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We’re all mad these school holidays

Beatrice Smith

How do you describe a show that puts its audience on stage and allows kids to hurl foam blocks at the actors?

Sounds a bit mad, right? Well, according to one of the actors getting blocks thrown at them, mad is the name of the game at Canberra Theatre Centre this July.

“It’s great fun being able to take your elements of crazy and amplify them,” laughs Eloise Green, who will play the titular Hatter when Mad Hatters Tea Party rolls into town from 12-15 July. As well as the Hatter, the show with some of your favourite characters, twisting the tale of Alice in Wonderland into a circus extravaganza that Eloise says kids of all ages will love.

The Funatorium- Mad Hatter's Tea Party_Sydney Opera House_credit_Daniel Boud_044


“I actually think the show is great for everyone from two years old up to early teens – there’s something for everyone,” she explains. “For the younger kids it’s the circus so there’s incredible set design and a kaleidoscope of colour and action and there’s definitely some humour that’s aimed at the older kids.”

While the on-stage antics do revolve around Lewis Carroll’s beloved characters, Eloise says that kids don’t need to be familiar with the tale to enjoy the show – or the acrobatics of the cast.

“The audience can expect hoola hooping, incredible aerial feats, some ridiculous slapstick, handstands and many, many, many plates being spun on thin little sticks.”

And all of this is conducted within a spectacularly coloured set, which will transport the audience into the very show itself.

“The cabaret format is really different to most other children’s shows,” explains Eloise, referring to the audience’s immersion. “It’s using a format that would normally be used for an older audience. Also, the show is not dumbed down for kids – it’s still honest and cheeky.”

“I think the audience will love this as a sweet little narrative but also for the circus mayhem. It’s got poignant moments and mental moments as well.”

Fresh from its premiere season at the Sydney Opera House, Mad Hatters Tea Party’s next stop is Canberra, so this is the freshest school holidays entertainment you could ask for. And after the curtains go down, who knows what the show may spark and inspire?

The Funatorium- Mad Hatter's Tea Party_Sydney Opera House_credit_Daniel Boud_072

Eloise herself started learning circus performance and craft as a child so who knows, perhaps a trip to Mad Hatters Tea Party might encourage your little one to want to join the circus too…or perhaps just pick up a copy of Alice in Wonderland. 

the essentials

What: Mad Hatters Tea Party
When: 12-15 July
Where: Canberra Theatre Centre
Tickets: From $40 per person
Find more information and purchase tickets here:

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Beatrice Smith

Bea loves that her job as HerCanberra’s Online Editor involves eating, drinking and interviewing people - sometimes simultaneously. The master of HerCanberra’s publishing schedule, she’s usually found hunched over a huge calendar muttering to herself about content balance. Otherwise, you’ll find her at the movies or ordering a cheese board. More about the Author

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