‘When I was at drama school, I didn’t think my life would turn out like this,’ says actor Drew Livingston, pulling on a pantomime horse head. James Elliott, the horse’s back legs, agrees. ‘I imagined myself doing Chekov, sitting in an armchair talking about Moscow.’
In a couple of weeks we’ll be in the Sydney Opera House, performing our live version of the best-selling Australian book of 2014, The 52-Storey Treehouse. Though we’re well into rehearsals I’m still tinkering with the script, trying to make scenes run smoothly, cutting jokes that are falling flat, ‘killing my darlings’.
It’s tricky to stage a caterpillar eating two speeding steamrollers, an epic trek by Ninja snails and detectives Andy and Terry zooming around in their Flying Fried Egg Car. Somehow, we’ll manage it. It always comes right on the night. Continue reading
The 26-Storey Treehouse cast in full flight. Matthew Lilley, James Lee, Andrew Johnston and Eliza Logan. Photo: Branco Gaica.
Bear with me here…I want to use a blog post to pay tribute to my Treehouse play work colleagues, three of whom have just done their final performance after nearly a year of involvement in the project.
Touring a production for family audiences month after month places enormous demands on the actors and the stage crew. Continue reading
Coming very soon…
The self-inflating underpants fail to blow up. The rehearsal stops. It’s not my problem; I’m just the writer.
‘The underpants inflate, almost smothering Terry’ says the line in my script. Somebody else will work out how to make them do this. There’s a team of talented, dedicated professionals in the rehearsal room, and they’re taking those self-inflating underpants very seriously.
Because creating The 26-Storey Treehouse: Live on Stage is a serious business. Continue reading
Filed under Theatre, Writing
Happy New Year! We’re diving straight back into it here, with The 13-Storey Treehouse returning to the Sydney Opera House after a sell-out season there last September/October.
Nice news too that the show has just been nominated in the Sydney Theatre Awards as Best Production for Children. And I see that Andy Griffiths’ and Terry Denton’s The 39-Story Treehouse was the best-selling Australian book of 2013. That’s not ‘best-selling children’s book’; it’s ‘best-selling book‘ – a fantastic achievement. So naturally there’s pressure on to keep the crazy plays coming.
A workshop of The 26-Storey Treehouse is next and I’m looking forward to working with the great production team.
The promo video above includes a few clips of the play, and the ‘creatives’ (don’t you like that word?) saying nice things about each other and the show.
The 13-Story Treehouse will tour Australia during this year, playing in Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide as well as regional towns. For the full touring schedule, CLICK HERE.
And for those able to catch the madness in Sydney, bookings for the Opera House in January can be made HERE.
This shameless self-promoting plug is now over (if you don’t do it yourself, who else will?) so I can wish everyone a great 2014!
Luke Joslin is Superfinger, the greatest hero in the history of Handkind!
Okay here we go! It’s more than a year since I began working on the stage version of The 13-Storey Treehouse and this week we finally start performing it.
We can hardly wait. Continue reading
Curse you, Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton! How can you be so irresponsible, apparently chucking random words and incoherent stories into books with hastily scrawled drawings, and yet be so damn successful?
You are among Australia’s and the world’s best-selling authors and illustrators, but your plots are sadly thin, your characters have neither depth nor development and your stories have no uplifting, educational messages for young readers. And they’re totally impossible to adapt for the theatre.
It must seem oh so easy to you. You just write in a book: ‘suddenly along came a squadron of flying cats, a mermaid, a sea monster, hundreds of monkeys and a giant gorilla.’ I bet you have a good old giggle thinking these things up.
Then some poor playwright like me has to work out a way for it to all happen, live on stage, twice or even thrice a day, with barely time to sweep up the broken glass between performances. Continue reading