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Interview - Naomi 'Nay Nay' Young

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by Tema (subscribe)
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Photo supplied by the Adelaide Festival Centre


Having been actively involved in Children's Television and Theatre for 15 years, ABC Kids star and one-woman powerhouse Naomi "Nay Nay" Young will be performing her show Tinkertime: The Broken Bubble Machine, as part of the upcoming Something on Saturday shows and the DreamBig Children's Festival.

Taking her audience on a whirlwind adventure with lots of laughter and curiosity hitting the roof, Nay Nay and her tinkering friends will embark on board HMS 'Curiosity' - a grumpy old bubble-powered airship that suddenly breaks down, leaving the crew to figure out how to salvage it and set it sailing on its voyage.

In anticipation of her show, I was fortunate to score an e-interview with Naomi about her show - have a read of our exchange below:

Tema: Can you please tell us a bit about yourself, Naomi?
Naomi: I'm a wife and mum to 2 kids - Gideon (9) and Tallow (7). I love to go to the beach and play netball on the weekend. If you can't find me, look for the sunny spot in the yard, I'll probably be there with the sun on my back drinking a cuppa and eating smashed avo and feta on sourdough.

Photo supplied by Adelaide Festival Centre


Tema: Who are the key people involved in the production of Tinkertime: The Broken Bubble Machine?
Naomi: Obviously you'll see me, Nay Nay, and my best mate Louie the Dog. Our tinkering friend Dapster will also be there, and he is always making slime and coming up with a new bubble recipe. Off stage, my creative team consists of Luke Joslin (Director), Sean Peter (Musical Director) and Lorraine Verheyen (Production Designer).

Tema: How did you decide on creating this show and taking it from a concept to a reality?
Naomi: I'm really passionate about encouraging young people to be curious in their thinking. Tinkertime embodies STEM concepts (science, technology, engineering and maths) but mostly it's about being hands-on, thinking creatively to solve problems and to having a laugh.

Tema: What motivated you to build the character "Nay Nay" and her infectiously fun persona? 
Naomi: When I had my daughter Tallow I was surprised that I couldn't find any character role models for girls that weren't pink and princess based. I wanted to create a show for young people that was driven by a strong female who was unafraid to do things for herself. Someone for strong young people in-between The Wiggles and Katy Perry.

Tema: How would you like your young viewers and audience members to see "Nay Nay"?
Naomi: However they want to really. Nay Nay is there to adventure with, to be silly, to encourage young people to use their voice and have ideas. I'll always be there to listen to what they have to say - even if it stops the show!

Tema: Who would you say is your target audience for the show?
Naomi: There's something for everyone in the family, but it's most suited for kids 3-8 years old. But everyone loves bubbles, it doesn't matter if they're 6 or 60.

Tema: What is the basic premise of your show (without giving too much away)?
Naomi: Nay Nay wants to go on an epic tinkering adventure but she can't get her Tinkership started - so her tinkering pals help her to try and start the engine.... in whatever way they can.

Photo supplied by Adelaide Festival Centre


Tema: What can your audience expect from attending your show?
Naomi: We will be singing and dancing and along the journey, we will tinker with some STEM fun - silly science, building and problem-solving.

Tema: What are you hoping for your audience to experience from attending your show? 
Naomi: Fun and interactivity, and lots of bubble popping!

Tema: What made you want to be involved with Something on Saturday?
Naomi: I came to Something on Saturdays back in 2015, and have always wanted to return. Adelaide audiences are always so fun and interested - it makes for a great show.

Tema: Where do you make regular appearances - festivals / events / TV channels, etc?
Naomi: You can see my songs on ABC Kids and I also have a YouTube channel called 'Tinkertime'. I also frequent live festivals around Australia.

Tema: What has the journey been like, to be a one-woman show and starting up what has become such a popular source of kids' entertainment?
Naomi: It is hard work, but has been a lot of fun along the way. I had a moment last Christmas when I was singing songs in the middle of Martin Place Sydney before the big Christmas tree lighting, there were thousands of people in attendance singing along and waving glow sticks in the air. At that moment I felt very lucky to be experiencing the success I've had in building this brand for kids.

Tema: Is there anything else that you'd like our readers to know about you and your show? 
Naomi: I apologize in advance for the catchy tunes.... you'll be humming them for a week afterwards... sorry, not sorry ;)

Tinkertime: The Broken Bubble Machine will be performing at the Space Theatre in the Adelaide Festival Centre on May 4, 2019 at 1pm and 3pm - tix are $15 and can be purchased online here.

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Why? Great fun for the whole family!
When: May 4 (Saturday)
Where: Adelaide Festival Centre
Cost: $15
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