Summer 2020 gig guide for kids

17 December 2019

Summer has barely begun and we’re sweltering already. Thankfully we have the beach and festival season to help us and our children through these hot months. Read on for Seesaw’s curated list of the Fringe and Perth Festivals.

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Western Australia’s arts scene explodes over summer with two festivals in full swing. But first, Christmas is coming!

There are lots of lovely Christmas events for children, but one that is becoming a seasonal highlight is the Perth Symphony Orchestra’s The Snowman. On December 22nd the classic Christmas book will be brought to life by the orchestra performing live to the animated film. Scotch College will be transformed into a winter wonderland for this immersive experience. Unfortunately tickets are sold out, but watch the website for any further releases!

Spare Parts Puppet Theatre’s summer season (Jan 13 – Feb 1 ) is The Little Prince. The show brings to life Saint-Exupéry’s tale about a prince who leaves his tiny planet to go on an extraordinary adventure across the universe, where he discovers that the essential things in life can only be recognised with the heart.

State Theatre Centre has several kids shows including Fantastic Mr Fox (January 22 – 26) which is coming from a sold out season in Brisbane. Mr Fox and his friends and foes leap off the page and around the stage in a show the producers promise will be “Packed with Dahlicious mischief, hilarious mayhem and humongous belly laughs”.

There’s also Tall Stories’ productions of Room on the Broom and The Midnight Gang (you may have seen their Gruffalo season) running from January 28 – Feb 2.

The Spare Parts Puppet Theatre brings to life Saint-Exupéry’s tale about a prince who goes on an extraordinary adventure. Photo by Jessica Wyld.

Fringe Festival (17 January – 16 February) has a huge array of kids events and it is always an adventure to head to the Woodside Pleasure Gardens during the day to check out the Mermaid Tank and a few shows.

The 2020 program includes the usual magic tricks, comedy and circus shows. There are also an impressive number of new productions by local groups. Seesaw’s top five are:

  • The musical Oakley & Olivia (opens 17 January) is presented by up and coming performing arts company Amore Stage Productions. The musical theatre follows last year’s sell-out season of Maisie, winner of the Fringe World Best WA Children’s Show.
  • The Japanese Gardens at Perth Zoo will host A Thousand Cranes (opens 24 January), a theatre/aerial/dance show which tells the story of 12 year old Sadako Sasaki and the atomic bomb that dropped on Hiroshima and changed everything.
  • Love (opens 28 January) is an adventure story by Australia’s beloved children’s playwright Finegan Kruckemeyer. Story, image and theatrical magic will tell the story of how Oslo Rogers and his mum help their community to head for shelter in the face of a huge storm.
  • Experience the magic as 25 cast members all with a disability wow you in an inclusive wonderful comical performance of Aladdin the Pantomime (opens 7 February). Presented by DAPAK (Dance Ability Performing Arts Kelete).       
  • The Kid Who Climbed a Mountain (opens 24 January) takes a personal look at what happens when kids define intelligence by the things they can’t do, rather than the things they can, presented with a blend of theatre, slapstick and stand up comedy.

Perth Festival (February 7 – March 1) offers the usual kids workshops plus several family friendly events. The Sound of Picture Books brings narration, music, imagery, drama and composition together to tell the captivating story of Dumazi and the Big Yellow Lion. In Leviathan, Circa’s internationally-renowned ensemble joins with a local cast of young local performers for an exhilarating circus experience.

Spinifex Gum are an ensemble of Aboriginal and Torres Strait teenage singers. Photo supplied.

The art exhibition Cheeky Dogs by Dion Beasley looks intriguing. Being profoundly Deaf and non-verbal has lead Beasley to perfect the art of drawing his experiences; his art and his award-winning books portray the people, places and dogs he loves. Spinifex Gum offers lush choral vocals (Marliya – an ensemble of Aboriginal and Torres Strait teenage singers) with hard-hitting urban rhythms (The Cat Empire’s Felix Rieb) for a fresh sound that is built from the ancient culture of the Pilbara but is totally the music of today. 

And then to wrap it all up, join the rest of Perth in a family-friendly road trip on March 1 with Highway to Hell. Picnic along Canning highway as the show drives by, join in the passing parade or settle in at one of the performance venues as we celebrate our connection to iconic Aussie band AC/DC.

It’s going to be a summer to remember, for you and all the family!

Pictured top: Eat Life Productions presents Love, the story of a boy, his mum and their love luggage. Photo supplied.

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Author —
Rosalind Appleby

Rosalind Appleby is an arts journalist, author and speaker. She is co-editor of Seesaw Magazine, author of Women of Note, and has written for The West Australian, The Guardian, The Australian, Limelight magazine and Opera magazine. She loves the percussion instruments which can be found in the uber cool parks.

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