Arts / Dorothy and Goldilocks promise fun for kids

L-R Alyssa Anderson, Lachlan Anderson, Oliver Johnstone, Natalie Mitchell pic Jenny Anderson

L-R Alyssa Anderson, Lachlan Anderson, Oliver Johnstone, Natalie Mitchell pic Jenny Anderson

WE’RE IN the middle of school holidays and Canberra is alive with children’s plays.First up is Pied Piper Productions’ presentation of the musical “Dorothy in Wonderland,” a weird combination of two tried and true children shows.

Nina Stevenson is the director and up-and-coming conductor, Leonard Weiss, is the musical director of the play written by Brian D Taylor, with music and lyrics by Bill Francoeur and Scott Deturk.

Alice in Wonderland this year, Stevenson points out to us, celebrates 150 years of capturing the imagination of children and adults alike.

Explained simply, this play see Dorothy and her friends from Oz off course on their way home and ending up not in Kansas, but in Wonderland.

Dorothy, Lion, Scarecrow and Tin Man, The Mad Hatter, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum and other characters from “Alice” are all there.

Can Dorothy and Alice beat the Queen of Hearts at her own game and get back home to their families again? You know the answer.

Meantime, Ickle Pickle Productions, marking its tenth birthday, is presenting a production of their first show, “Goldilocks”, written by local playwright Peter McDonald with music composed by Adam Bluhm.

Some of the original cast will be on stage and most of the original production team will be behind the curtains.

It’s a re-telling of the classic children’s story, with a twist — the evil Sheriff of Gunningham is plotting to steal the Three Bears’ secret porridge recipe to open his own chain of porridge outlets. Together with his assistant, Frogmore, the Sheriff kidnaps Goldilocks and holds her to ransom for the recipe. Will the Sheriff’s evil plot succeed?

Goldilocks, Jenny Lange. Photo by Donna Larkin

Goldilocks, Jenny Lange. Photo by Donna Larkin

Ickle Pickle was established in 2005 by its artistic director, Justin Watson, as an initiative of the Belconnen Community Arts Office and Justin Watson, after the Belconnen Community Service Arts and Community Inclusion officer, the late Jan Wawrzynczak, approached him to establish a company that could produce quality, accessible shows in the Belconnen Theatre.

Now it has more than 40 theatre productions to its name, including commissioned works for the National Gallery of Australia.

Watson says: “Goldilocks was so much fun 10 years ago that we decided to bring it back as part of our tenth birthday celebrations. Rehearsing the show has certainly brought back lots of memories, and we are excited about bringing the show to a new generation of theatregoers.”

“Dorothy in Wonderland,” at Canberra College Performing Arts Centre, Launceston Street, Woden, October 2-9. Bookings to trybooking.com.au/isks

“Goldilocks,” Belconnen Community Theatre, Swanston Court, Belconnen, Oct 3-10, $10, bookings to stagecenta.com or 6253 1454. Groups 10 or more call 0401 169793.

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