Arty party man Mister Maker returns to Perth Concert Hall


Phil Gallagher as Mister Maker with The Shapes.
Phil Gallagher as Mister Maker with The Shapes.

PHIL Gallagher, aka arty party man Mister Maker, feels like he is part of the preschool version of the Rolling Stones.

“We haven’t been touring quite as long as them but we’ve certainly been on the road for many years,” Gallagher said.

“I’ve just been packing bags and unpacking bags. In the UK we started the live shows in 2014 and in Australia our first trip was at the beginning of 2015. The last time we were in Perth was 2016, so it’s amazing to be coming back for our fifth trip to Australia.”

With nearly 200 episodes of the crafty and creative UK children’s TV program Mister Maker recorded since 2007, stage tours and English pantomime appearances, Gallagher started with a blank canvas when putting together new live show Mister Maker Returns for mini-makers and their grown-ups.

“I’m still very old school and write everything down,” Gallagher, who grew up in Kent, said.

“In front of me now I have my diary that has my whole master plan in it. It’s written down because there’s nothing digital going on in my life. I still use a pencil.”

Mister Maker Returns features new art makes, a couple of remixed “Mister Maker classics”, more audience participation than ever before and one lucky audience member will get to dance with The Shapes.

“That’s been quite a tricky thing to plan because of the size of The Shapes and the way they dance and move,” Gallagher said.

“It’s going to be so funny. We’ve created a special costume for that lucky audience member. They’ll have to dance and sing like The Shapes, but we’ll be there to help them. I put in lots of surprises.”

Gallagher said as a child he loved being creative: drawing, making things, writing scripts and putting on shows for his school and family.

“I always consider myself to be a big kid and as someone who has just reached their 40s, I still get excited by the creative ideas and possibilities within the show,” he said.

“I hope the show does inspire, because that was always our hope for the TV show, to inspire little ones and adults to get creative. It helps so much with development and confidence in everything you do at any age.

“More than a decade on now, I have a lot of older teenagers and young adults in their 20s coming up to me saying they used to watch Mister Maker. It’s really starting to make me feel old.”

Community News has 10 double passes to give away to Mister Maker Returns at Perth Concert Hall. Enter here by 10am, Friday, June 29.

THE ESSENTIALS

What: Mister Maker Returns

Where: Perth Concert Hall

When: July 21 and 22

Tickets: www.perthconcerthall.com.au