Eye for fun helps a lot
Dannielle Jackson finds the joy in a favourite child character, writes Emily Selleck
WITH an eye on the end of her finger Emily Eyefinger knows all too well adventure is just around the corner. Duncan Ball’s enticing tales of Emily
Eyefinger will come to life on The Arts Centre Gold Coast stage today and tomorrow.
The adaptation of the well-loved novel translates into a light-hearted, joyous work with resonating themes of identity, respect and friendship.
The cast includes Dannielle Jackson, 29, who faces the challenge of bringing to life 10-year-old Emily Eyefinger.
‘‘I did a lot of physical work to explore the character – she is brave and adventurous and curious and I wanted to get that energy into my body,’’ Jackson says.
‘‘I would usually need to try and piece a character’s back story together, but most of Emily’s is in the books, and all I needed to do was make that real to me and bring it to life.’’
In comparing theatre to performing in front of the camera, Danielle says the stage will always be her preference.
‘‘With a live audience comes a magical exchange between the players and the people – for me, watching and creating theatre is the greatest form of storytelling.’’
The stage play, directed by John Saunders, focuses on the adventurous heroine, Emily, who was born with an eye on the end of her finger and constantly battles the dilemma ‘Am I Emily because of my eyefinger or am I Emily because of me?’
Emily struggles with being different, and confiding in her best friend Malcolm, begins to contemplate life without her eyefinger, even considering surgical removal.
Meanwhile, Emily embarks on her biggest adventure yet. With her Great Aunt Olympia, Emily heads into a deepest, darkest jungle where she foils a kidnapping attempt by the evil Arthur Crim and solves the mystery of the Ancient Caves of Tutenkamouse.
Jackson says the 55-minute show is full of pure enjoyment, some silly antics and good old-fashioned fun for the whole family.
‘‘Children and their families will come to understand the importance of accepting and embracing not only themselves and their differences, but also those of others,’’ she says.
The tour is playing in 21 venues across Victoria, Queensland and NSW. Jackson said she can’t wait to come to the Coast.
‘‘I’ve heard The Arts Centre is a beautiful venue, so I’m excited to see it, feel the warm Gold Coast sun and meet the local smiling young people,’’ she says.
Jackson had her heart set on becoming an actor from age eight.
‘‘I saw my first musical theatre performance, Joseph and the Amazing
Technicolor Dreamcoat and bought the cassette, and I would play the show every day after school,’’ she said.