Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Lifestyle -

STAGE NOT much has changed on the Play School set dur­ing the past 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.

Papps and Michelle Lim David­son bring a 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 con- stantly evolv­ing vis­ually, so there is al­ways some­thing for the kids to en­gage with on stage.”

Sara Fitz­patrick

PlaySchool favourites Alex Papps and Michelle Lim David­son.

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