Holiday theatre a hoot
HURRY Up and Wait is the gift that keeps giving for Queensland-based independent theatre company debase productions.
Queensland University of Technology graduates Liz Skitch, Bridget Boyle and Robert Kronk started the company 15 years ago and created Hurry Up and Wait in 2006 before collaborating with Queensland Theatre Company to further develop the production.
It has since toured to Edinburgh and Japan and is showing this week as part of the Awesome International Arts Festival for Bright Young Things.
“We wanted to create a purely physical version of Waiting for Godot for children; the first season was quite experimental,” writer and performer Skitch said.
“Queensland Theatre Company then commissioned us to develop the show in consultation with children in schools.
“As a performer, I specialise in comedy and whether I’m performing for adults or children, I’m constantly listening to see what’s working.
“And that’s why developing shows for children specifically is really satisfying, because children, unlike adults, let you know if they’re bored.”
Skitch said she discovered her love of physical comedy while studying mime and clowning in France from 1999 to 2000 with Philippe Gaulier, who has trained several famous comedians, including Sacha Baron Cohen.
Hurry Up and Wait, for ages three to 10 years old, features two clowns – a tall clown called Tally (Clint Bolster) and a short clown called Shorty (Skitch) – who are waiting for a parade to begin at 3pm.
“Tally is very good at waiting, he knows to sit up straight and is very good at being patient,” Skitch said.
“However, my pint-sized clown Shorty is kind of like a flea; I can’t sit still, I just want it and I want it now, so my approach is killing the time by playing around.
“Kids really relate to either Tally, who follows the rules, or Shorty, who breaks all the rules or tests the boundaries.
“We’re not trying to be didactic, what we’re doing is saying everyone has a different approach for some things in life and sometimes you have to spend time with people who are different to you.
“But ultimately there’s the classic saying that time flies when you’re having fun and the two clowns start to play and discover the power of imagination.”
Liz Skitch and Clint Bolster in Hurry Up and Wait.