POWERHOUSE MUSEUM, SYDNEY – where the Wiggles take on Harry Potter

The transport exhibition - could they squeeze in a Big Red Car and the Hogwarts Express? And even if they could, should they?

I feel rather well disposed towards the Wiggles, the more so after taking Grandson 1 to the Powerhouse exhibition in their honour. They had some competition from Harry Potter today, but acquitted themselves well.

For 20 years now, the Wiggles have been playing live to packed houses of adoring rugrats, selling squillions of dollars’ worth of CDs, DVDs and other merchandise and leading the charts as Australia’s top-earning entertainers. I once met Captain Feathersword at a party and he said they were nice guys too. Good luck to them.

It didn't set the children's lit world ablaze, but it did have my name on the front.

At the height of Wigglemania I was commissioned to write three Wiggle books myself. I make no great claims for the literary merit of The Wiggles’ Picnic, Dorothy’s Garden and Henry’s Big Band, but I did my best and was paid adequately and promptly.

The Wiggles took a while to grow on me. Too cheesy, too unbelievably happy. What were the flaws that would make them interesting characters for fiction? Where was the conflict and dramatic tension going to come from?

The style-guide character notes for Wiggles writers were not very helpful: ‘Anthony loves singing and having fun. He wears a blue skivvy.’ ‘Jeff loves singing and having fun and wears a purple skivvy. He sometimes falls asleep.’

There is no doubting the Wiggles’ energy, enthusiasm and commitment, however. They’ve had plenty of imitators, none of whom have matched their ability to write and sing a catchy song, and they put the time, money and skill into producing it well.

The exhibition is fun for young and old. While the younger fans rode in the Big Red Car and danced along to the music, we could smile at the memorabilia from the Wiggles’ beginnings as a moderately successful band The Cockroaches. The tiny skivvy of Pink Wiggle Kylie Minogue is on display, along with a host of award trophies and acknowledgement of the Wiggles’ extensive charity work.

Nobody is better at what they do than the Wiggles, they don’t take themselves too seriously and you have to admire them.

You can sit in the Big Red Car (and fasten your seatbelt, of course).

Henry the Octopus lives under the deep blue sea, and he's a friend to you and me.

You can wiggle yourself, and the coloured shadow wiggles with you.

It's not the most flattering Jeff puppet, but he's a good sport. The note on the right is the assessment of his first band from a Lismore eisteddford - 64/100, with most of the marks given for enthusiasm.

It was a busy day at the Powerhouse. A big exhibition of Harry Potteralia opens tomorrow, and an excited crowd of wizards and witches was queuing around the block to get a sneak preview.

Harry Potter mania - coming (again) to a museum near you.

There has been some controversy about the opening up of the Powerhouse, supposedly Sydney’s premier technology, science and design museum to such trivia as the Wiggles and Harry Potter.

The exhibitions are bound to be enormously popular and will no doubt earn some much needed money that can later be invested in building up and maintaining the Powerhouse collection. However, does this suggest a ‘dumbing down’ of the Powerhouse?

Practical information:

Entry to the Powerhouse Museum costs $10 for adults, $5 for children (four and over).
The Wiggles Exhibition runs until 2012.
The Harry Potter exhibition runs until March 2012.

8 Comments

Filed under Art, Travel-Australia

8 responses to “POWERHOUSE MUSEUM, SYDNEY – where the Wiggles take on Harry Potter

  1. Caroline Whiteside

    Well I’m pleased our Wiggle days are over. We once braved (and that’s the right word) Rod Laver Arena to see them. I had warned the kids that they’d be bigger than they are on TV, but my warning was for nought as we were way way way up in the back and they were absolutely tiny. I think that might have been Sam’s first stint on stage as the Yellow Wiggle.

  2. My son is too old for us to have been caught up in Wigglemania, and I don’t care much for Harry. I saw one movie and didn’t bother to return for the rest. I think the Wiggles are wonderful. You only have to watch the looks on little faces as they jerk around in front of them to see how much kids love them. I think they deserve their place at the Powerhouse.

    • Thanks for the story, Caroline.

      When performers get that famous and so many people want to see them, the pressure is on to work in those huge arenas. But I wonder if the Wiggles too feel that something gets lost.

      The more intimate spaces are much better, I’ve found, especially with younger kids,

    • I admire what the Wiggles have achieved, Debra, though I’m sure even they wouldn’t claim to have made a great contribution to Australian design and technology.

      However, the exhibition is well done and fun, and deserves to be on somewhere.

  3. Murray wiggles i want come over to my husoe and come hare ;8am ;9am ;10am ;11am ;12pm 1pm ;2pm ;3pm ;4pm ;5pm ;6pm ;7pm ;8pm ;8pm ;9pm ;10pm ;11pm and meating my 4 kids love julie

  4. murray wiggles i meaitng my 4 kids and see you the wiggles guys dnace party coermra and acthion wiggles dance party love julie

  5. Michael Regan

    I want that Jeff puppet!

  6. COMING SOON TO THE GOLD COAST ART CENTER IN 2015 ON THE 28TH OF MAY 2015 IS THE WIGGLES TRIBUTE SHOW LIGHTS CAMRA ACTION WIGGLES LIVE ON STAGE STARING EATHEN AS THE RED WIGGLE TASHG AS THE PURPLE WIGGLE PATRICK AS THE BLUE WIGGLE AND JOE AS THE YELLOW WIGGLE EATHEN R AS CAPTIN FEATHERSWORD BRITNY AS DORTHY THE DIONOSUR DARYL AS HENREY THE OCTOPUS AND SETH AS WAGS THE DOG AND ALSO STARING THE WIGGLY OCHUSTRUA AND THE WIGGLY DANCERS

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