"Original music by Mark Jones brings Belloc’s tales to life – I recognised many of these poems from my own childhood, but the mix of cabaret style songs and storytelling added a new dimension"
"The always-entertaining Virginia Gay had the young audience enraptured from the moment she took the stage, and the adults all LOLing along with her throughout."
"Sunny Ray and the Magnificent Moon is pure joy for the under-10s."
"This show is great entertainment for four to eight year olds and their parents and anyone who can be a big kid at heart"
"If there’s only one show you take your kids big and small to this festival, make it this one- it’ll brighten your day."
“I think kids love the silliness of it (Sunny Ray) and the colour and the movement and adults really get where we’re going with some of those pop culture references.”
Star-spangled theatre rock party. This affectionate, well thought out production is a terrific small-scale jewel.
"FALLING asleep at Arts Centre Melbourne is generally frowned upon: you’re there to see a show and it’s considered rude to nod off midperformance.But for one night, sleeping is compulsory."
"Interactive children’s theatre engages childrens' innate creative impulses and encourages them to be curious and playful."
"Gay is an amazing singer and performer and all of her skills were highlighted beautifully in this show. Children are the toughest audiences but Gay was up to the challenge!"
"Cautionary Tales for Children is a wonderfully dark and ironic, lively vibrant work. This staged performance, based on the verse of Hilaire Belloc, is beautifully rendered by Arena Theatre and performed with entertaining aplomb by Virginia Gay, with Mark Jones on the Piano."
“Kids are exposed to so many different types of entertainment now that they know what sophisticated, well-made theatre is like. We (Arena) have a lot of respect for our audience and spend a lot of time with young people." - Christian Leavesley
"I know (Cautionary Taled for Children) will blow little ‘uns mind. And maybe the parents’ too…" - Virginia Gay
"Marlin makes me wish I'd seen theatre as magical and uncondescending as this when I was growing up."
"Marlin, Leavesley's first major work as Arena artistic director, is an enjoyable and refined piece..."
"It is an excellent piece of vibrant theatre which held the attention of its young audience from start to finish."
"Humour abounds - the kind of humour that kids like...In this intense and riveting hour of entertainment there is also suspense and danger and heaps and heaps of foam."
"The production sings as the foam machine turns the entire set into a wild sea..."
"There is much that delights about this production – both characters are fabulously portrayed by the actors, and the puppet work of the marlin and gull are fantastic. You will not be disappointed by the amazing set which brings the sea to life in the most extraordinary way"
… After HOUSE OF DREAMING I went home to my mum and said it was the best show I had ever been to. I was telling her everything about it for an hour and a half…
I'm a local mother and mature‐age student living in Perth, Western Australia. I have a love for nature-based activities, the arts and creative, fun activities for children.
Shhhhhh the House is sleeping. Use your inside voices so it doesn’t wake...
Elio and Eva went into The House of Dreaming with their eyes wide open and came out 30 minutes later with wide-open eyes.
It's not often a theatre company gets to spend a term at primary school, knee- deep in crayons, textas and the wild imaginings of the students.
I was amused to see the adult audience members for that session lining up with the children for their costumes: everyone looked ridiculously pleased.
This giant doll house is as close to walking
into a storybook as possible with dressing up,
stories, magic and wow! in every room.
INTERACTIVE theatre challenges audiences to leave comfortable chairs and physically enter performances.
Arena Theatre's The House of Dreaming. It's a
high-tech interactive maze, based on the idea
of an abandoned house that falls asleep and
starts to dream.
I didn’t want to leave The House of Dreaming. Neither did my artistic advisor, five-year old Scout.
Izzy and I went along to the opening of The House of Dreaming last night, which is on at the MTC until Saturday as part of the Melbourne International Arts Festival.
Over the past ten years Danielle has designed stage sets for numerous theatre and film companies including: Arena Theatre, The Malthouse, The Flying Fruit Fly Circus, The Business, Stuck Pigs Squealing.
Captivating children for years, thatʼs exactly what Arena Theatre Company conjures this Melbourne Festival, when The House of Dreaming awakens in the MTCʼs Lawler Studio.
Polyglot's How High the Sky goes out on a limb to create theatre for babies.
It is a time of change for theatre director Chris Kohn, as his time as Artistic Director of the Arena Theatre Company draws to a close.
THE young audience becomes the players in the world premiere of The House of Dreaming, a new dramatic concept created for Melbourne Festival.
POLYGLOT Theatre's latest production, How High
the Sky, is a show for Melbourne's youngest
art critics: babies.
It's been a giant research and development project for everyone involved, a 'dream' opportunity for them to try things they've always wanted to but never had the time.
Bullying and depression are at the core of Moth. For a significant number of seconary school studnets who took part in an Albury Youth Council study last year, these are key concerns...
Listen to the local ABC Radio Goulburn interview with Thomas and Emily about Moth, teenagers, and bullying.
Teenagers are passionate theatre patrons. If they don't like it, they will tear you to pieces," says Melbourne playwright Declan Greene.
Greene, 27, had never thought to write for teenagers, but since completing Moth for Arena Theatre Company and Malthouse Theatre, he has continued to target an audience of older teens...
“It was someone else’s idea, but it was very tightly collaborative. If you want to make a career as a writer, that’s something you have to be open to - that, and you are going to be employed to fulfil someone else’s vision. And that’s something you can’t be precious about,” playwright Declan Greene said in an interview with Megan Hanson.
Starchaser’s mixture of absurd fairytale and emotional truthfulness hits the mark with beautiful accuracy...
In starchaser there are so many exciting and dramatic events to keep you interested the whole way throughout the play.
I really enjoyed the story line, the acting and the props were great as well! It was also quite a sad story as well as funny and quirky. I would recommend this to ages 7+.
On the 2nd of June 2012. Dad and I went to Star Chaser. I had no idea what it was going to be like. Dad and I caught the train into the city.
Playwright Lally Katz lifts the lid on her life in the city...
5/5 stars. Starchaser is an adventure act full of creativity, belief and imagination. It is based on a star called Atlia, a dying star that holds the key to the thing that the main character, Catta, wants most – her parents to be brought back to life.
Now the playwright and the lion have done it, figuratively speaking, in her new family production Starchaser, a fantasy adventure premiering at Arts Centre Melbourne this week.
Starchaser is a wonderful piece of theatre. A magical world filled with selfdiscovery. Although this play is aimed towards 8–12 year olds, any adult would find something to cherish in Starchaser with its richly woven plot and wonderfully imagined visuals.
If your space-crazy child is going to see Starchaser, you’d better be quick. There are only two public shows this weekend in the intimate setting of the Fairfax Studio, after eight shows for school groups this week.
Playwright Lally Katz, 33, won the Victorian Premier's literary award for drama in 2009 and was a Churchill fellow in 2010. Her play Starchaser is being staged by Arena Theatre Company at the Arts Centre on June 2, with schools-‐only performances from May 30 to June 1.
A few weeks ago I went to the new show ‘Starchaser’ at the Victorian Arts Centre. It’s about a girl called Catta whose parents have recently died, but on her birthday she wishes there was some way that she could save them.
Award-winning playwright Lally Katz has been wowing us with adult productions like Return to Earth of late, but her latest offering is for children – a wildly imaginative dash around the universe on a magical bed.
JOIN THE FUN Playwright Lally Katz could be about to meet her toughest audience yet. Her latest production with Arena Theatre Company...
I arrived early and sat in the foyer of the Fairfax Studio watching as streams of children and their parents came in; this was opening night and the 6.30pm timeslot was perfect for families to see theatre.
Arena Theatre Company is staging a new children’s cabaret,Child Eaten by Lion, based on the century old satirical verses of Hilaire Belloc called Cautionary Tales for Children.
Musical theatre hunk Sam Ludeman will be back on the boards this week when three new shows are given their first run at Arts Centre
The world of musical theatre is an ever-expanding one. Each year we see new shows opening, revivals being staged, original musicals being workshopped and successful shows touring around the world.
The title of Claudia O'Doherty's last show may have sent shivers through most youngsters (or anyone with memories of high school geography), but What is Soil Erosion? managed to milk laughs from the driest of subjects.
It might be a tough one to sell to the kids at first: a cabaret show filled with absurd cautionary tales about what happens to naughty children. But Mark Jones, composer and performer in Arena Theatre Company’s Cautionary Tales for Children, insists it’s a good time for the whole family.
The studio, usually sleek and ready for action, had a whimsical, homely flavour, created by the addition of mismatched retro lampshades hanging over the audience. A night of story-telling was in order.
Cautionary Tales for Children is a steampunk cabaret, taking children’s musical theatre to a whole new level. The folks at Arena Theatre Company have put together an ensemble to get toes tapping, adults chuckling and kids screaming at the top of their lungs.
While the fictional TV show was branded "boring, formless and unwatchable" by TV commissioners, its stage counterpart has pulled impressive numbers at this year's Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Imperial Panda Festival and Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Arts Centre Melbourne doesn’t just workshop new musicals. It puts them on. This year the venue is producing a three-week season of the most successful new work tried out at the venue last year.
What the hell did Whitman remember of his days as a teenager? A young, arguably gay man in an era of severe repression, a poet, an outcast – what were these happiest, halcyon days?
"Teens on the edge of society will be put under the microscope in the latest production to come to the Brisbane Powerhouse."
"Few of us are spared the memory (and perhaps nightmares) of being 16 and the school freak - or at least feeling like it."
"This is exquisite theatre: in my view one of the most accomplished new plays of the past few years, here given a superbly restrained and devastatingly powerful production by Chris Kohn."
"This is theatre at its finest, a potent blend of Greene's cunningly wrought script, hallucinogenic imagery and consummate acting that will have you close to tears towards the end."
"When your show sells out before opening night on word of mouth alone, that's got to put some puff in a young writer's chest."
“May is turning out to be a red-hot month for theatre in Melbourne…” Reviewed by Alison Croggon
"At the centre of Moth, the latest production between Arena Theatre Company and Malthouse Theatre is a moment of ..." Reviewed by John Bailey
“It’s an oft dished-out dictum: 'your teenage years are the best of your life'…” Reviewed by Chris Summers
“If another person writes another op-ed complaining that Australian theatre is dying, beset by aesthetic crises and apathetic audiences…” Reviewed by Alison Croggon
“This is why theatre still matters: because moments of terror and wonder fluttering around the periphery…” Reviewed by John Bailey
“The best theatre for young people – the stuff teen audiences find valuable…” Reviewed by Chris Boyd