Eye for fun helps a lot

Dan­nielle Jack­son finds the joy in a favourite child char­ac­ter, writes Emily Sel­leck

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - SHOWS -

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.

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