By Justin RouillonWednesday 9 Dec 2020CultureReading Time: 4 minutes
Listen: Bluey’s Big Play director Rose Myers talks about reimagining Bluey for the stage.
For two years now the hit TV show Bluey has wowed both kids and parents alike, first across Australia and now across the globe.
The show about a blue heeler and her family who live in the Brisbane inner-city suburb of Red Hill has drawn universal praise for its depiction of modern family life, the importance of imaginative play and setting Dad goals as blokes everywhere try to be more like Bandit.
The brainchild of Brisbane father Joe Brumm, Bluey is all about play. It’s set into the backdrop of the River City showcasing the best that Brisbane has to offer. It’s significant that the Brissy show about play now has its own play, which will debut at the Performing Arts Complex later this month. And now that QPAC can operate at full capacity, more tickets are on sale now!
Bluey’s Big Play: The Stage Show will be brought to life through the magic of puppetry with all the shows favourites making an appearance….even the bin chickens.
But will Australia’s most looked down upon bird steal the show? Bluey’s Big Play director Rose Myers told 96five that she doesn’t think so.
“You really can’t go past Bingo and Bluey and how wonderful they are. There’s a beautiful theme that runs through the production of the play that’s so beloved in this show. Lots of the games that people will know – Keepy Uppy, Remote Control Bingo and The Grannies are a big feature of the show. To me it’s the beauty of the two sisters; they’re such wonderful characters and to see them in a new form in puppetry, that will be hard to top.”
With a script written by Joe Brumm, and original music from Bluey composer Joff Bush, the elements are there for an amazing production. Add in the talents of Rose Myers, whose Adelaide based Windmill Theatre Company has been described by The Australian as “the best children’s theatre company in the country”, and you know that you’re in for something special.
But even with Rose’s experience, making the jump from TV to the stage still has its challenges.
“There is a great deal of responsibility involved when you’re dealing with something so amazing and so loved! The script and show is very action driven so that has been quite a challenge with puppets.”
Recreating the Bluey-verse has also been a top priority, with the Heeler’s Queenslander having been faithfully reproduced for the stage.
“Kids love detail, and they’ll be looking out to see the things that they’ve been watching on television being replicated” said Rose.
Brett Howe is Director of the biennial Out of the Box festival and executive producer of Bluey’s Big Play and told 96five that this was top of the list when designing the set.
“There’s that view of Red Hill that you need to see out the window of Bluey’s house, everyone knows the house and we need to recreate that so people feel safe in that space watching it on stage. It’s a different experience on stage, it’s not cartoons that can do everything the characters can do on-screen, it’s a much more personal experience.”
This attention to detail was encouraged by the team at Ludo Studio, the Fortitude Valley production house behind the Emmy winning show.
“They’ve been fantastic” Brett said, “they’ve given us all the artwork that we’ve needed, so that Production Designer Jonathan Oxlade can recreate all aspects of the house. It’s pretty spectacular when you see the set and it looks exactly like Joe Brumm’s drawings. They’ve even matched the hex colour codes so that the colour pallet is the same, precise and true to the original work on-screen.”
With Bluey being uniquely Brisbane, it’s fitting that the show will launch at QPAC on the banks of the river, before making its way around the country, and eventually the world.
“The producers are keen to get this show out there – there’s a huge appetite for it.”
Because of Queensland’s strong COVID response, QPAC are now able to move to 100% capacity, which means that more tickets are on sale now.
Bluey’s Big Play The Stage Show
WHEN: 22 December 2020 to 10 January 2021
WHERE: Playhouse QPAC, Queensland Cultural Centre, South Bank, Brisbane
TICKETS: Refer to qpac.com.au for current pricing & availability
BOOKINGS: qpac.com.au or phone 136-246
Event Duration: Approximately 45 minutes no interval
Recommended Age: Suitable all ages, recommended 2+ years
Director: Rose Myers
Written by Joe Brumm
Designer: Jonathon Oxlade
Music by Joff Bush
Puppetry Director: Jacob Williams