Shap­ing cre­ativ­ity

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Stage - Mis­ter Maker Re­turns Perth Con­cert Hall July 21 and 22 www.perth­con­certhall.com.au Tanya Macnaughton

PHIL Gal­lagher, aka arty party man Mis­ter Maker, feels like he is part of the preschool ver­sion of the Rolling Stones.

“We haven’t been tour­ing quite as long as them but we’ve cer­tainly been on the road for many years,” Gal­lagher said.

“I’ve just been pack­ing bags and un­pack­ing bags. In the UK we started the live shows in 2014 and in Aus­tralia our first trip was at the be­gin­ning of 2015. The last time we were in Perth was 2016, so it’s amaz­ing to be com­ing back for our fifth trip to Aus­tralia.”

With nearly 200 episodes of the crafty and cre­ative UK chil­dren’s TV pro­gram Mis­ter Maker recorded since 2007, stage tours and English pan­tomime ap­pear­ances, Gal­lagher started with a blank can­vas when putting to­gether new live show Mis­ter Maker Re­turns for mini-mak­ers and their grown-ups.

“I’m still very old school and write ev­ery­thing down,” Gal­lagher, who grew up in Kent, said.

“In front of me now I have my di­ary that has my whole master plan in it. It’s writ­ten down be­cause there’s noth­ing dig­i­tal go­ing on in my life. I still use a pen­cil.”

Mis­ter Maker Re­turns fea­tures new art makes, a cou­ple of remixed “Mis­ter Maker clas­sics”, more au­di­ence par­tic­i­pa­tion than ever be­fore and one lucky au­di­ence mem­ber will get to dance with The Shapes.

“That’s been quite a tricky thing to plan be­cause of the size of The Shapes and the way they dance and move,” Gal­lagher said.

“It’s go­ing to be so funny. We’ve cre­ated a spe­cial cos­tume for that lucky au­di­ence mem­ber.”

Gal­lagher said as a child he loved be­ing cre­ative: draw­ing, mak­ing things, writ­ing scripts and putting on shows for his school and fam­ily.

“I al­ways con­sider my­self to be a big kid and as some­one who has just reached their 40s, I still get ex­cited by the cre­ative ideas and pos­si­bil­i­ties within the show,” he said.

“I hope the show does in­spire, be­cause that was al­ways our WHAT: WHERE: WHEN: TICK­ETS: hope for the TV show, to in­spire lit­tle ones and adults to get cre­ative. It helps so much with devel­op­ment and con­fi­dence in ev­ery­thing you do at any age.

“More than a decade on now, I have a lot of older teenagers and young adults in their 20s com­ing up to me say­ing they used to watch Mis­ter Maker. It’s re­ally start­ing to make me feel old.”

Com­mu­nity News has 10 dou­ble passes to give away to Mis­ter Maker Re­turns at Perth Con­cert Hall. En­ter at www.com­mu­ni­tynews.com.au by 10am, Fri­day, June 29.

Phil Gal­lagher as Mis­ter Maker with The Shapes.

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