Squisher and Squasher: The Great Bug Hunt is an interactive and educational children's show at the Old Mill Theatre this July, featuring lots of singing, dancing and general silliness that both kids and adults can enjoy.
Written and directed by Emma Davis, the story follows the two gardeners Squisher and Squasher who work in Princess Charlotte's royal garden.
Both have inquisitive minds, love discovering new things and, with Princess Charlotte’s guidance, approach the world with childlike wonder and enthusiasm.
After working in children's entertainment for eight years, Davis became interested in creating productions that were fun for children while also entertaining for adults.
“I have always been interested in music and creating my own music,” the former WA Academy of Performing Arts student said.
“Squisher and Squasher gave me the opportunity to put my music skills to work while creating something children could enjoy.
“As adults, we tend to forget it’s okay to dance, sing out loud, learn new things and be silly sometimes.
“This show reminds adults of what it’s like to be a kid again and gives them the chance to enjoy that with their children.”
The idea for Squisher and Squasher: The Great Bug Hunt stemmed from Davis’ experiences babysitting some of her many nieces and nephews.
“We had been to the museum and seen a display on insects,” she said. “On the trip home I was bombarded with questions on bugs and insects and realised I didn't know very much.
“I set to work learning as much as I could and, along the way, I started writing little songs to go with the facts I was learning.
“From there, a show started to take form and the characters of Squisher and Squasher were created.”
Involved in theatre since 2005, Davis has performed with the Old Mill, Playlovers, Roleystone and Kwinana Theatres in South Pacific, Fiddler on the Roof, Seussical The Musical, Cabaret, Company, Nine and Assassins.
She’s twice been nominated for the Yvonne Lynch Breakthrough Performance Award at the 2009 and 2010 Finley Awards for her role in Assassins and choreography for Nine and was named best other than a lead in a musical for Little Women in 2011.
With Squisher and Squasher: The Great Bug Hunt, Davis believes one of her biggest challenges is resisting the urge to get on stage with the actors.
“But it’s actually nice to be doing something different and letting someone else tell your story,” she said.
“One of the hardest things with this show is how much the script relies on a happy and interactive audience.
“There are a lot of places for the actors to interact with the children and I never know what the children are going to say or do.
“The actors need to be able to adapt quickly and think on their feet when they get a response they aren't expecting.
“Children's theatre is always tricky because you need a good blend of fun without allowing things to get too out of hand – you want the audience to have a good time but you are still there to tell a story.”
Squisher and Squasher: The Great Bug Hunt plays at 10am and 1pm, July 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13.
All tickets are $10 (children under two free but must sit on an adult’s lap) – book at http://squisherandsquasher.com/tickets (there are no phone bookings). Please note: all children must be accompanied by an adult.
The heritage-listed Old Mill Theatre is on Mends Street, South Perth, opposite the Windsor Hotel and Australia Post.
Princess Charlotte (Jemma Armstrong, centre) is guiding Squisher (Owen Measday, left) and Squasher (Maja Liwszyc, right) through her royal garden in Squisher and Squasher: The Great Bug Hunt at the Old Mill Theatre during the July school holidays.
Squisher and Squasher: The Great Bug Hunt
Squisher and Squasher are playing in the garden but what do they hear? It’s Princess Charlotte and she seems to have lost something! What could it be? Squisher and Squasher leap into action to try and help the Princess. Along the way they discover all sorts of things in their garden. Throughout their adventures they dance and sing together with the audience while teaching them about the world around them. Will they find what the Princess has lost? Come along and find out!
This show is aimed at children aged between 3 and 11 years old.
P: 0439 890 925