BARKING Gecko Theatre Company had a big 2016.
Not only did the theatre company for young people and their families present the endearing Bambert’s Book of Lost Stories, which won the Helpmann Award for Best Presentation for Children, but it moved from the Subiaco Arts Centre to the State Theatre Centre of WA.
And it looks set to have an even bigger 2017 after the launch of next year’s season program, featuring a presentation of Saltbush (July), an international tour of Bambert’s Book of Lost Stories, new work My Robot (November) and a Living Lecture for teenagers on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet (May).
“Saltbush has toured the world for years and is an extraordinary piece of digital immersive theatre for young people,” Barking Gecko artistic director Matt Edgerton said.
“It’s the story of two Aboriginal friends travelling across Australia through country and urban landscapes.
“The aesthetics of the piece are all determined by Aboriginal arts, so there are projections of beautiful Aboriginal artworks, song and music, and young people are invited up on stage to participate.”
Bambert’s Book of Lost Stories has been given further life with seasons in Europe, Brisbane and Melbourne.
Barking Gecko chief executive Helen Hristofski said they were incredibly excited about the European tour.
“The idea of beautiful stories with a WA accent resonating globally is just so thrilling,” Hristofski said.
Edgerton will direct My Robot, which will be written by Finegan Kruckemeyer who the artistic director regards as one of the world’s best writers for children.
“We’ve started with the premise ‘If you could make your own robot, what would it be like?’,” he said.
“I’m doing workshops with five to seven-year-olds at the moment with exactly that premise.
“We don’t know what the story is yet, but trust that Finn is a bit of genius and a multi-award winning playwright. He and I are both excited about the intersection of science and art.”
The production is a collaboration with Scitech, UWA and Steve Berrick at pvi collective.
“Barking Gecko is about not being afraid to confront big issues, big themes and big ideas in the world and to do it in a way that’s joyful, uplifting and hopeful,” Edgerton said.
“The holy grail is to make something kids and adults both laugh at and they’re both moved by.
“Our vision statement is to inspire audiences of all ages to embrace a creative life full of curiosity, empathy and play.”
More at www.barkinggecko.com.au.