Stirling Times - - OPINION - Tanya MacNaughton

THE last time per­former Michael Cullen was in Perth, it was to pup­peteer a di­nosaur for Erth’s Di­nosaur Zoo.

His next visit will see him shar­ing the stage with a more cute and cud­dly an­i­mal.

Diary of a Wombat is based on the book by Jackie French and Bruce What­ley and is tour­ing Aus­tralia pre­sented by Mon­key Baa Theatre Com­pany.“We started re­hears­ing in Fe­bru­ary and started the tour in March, so by the end of it we’ll have done 180 shows in 59 dif­fer­ent venues around the coun­try,” Cullen said.

“It’s been a good run and we’re lucky it’s a fun show.”

Cullen used his pup­petry skills – he was also in the Aus­tralian east coast tour of War Horse – dur­ing the devel­op­ment of Diary of a Wombat and was given the green light when he asked to be in the fin­ished pro­duc­tion.

Faith­ful to the book, Diary of a Wombat fol­lows cheeky, cu­ri­ous and hun­gry wombat Moth­ball on her jour­ney to dis­cover new things.

Af­ter be­com­ing bored from eat­ing only grass, the marsupial finds her way into the hu­man world, where she is fed car­rots and oats.

“I think the re­ally in­ter­est­ing thing about it is the use of the cello as the wombat’s voice; it brings the book to life,” Cullen said.

“Read­ing the book is great; you can hear the story, but we didn’t want the wombat to talk so we use the cello to speak Moth­ball’s emo­tions and tell her story, whether she’s hun­gry or sad.

“I think the cello brings it to life in new ways. Mary our cel­list does a lot of things you prob­a­bly wouldn’t hear be played any­where else.

“It’s an in­cred­i­bly ver­sa­tile in­stru­ment and some of the things she does are very in­ven­tive. A lot of peo­ple who play cello and see the show can’t believe she’s able to make that noise with it.”

The pro­duc­tion is at UWA’s Oc­tagon Theatre with per­for­mances at 10am, 12.30pm and 3pm (re­laxed per­for­mance) on Satur­day, Oc­to­ber 28.

It is suit­able for ages three years and older.

“One of our vol­un­teers in the theatre to­day was 71 and said he had a great time and re­ally loved it,” Cullen said.

“You can def­i­nitely en­joy it, even if you’re not a lit­tle one.”

Diary of a Wombat cast with Michael Cullen (back, mid­dle)

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.