Summer 2021 gig guide for kids

16 December 2020

School’s out, theatres are open and it is time for summer fun! Read on for Seesaw’s curated list of family-friendly Christmas and festival shows.

Phew what a year! Time for a well-earned holiday and some family time. Thanks to Western Australia’s COVID-free bubble that’s just what we can do, as festivals and theatres gear up for a summer that feels almost normal.

There’s plenty to see, and Seesaw has done the leg work for you, with this curated list of wildly diverse shows for your family this summer.

Before you go any further make a note to watch this with your children, to help you ease into the adventure and wonder of the holiday season. Delight in the beauty of Noongar language and Australian wildlife with Djinda Djinda, a quintessentially West Australian remake of the song “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”. The Community Arts Network music video has just won an ATOM Award for Best Indigenous Video.

Christmas is coming and if you are looking for something “Joyful and Triumphant” check out this concert on 18 December from Harmonia Australis that celebrates our resilience and growth as a community through what has been a strange and challenging  year. The fun one-hour concert for all ages includes a brass quintet and Christmas carols lead by Jessica Taylor.

If a grand celebration is in order, head to the Christmas Family State Spectacular at Crown Theatre, 22-24 December. The stage will be transformed into a magical holiday extravaganza featuring 100 performers; singers and dancers, a Nativity scene, a choir and, of course, Santa – on his COVID safe flight plan!

Some of the shows postponed from earlier in the year have returned, including Beanstalk, Spare Parts Puppet Theatre’s delightfully messy reinterpretation of “Jack and the Beanstalk” which includes a stand-up comedian, vegetables, and a gentle giant in the kitchen and runs 11-30 January.

The team behind the 13-, 26-, 52- and 78-Storey Treehouses Live on Stage return 27-31 December with The 91 Storey Treehouse, a fantastical trip through this wild, weird and wonderful world for children 6-12 and their adults.

The Children’s International Film Festival is coming to community cinemas around Perth in January, bringing a wide range of children’s films that do not necessarily make it to the cinemas. There are films originating from Norway, Germany, Hong Kong, Canada and even some local flavour with Daisy Quokka: The World’s Scariest Animal.

Festival Season

Fringe World kicks off on January 15 with stacks of kids shows. Here are our top three:

Melbourne duo Sam and Justin make mayhem in Fringe World’s “The Greatest Magic Show”. Photo supplied
  1. A little birdie told us The Greatest Magic Show is the BEST kids show you will see at Fringe World. The popular Melbourne lads are back for their third Fringe season which will run 16 January – 14 February.
  2. The Leaping Lillies are three lassoing lasses with a flair for old fashioned mischief and circus antics. Join three of Perth’s circus performers from 15-25 January for acrobatics, manipulation, juggling and balancing.
  3. The Lucky Cat is a puppet show about Alex, the unluckiest child in the whole world. That is until she meets Tet, the luckiest cat in the world. This witty new work by Monkey Brain featuring puppetry and visual theatre tells a story about luck, fate and optimism and runs 15-19 January.

The Perth Festival has a variety of shows specifically for families this year. Barking Gecko will premiere their new show HOUSE, during 5-13 February. Part fairy-tale, part mad-cap adventure story, HOUSE is a heart-felt and hilarious tale of loneliness, friendship and flying houses.

Children are invited to let their imagination run wild at the Perth Zoo on Sunday 28 February for Wild Things, Discover WA’s most talented authors, musicians and performers in a slightly different habitat. There’ll be pop up performances, storytelling, creative conservation activities and bands busting out the A – Z of the animal classics.

For older children check out the live stream session with author Shaun Tan, who will be chatting about about Dog, his redesigned release of excerpts from his 2018 book Tales from the Inner City. And teenagers will connect with Lotterywest Film Dating Amber, an Irish film which takes a poignant and funny look at the highs and lows of teenage life.

Two things to remember: venues are still operating at limited capacity so tickets are going fast AND you will need to register your attendance so download the SafeWA app. Have a fabulous, safe summer!

Pictured top: Children can let their imagination run wild at the Perth Zoo for Perth Festival’s “Wild Things”. Photo: Perth Zoo

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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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