Kids’ bonanza

IF your kids are driving you nuts during the school holidays, fear not, because the Awesome International Arts Festival for Bright Young Things is back.

The annual Perth festival has a heap of shows from Australia and overseas for kids aged 12 or under.

It opens on a musical high with Simon Tedeschi’s Pianist and Prankster, and local legends of comedy Masters of Hooey, with their interactive street performance El Presidente Minusculo (the tiny dictator).

Returning home from Sydney, Bayswater actor/writer/singer Adriano Cappelletta is bringing his show Ruby’s Wish to the State Theatre.

• The cast of El Presidente Minusculo, just one of the great shows on at this year’s Awesome International Arts Festival. Photos supplied

It’s the story of a little girl confined to a hospital bed for much of her childhood, which may sound bleak, but it’s uplifting and all about the power of imagination, Cappelletta says.

Ruby has had to grow up fast and confront too much, but when she is visited by tongue-tied clown doctor, Dot, she finds a way to use her imagination: “We are drawn into Ruby’s bittersweet life, and come to see that imagination can make almost anything come true,” Cappelletta says.

The idea for the show came from his years of being “Captain Starlight”, visiting sick kids with the Starlight Foundation.

“We met a little girl called Ava who told us a story about the tooth fairy, it’s in the show almost word for word,” he says.

There’s puppetry, theatre and engaging sound effects, along with great animation by Perth animator Tim Watts.

• The promo poster for Ruby’s Wish.

The show is littered with mop monsters, bed caves and imaginary paper friends; not to mention the “world’s first” magic jacket by a young Sydney designer.

“It loops Ruby’s voice and talks to a computer in the back,” Cappelletta says.

Also at the State Theatre is Hungarian company Bandart Productions’ Ann-Droid, featuring Alfred the playful inventor and Ann the curious robot.

There’s jazz by the WA Youth Jazz Orchestra, book readings at the State Library, and a heap of art and other projects for kids.

For the full program go to awesomearts.com/awesome-festival.

Awesome 2018 is on September 28 to October 12

by JENNY D’ANGER

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