POPULAR New Zealand ’80s comic strip Footrot Flats springs from the page in a barnstorm of song and dance this March.
Presented by Laughing Horse Productions and Roleystone Theatre and based on Murray Ball’s cartoons, the characters come to life as Wal and his trusty border collie, Dog, deal with the daily struggles of farming life and the temptations of Cheeky Hobson.
The story involves the claims of town versus country as Cheeky tries to lure Wal away from the farm and the very real possibility of the farm being sold.
Other familiar characters from the comic strip feature including Horse, Cooch, Prince Charles, Dolores and Pongo.
First staged in 1983, the musical differs from the 1986 movie Footrot Flats: The Dog’s Tale in terms of plot and songs.
“It’s a family-friendly musical comedy,” director Kelly van Geest said. “The animals can talk and sing, telling the audience about their lives.
“I was actually inspired by my fiancé to direct the show – he mentioned there was a Footrot Flats musical and I thought ‘I’ve got to read this’.
“Once I read it, I immediately thought ‘I’ve got to do this’ because the characters jumped off the page.”
First involved in theatre at high school, van Geest has since been involved in shows with ARENAarts, A lad in sane productions, Phoenix Theatre, Laughing Horse Productions and Garrick Theatre.
In 2012, she wrote and directed The Ripple Effect, scoring her an adjudicator’s certificate for best stage combat at Dramafest, the annual state drama festival.
Most recently, van Geest was involved in a production of The Pirates of Penzance and So Much To Tell You and directed Love and Other Flushes, which won numerous awards.
“Footrot Flats is my first time directing a musical and full-length production so figuring out how to make everything come together will be a challenge,” she said.
“Being a musical, the director has to make sure all elements – acting, singing and dancing – are equal.”
Footrot Flats plays at 8pm March 6, 7, 11, 13, 14, 18, 20 and 21 with a 2pm matinee March 8. Tickets are $25, $20 concession – book on 9397 5730 or at www.roleystonetheatre.com.au.
Roleystone Theatre is located at 587 Brookton Highway, Roleystone, opposite the Croyden Road junction.
footrot1: Wal (Paul Treasure, left), Dog (Thomas Vance) and Cooch (Oliver Kaiser) are being brought to life in the Footrot Flats musical. Picture: Zyg Woltersdorf
footrot2: Wal (Paul Treasure, right) tries to resist the temptations of Cheeky Hobson (Sarah Smith) in Footrot Flats. Picture: Zyg Woltersdorf
footrot3: All the Footrot Flats favourites are being brought to life in a musical: Jess (Montanna Tickner, left), Dolores (Bree Hartley), Major (Sam Barnett), Pew (Sebastian Hodges), Cecil (Bradley Towton), Wal (Paul Treasure), Dog (Thomas Vance) and the ewes (Phillippa and Emmalee Bialas and Brittany Isaia). Picture: Zyg Woltersdorf
Laughing Horse Productions
Laughing Horse Productions is a new theatre company with the aim of bringing new and exciting theatre to the people of Perth. New theatre, old theatre – we are here to do it all, the only way we know how.
Kelly van Geest
P: 0407 007 944