The 20th annual Spanish Film Festival comes to Canberra on 19 April and se queda…
Artist, author, illustrator and publisher, Wendy Binks, admits she was nervous the first time she sat down to watch the live stage show adapted from her award-winning children’s book, Where’s Stripey? She had wondered how the story would translate on stage.
Her nerves gave way to delight when she realised just what a superb job Garry Ginivan (of Possum Magic and Wombat Stew fame) had done bringing her loveable characters to life.
“The stage show only enhances the original story,” Wendy explains. “I’ve seen it six times, and it’s slightly different each time. I can’t get the songs out of my head!”
The show tells the story of Crikey, an emu dad, who has to keep track of 30 small emu chicks. It follows their adventure when one of the chicks, Stripey, goes missing. In their search for Stripey, they encounter an array of loveable Aussie characters, including Fluster the Corella, Bluey the Kanga, Sox’s the Joey, Snap, Flatfoot, Strewth and Shuffle the Echidna.
It’s a cracking adventure, cleverly incorporating multi-media and audience participation – and is sure to delight children and adults alike when the show comes to Canberra next week.
For the original book, Wendy won the prestigious WA Premier’s Award for Children’s Books in 2005. She’d made the leap from artist to children’s writer, illustrator and publisher after children flocked to her Fremantle boutique, where she sells pottery, greeting cards, paintings and other art – best known for her gorgeous and wacky emus!
While Wendy has been commercially published too, her passion remains in self-publishing, partly because of the level of control she’s able to have over the process. It’s a strategy that is working well for her, having sold over 150,000 copies of her books.
The creative freedom of self-publishing has meant that Wendy is now able to provide her illustrations to the new Fiona Stanley hospital in Perth. The children’s ward would remain undecorated due to budget restrictions, were it not for Wendy’s willingness to provide her artwork.
“I’m giving the hospital paintings of Stripey in hospital settings, and the illustrations from the book are also being turned into wallpaper to brighten the children’s ward.”
When you take a look at the vibrance of Wendy’s website and shop it’s easy to imagine how cheery the hospital will feel, decorated with her gorgeous illustrations.
The stage-show, too, promises to be a visual feast.
“There are five actors in the cast,” Wendy explains. “It’s like it’s made for them!”
Wendy be travelling to Canberra and will attend each of the school and public performances of the show. She’s looking forward to meeting the audiences and will be available to sign copies of her books.
Watching children’s interactions with the show and seeing the way they respond to her characters is particularly rewarding for Wendy, and must be an inspiration for her upcoming sequel in the Stripey series.
What: Stripey: the eggscellent adventures of an emu chick!
Where: Canberra Theatre Centre
When: 23 to 25 July 2015
How much: $24.90 per ticket