StoryArts Festival Ipswich commissioned the development of Pat Flynn’s “The Tuckshop Kid” into a play to be performed at this year’s Festival. Funding towards the production of the play was received from Regional Arts Development Fund (The Regional Arts Development Fund is a Queensland Government Program run through Arts Queensland and Ipswich City Council in partnership to support local arts and culture.)
THAT Production Company, local to Ipswich, were given the task of taking “The Tuckshop Kid” to the stage. Members of THAT Production Company were sent to Monkey Baa Theatre Company in Sydney for a Masterclass in developing children’s theatre.
On Thursday September 12 a contingent of authors, illustrators and StoryArts staff went to town to see the show. It was brilliant! THAT Production Company had clearly put a lot of work into the play. The actors switched rolls effortlessly and seamlessly, sometimes with less than a minute to do so. The songs were performed with gusto, one of which was sung and hummed for days after around the Festival, particularly by Jenny Stubbs. The music, an original score by Pat Flynn’s sister Liz Flynn, was perfectly suited to the play.
After the performance, we were treated to a Q&A session with the cast, director and producer. Pat Flynn was also asked what he thought of the performance, the audience drew their collective breath, waiting for his response. He loved it, and was quite touched to see his work come to life.
Over 760 school students attended performances during the Festival, as well as 60 adults at a gala evening performance and around 130 at other public events, making this a very successful venture. It would be everyone’s hope that “The Tuckshop Kid” goes on tour. I also spoke with Pat after the performance and we discussed how great it would be to have school students perform the play as well.