2 August, 2016
May Gibbs’ classic tale of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie Live on Stage
May Gibbs’ classic Australian tale of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie
will be brought to life on Arts Centre Melbourne’s Playhouse stage
from 17 - 25 September
as part of a national tour. The colourful and action-packed stage adaptation is perfect for children aged 5 – 10 years and their families.
This year is the 100th anniversary of Gibbs’ first book Gumnut Babies,
published in 1916, which started her series of imaginative bush fairy tales. But it was Snugglepot and Cuddlepie
which became the book she is best remembered for. The story and characters reflected her deep love and understanding of the Australian bush that has inspired a passion for Australian flora and fauna among her readers. The book has never been out of print since its first publication in 1918, selling around 20,000 copies a year, and has made a lasting contribution to Australian folklore.
In the new play for families, the loveable gumnuts are on a mission to see a human – but only from afar. On their journey to the big city they meet friends and foes including Professor Kookaburra, Mrs Fantail, Mr Lizard, Mr Frog, Mrs Snake, Mr Possum and, of course, Little Ragged Blossom. Can Snugglepot lead the way? Can Cuddlepie hold his nerve? Can they avoid falling victim to the Big Bad Banksia Man? These much-loved characters come to life on stage in a funny and charming production that will introduce a new generation of children to Gibbs’ magical world.
Adapted by Monkey Baa Theatre Company’s Eva Di Cesare, Sandra Eldridge and Tim McGarry, the show features colourful costumes designed by Matthew Aberline.
Producer Suzie Franke said it was “truly amazing that the stories and adventures of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie have been mesmerising children for almost 100 years”. “We have updated the language in the play so kids today can understand, but we were determined to maintain the spirit of the original book so the stories and characters are all the same,” Franke said. “It is very exciting to see kids around the country as captivated by the stories as their parents and grandparents were at the same age.”
“This charming new stage adaptation of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie looks set to be a hit…stylish, inventive and cleverly designed…it exudes charm” Sunday Telegraph