane's rapidly increasing number of theatregoers. It is currently at The Playhouse, QPAC in South Brisbane. You better be quick, and I'll save you the rest of the two minutes read by assuring you now, it is well worth the ticket. If you are a fan of the book or the movies, you are going to adore Tom Holloway's adaptation of this classic Australian tale. Right under our noses, a genius artistic alliance formed with Brisbane's Dead Puppet Society and Queensland Theatre. Together they have created a touching reworking of an Australian classic that will stay with you well past the storm.
John Batchelor, Tony Briggs and Conor Lowe - Storm Boy
Storm Boy and his father, Hideaway Tom, live a quiet life away from the rest of the world. On the desolate coastline of South Australia's Coorong district, the pair work hard to keep their modest tin residence a secret from the nearby town. Amongst the wind-lashed dunes, the young boy makes new friends that change him forever. Wise Fingerbone Bill, and three orphaned Pelican chicks he affectionately names Mr Proud, Mr Ponder and Mr Percival.
Queensland Theatre, Storm Boy - photo by Jeff Busby
The Dead Puppet Society is clearly in the business of recreating life out of the lifeless. At first, admittedly, I couldn't ignore the puppeteers. I am not certain at which point of the show they disappeared, but eventually, they seemed to have merged into the pelicans. There is a moment when the puppeteer comforts the grieving boy; it was a small gesture that induced tears from the audience. Mr Proud, Mr Ponder and Mr Percival shared the stage with other comical characters. The penguins were particularly charming. The stage, lights and sound departments all flexed their muscles, creatively transporting us on to those dunes and through the storm.
The cast consisted of three main (human) characters. Hideaway Tom, played by John Batchelor (Harrow, The Secret Daughter and Home & Away). Fingerbone Bill beautifully portrayed by The Sapphires writer, Tony Briggs (Rosehaven, Wentworth). Conor Lowe's (Today Show, To the Sea, Electricity) Queensland Theatre debut as Storm Boy could not have been better received. The three actors share a delightful connection. The father/son relationship felt genuine, Hideaway Tom's protective nature and reluctance to widen their world was well played.
A brilliant production that invites your imagination to the windy shores, over the clouds and then back to life's realities. A classic Australian play for the entire family. Tickets are on sale now – you have to be quick as they are selling fast!
Directed by Sam Strong Associate Director/Puppet Designer David Morton
Designer Anna Cordingley Lighting Designer Matt Scott Composer & Sound Designer Darrin Verhagen
AV Designer Justin Harrison
CAST ELLEN BAILEY Puppeteer JOHN BATCHELOR Hideaway Tom TONY BRIGGS Fingerbone Bill EMILY BURTON Puppeteer CONOR LOWE Storm Boy DREW WILSON Puppeteer
CONTRIBUTING ARTISTS KRIS BIRD Associate Set & Costume Designer JEAN GOODWIN Voice Coach MAJOR MOOGY SUMNER Cultural Consultant