THE Beanies are one of Australia’s best-known bands for kids, and two thirds of them were born-and bred in Canberra.
Now the trio, made up of Mim Rizvi, Laura Dawson and Michael Yore, are returning home to perform this week at The Q, Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre, in a play which demonstrates the love and care needed to raise a child.
Household names across Australia and nominated for a 2019 Aria for “Best Children’s album” (losing to Dan Sultan), they are famous for their podcast on Kinderling Kids Radio, which has more than 500,000 downloads.
All are committed to showing “Mini-Beanies” the value of play by problem-solving with silliness, laughter and music, a screen-free entertainment option for children spending too much time looking at their devices.
Every Monday via podcast, Laura, Mim and Michael take kids on a fun, silly adventure, with a show and tell where they share stories and questions.
There are episodes on gardening, reading books, discovering how unicorns get their horns, and the heroes they meet include a tiny spider who learns how to be brave, students at a super hero training academy and a very royal puppy.
“CityNews” caught up recently with Laura and Mim, who told how after working in kids’ theatre, they had started writing their own songs and performing as a band. Then, after some success with a podcast, in 2018 they wrote a children’s musical, “The Beanies’ EGG-straordinary Day”, which brought some of the songs and silliness of the podcast to the stage and became a hit at the Sydney Fringe.
In it, The Beanies are given the task of looking after an egg for a day and have to deal with the challenges this involves.
“We look after our egg and we realise that parenting is very hard, with love and care needed, people should appreciate parents,” Mim says.
And yes, the show has a happy ending.
“In Canberra I performed in a lot of theatre,” Laura says. After playing with Everyman Theatre, and in “Les Miserables” and “Legally Blonde”, she met Mim while working on the musical “Grease” in Canberra. It was through doing Canberra musicals that they found composer, musician and musical director James Court, who writes and produces all of the songs for The Beanies.
They when they were doing educational programs in schools they met Newcastle-born Michael and asked him to join.
And, having teamed up, how did they hit on that distinctive name for the trio?
“That’s a funny story,” Mim says. “We did a song called ‘It’s Raining Jellybeans’ so we thought we might call ourselves ‘The Jellybeans’, but then we ran across copyright problems.”
“We recorded a lot of kids’ songs but we had to ask, ‘how do we make it ourselves different’, and eventually we came up with ‘The Beanies’.”
“The Beanies EGG-straordinary Day,” at The Q, Queanbeyan, 10.30am and 2pm, Satruday, March 14. Bookings at theq.net.au or 6285 6290.
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