If you’ve got little ones, you’re in luck this season: the child-friendly productions coming up – including the “musical of the decade” and an interactive drumming show that’s selling out worldwide – are the sort you’ll enjoy as much as the kids.

The Importance of Being Miriam 

Miriam Margoyles has appeared in everything from Oliver Twist to Harry Potter. In her new show, The Importance of Being Miriam, she will portray a number of the parts she’s played over the years – including some of her 23 roles from Charles Dickens novels. “I think there’s a part of me that enjoys excess – as there was in him,” she says of her attraction to Dickens’ work. “But also I relish his moral force, his compassion, his sense of fun and grotesquerie.“ Just don’t ask her what the importance of Miriam actually is. “I truthfully have no idea. It’s just a whimsical, cheeky title thought up by my producer, and everyone but me likes it and laughs. I’m going to sing, tell dirty jokes, share parts of my life (and my sex life) and my politics, so if you don’t like me, don’t come!”
Heath Ledger Theatre, April 7-11.
Pick from Vivienne Garrett, renowned theatre actress

Glengarry Glen Ross

David Mamet’s mouthy modern classic – it won a Pulitzer in 1984 – examines the agony and the ecstasy of selling crap real estate. The 1992 film version starred Al Pacino and Alec Baldwin. This revival, directed by Kate Cherry and starring Peter Rowsthorn and Damian Walshe-Howling among its all-male cast, shows that unbridled greed and ruthless ambition never go out of style. “I have a wonderful bunch of guys in Glengarry Glen Ross, they’re so good to talk to and they’re so passionate,” says Kate. “I knew I wanted to book people who had a really good sense of the language of David Mamet, and Damian – who I’ve known since my Melbourne years – had gone to work with Mamet and shares my passion for him. And Pete Rowsthorn – he lives in Perth! If this amazing actor and comedian lives in Perth, you’ve got to find great work [for him].” It’s a bit of a gear change for Cherry, who went straight to Glengarry Glen Ross from directing the female-heavy Dinner, but it sounds as though she’s handling the testosterone just fine. “I’m married to an American man and we have a son – they’re a noisy bunch, so I’m used to it!” she laughs. “It’s just a really interesting group of men and they seem to be the perfect people to tackle the language – I call it the poetry of the profane, because it’s so much about greed and aggression and competition.”
Heath Ledger Theatre, May 23-June 14.
Pick from John Day, Minister for Culture and the Arts

Perth Independent Theatre Festival

This showcase of local talent enters its second year with a dark and exotic itinerary, including a cabaret featuring a hired assassin – we’re reliably informed it’s a killer – and an hallucinogenic journey through the jungles of Peru. Nope, it’s not the usual establishment theatrical fare. And that’s the whole point, says Subiaco Arts Centre manager Kate Bell. “We want the independent production companies to have a platform, to widen their circle and to be part of something bigger.” One of the five original productions featured has already earned international acclaim. Damon Lockwood’s HorseHead – a clever farce inspired by the grisly scene in The Godfather that involves, well, you know – won Best Play at the Roma Fringe Festival in 2012.
Subiaco Arts Centre, June 3-July 4.


Best Theatre for Kids!

1. Wicked
When The Wizard of Oz premiered back in 1939, ‘prequel’ wasn’t even a word. Today, Wicked, the untold story of the witches of Oz, has been hailed as the defining musical of the decade by The New York Times. Bring the whole family – and your little dog, too.
Crown Theatre, from May 3.

2. The Witches
Roald Dahl’s creepy children’s novel becomes a one-man show from Barking Gecko. “This fun and magical adaptation of the well-loved children’s classic is sure to be a hit with children of all ages,” says Minister John Day.
Subiaco Arts Centre, April 4-12.
Pick from John Day, Minister for Culture and the Arts

3. Moominpappa at Sea
Spare Parts Puppet Theatre shows are always must-see, and this is no exception. “Skilfully brought to the stage by master puppeteer Michael Barlow, this adaptation of the popular children’s book is charming and uplifting, sure to entertain children of all ages,” says Minister Day.
Spare Parts Puppet Theatre, April 4-18.
Pick from John Day, Minister for Culture and the Arts

4. The 26-Storey Treehouse
Thirteen storeys wasn’t enough for authors Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton – they’ve doubled their smash-hit book and stage show with this production. “Pirates and underpants jokes score high with 6 to 12-year-olds,” says Vivienne Garrett.
Heath Ledger Theatre, May 12-17.
Pick from Vivienne Garrett, renowned Perth theatre actress

5. Drumstruck
Have trouble keeping your kids quiet at the theatre? Here, they’ll be actively encouraged to make a ruckus. Each audience member gets
a drum to pound out exhilarating beats rooted in African culture alongside the performers. Every show performed worldwide has sold out, so buy your tickets with haste.
Regal Theatre, May 13.
Pick from Vivienne Garrett, renowned Perth theatre actress

Moominpappa at Sea


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