Families can expect to be taken on an adventure through the forest, filled with wild creatures and feral villains, when they watch the latest production to come out of Ulladulla.
An adaption of the Australian children’s story ‘Dot and the Kangaroo in the Shoalhaven’ will take to the stage at the Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre and Livewire Studios later this month.
The story will follow Dot as she loses her way home and is alone and frightened in the bush, until she meets a kangaroo determined to help her find her way back to her home and worried mum.
Along the way, they find themselves in both fun and dangerous situations, as they encounter a forest full of animals with very strong opinions, and learn more about the native and introduced species of the Shoalhaven.
Livewire Studio artistic director K-M Doyle has modernised and localised Ethel C. Pedley’s famous story to help children understand the habitats and conservational challenges of our local flora and fauna.
“The original story was ahead of its time in many ways, with a passionate plea for appreciation and conservation of Australia’s wildlife, and bush areas,” she said.
“Whilst some aspects of the story have become very dated, this underlying message hasn’t, and is more important than ever. By adding modern elements and familiar sights, we’re hoping this adaptation will resonate with young people as much as the original story did.”
The production is the first of Lifewire Studio’s play schedule. In adapting the story, the production team consulted with local experts, and local children for their views on the threats to our local wildlife, and the messages they wanted to share.
They also spent a lot of time researching our local wild spaces, and incorporating these into the set. Local nursery Mullala have generously lent native trees and plants to bring an extra local element to the stage.
Starring four local adults and four local school children, each performer had input into the adaption and script.
Young actor Holly Forbes, who plays several animal characters in the production, said she loved the message behind the story.
“People should see this play to learn more about protecting our local environment,” she said.
The educational component of the production began in the early stages of rehearsals for the young, aspiring actors, and stretched beyond the bush to the stage itself.
Emily Hendry, who also stars in the play, said she had learnt about the by the scenes work necessary for a play.
“I've learnt how much goes on behind the scenes of a play and that audiences only see a tiny glimpse of the work put in by all involved,” she said.
Dot and the Kangaroo in the Shoalhaven is playing at the Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre in Nowra June 16 and 17.
Tickets are available at shoalhavenentertainmentcente.com.
The play will also take to the stage in Ulladulla on June 23 and 24 at Livewire Studios. Tickets are available at livewiretheatre.com.
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