By The school holidays can be a drain on the hip pocket, stress levels and the brain … where can you take the kids that will not break the bank, be stress free and you don’t have to come up with the idea? Well, Spot On Children’s Festival is spot on for your family!

27 September to 2 October marks the fifth annual season of the popular festival which has seen thousands of kids from 1-12 years and their families enjoy out of the box theatre activities including live theatre, storytelling, music and film and this year is no exception. In fact, Program Director, Michelle Kotevski says this year will be amazing. “We want the Festival to have wonderful and beautiful things for the kids. We’re focused on the family who will have a great time and the children will drive the journey. It will be a beautiful fun time and a memory making experience.”

Kids for Spot OnSetting this festival apart from most, are ‘relaxed performances’. Dismissing the age old performance protocols of silence in the theatre, these performances are designed to allow all children the experience of the event. The relaxed performances will have the theatre lights turned on throughout, the children can meet the performers before the show and they are no rules around entering or leaving the performance, at any time.  Ms Kotevski says “The Riverside Theatre, for the past 21 years, has been more conscious of the needs of people with different abilities. Our Education and Families Programmer, Amy Matthews, has an autistic son and about five years ago realised The Arts Centre in Melbourne started doing relaxed performances and she brought that to Riverside. All of Riverside jumped on board with that, and our whole team just loves making those performances happen. Parents are grateful they are able to enjoy family time during a live show and the children love it. A lot of the time these are first experiences of particular things and you think; that’s what we’re here for.”

The ListiesDon’t be thinking there’s not a little bit of anarchy in the mix of the Festival, The Listies are guaranteed to shake the room. When trying to explain the work ‘The Listies’ perform, Ms Kotevski says; “They do create havoc on stage and in the audience and it’s laughing and hysterics and sometimes the parents push the children out of the way to get a better view of them because they are this hilarious duo!”

Ms Kotevski elaborates. “There’s the ‘straight man’ in Richard Higgins and the ‘non-straight man’ in Matt Kelly. There’s moment by moment humour and ridiculousness such as turning Ophelia from Hamlet in to a Ninja who goes and trains with Zombie Nuns on another planet! They seem to know how humour works for the children’s brains and what they find funny, so it’s moment by moment of laughing at poo jokes and dad jokes; they’re controlled mayhem on stage so they are going to come and make a riotous mess in our big theatre and the children and adults are going to laugh their socks off!”

The Young KingIn stark contrast is Oscar Wilde’s The Young Kingpresented by the internationally acclaimed, Slingsby Theatre Company of South Australia.

Michelle Kotevski can barely contain her enthusiasm for this work, which, after a sell out and extended season at the 2016 Adelaide Festival of the Arts will premiere in Sydney at Spot On. “It’s a journey in to wonder and the company’s care of the whole audience is second to none. It’s a magnificent piece of theatre that is beautifully created from a beautiful company. Their attention to detail and involvement in meeting the audience is incredible and the journey of this production starts well before the show.” Nominated for a Helpmann Award in 2016, you’ll be swept away to a far away to a faraway land where a naïve boy who is raised by goatherds discovers he is heir to a Kingdom.

The Spot On Children’s Festival will leave you spoilt for choice. With only two productions highlighted, you can be certain the rest of the program will more than meet expectation with literally something for everyone, child and carer alike. With tickets ranging from free – $20 you’re sure to find something that’s Spot On for you and your family. https://riversideparramatta.com.au/sponton16


FULL PROGRAM:

The Listies 6D
27 September 10.30am
28 September 10.30am and 1.00pm

The Owl’s Apprentice
Little Wings Puppets will bring incredible creations to the stage. Set in the Australian bush, a combination of shadow and hand puppetry mixed with physical comedy will tell the story of a young owl who is learning to become wise.
27 September 10.00am and 12.30pm
28 September 10.00am
28 September 12.30pm – Relaxed performance

Curious Jac
Returning due to popular demand, bilingual storyteller Lilli Pang takes you on a delightful musical story of Jac who embarks on a globetrotting adventure the answer to all her questions.
29 September 10.00am
29 September 12.30pm – Relaxed performance
30 September 10.00am and 12.30am

Play Along with Sam
Long-time favourite with kids of all ages, Sam Moran will take the audience through a journey of music, movement, word play and imaginative games. It promises to be an all-singing, all-dancing hilarious show for the whole family.
29 September 11.00am and 2.00pm

The Young King
29 September 10.30am and 1.00pm
30 September 10.30am and 1.00pm
1 October 10.30am and 1.00pm

In the Deep Dark Forest
Set in a magical pop-up forest and played in the dark, the audience is guided by the storyteller as they undertake fun challenges to complete the quest and bring to life a classic storytelling adventure.
30 September 12.00pm and 3.00pm
1 October 9.30am, 12.00pm and 3.00pm
2 October 9.30am, 12.00pm and 3.00pm

MOVIES
Maya the Bee Movie 29 September 2.15pm
Blinky Bill the Movie 30 September 2.15pm
The Iron Giant: Signature Edition 1 October 2.15pm
Kubo and the Two Strings 2 October 2.15pm