NOT much has changed on the Play School set during the last decade in which Alex Papps has enjoyed the role of co-host.
In fact, not a great deal has altered over the almost 50 years the show has aired.
That is what makes the beloved ABC children�s series, synonymous with Big Ted, Little Ted, Jemima and Humpty, so special.
Watch it today as an adult and feel a wave of nostalgia as the familiar toys come to life and stories and songs unfold.
�Like many people, I grew up with Play School and when I graduated from drama school (WAAPA) in the early �90s, I thought I would love to do the show and tried for about eight years to get an audition but never got my foot in the door,� Papps said.
�Finally I managed to get an audition and that�s how my history on the program came about.
�The show has become this iconic thing, held so closely to people�s hearts and still valued as a really useful learning tool as far as TV goes.�
Community asked the former soapie heartthrob, fondly remembered as Vince from The Henderson Kids and Frank from Home and Away, whether his sought-after presenting gig came with drawbacks or challenges.
�It is as fun as it looks � it�s a gift of a job and a real privilege,� Papps said.
�The only thing remotely tedious is learning the lines. It is fully scripted and a lot of care goes into the way language is used, the themes explored and activities we do.
�One challenge � a pleasurable challenge � is constantly honing that version of yourself that is you, but a personable, gentle, conversational version of you, which kids can relate to on camera.�
Papps does not classify this role as acting, but rather a unique performance that demands he be entirely unselfconscious.
�At the risk of sounding precious about it, you have to access the kid inside you and I don�t mean in a profound or therapeutic way,� he said.
�You have to be able to look silly and play in a way that kids play before they grow up and become aware of the pressures of life.�
Papps and Michelle Lim Davidson bring live Play School performance, Once Upon a Time, to Perth this month and September.
�It�s a brand new show this year and one of my favourites of the shows I�ve done over the last decade,� Papps said.
�Unsurprisingly, the premise is a storybook and it�s a really beautiful set that is constantly evolving visually, so there is always something for the kids to engage with on stage.
�There are lots of familiar songs that parents and kids can sing along and dance to and they get to see the toys as well.�
What: Once Upon a Time
When: August 28-September 7
Where: Como, Fremantle, Midvale, West Perth, Morley, Joondalup, Byford