As always, you can guarantee that each school holidays, the Sydney Opera House has amazing line-up of children and family shows in their Kids in the House program and yesterday we were lucky enough to Kid Test The 26-Storey Treehouse.
This show was of particular interest to us for the very reason that I have a 10 year old son who is particulary keen on all Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton books, and we were very interested to see how The 26-Storey Treehouse would be adapted from this ever popular book. Adapted by award-winning playwright and author Richard Tulloch and directed by Liesel Badorrek, we were sure to expect something special.
Prior to the show, children can take advantage of the Free Creative Play program that is available in the Western Foyer. Creative Play is a series of interactive installations staffed by professional artists designed to activate and inspire your children.
These holidays get hands on with the LEGO Dancers installation where children will build a moving work of art, attaching LEGO pieces to two artists covered in suits made from LEGO base plates. At regular intervals throughout the day, music will queue a dance routine from the living sculptures who will dance the pieces off each other before returning to their original position to begin a new sculpture.
Just as the LEGO Dancers knocked the last piece of LEGO off each other it was time to take our seats in the Playhouse. Being the first performance of the season it was a full house and I imagine that every performance after ours was not much different. With Andy’s book tour in full swing, it was a fabulous knock on effect for this wonderful book adaptation.
We were swiftly introduced to the small cast including Andy (Andrew Johnson), Terry (Matthew Lilley), Jill (Eliza Logan) and Hector Houtkop (James Lee) and a song follows about life in the treehouse. With an additional 13 storeys now added to the 13-storey treehouse, Andy and Terry take us through their new additions via a few of Terry’s sketches. A dodgem car rink, a skate ramp (with a crocodile-pit hazard), a mud fightiing arena, an ice-cream parlour with seventy eight flavours run by an ice-cream serving robot called Edward Scooperhands and the Maze of Doom- a maze so complicated that nobody who has gone in, has ever come out again.
After a short scene about Terry’s underpants being caught inside a shark resulting in Jill having to do open shark surgery, (yes you heard that right), we move on to how Terry and Andy met.
With Terry having over protective parents who wouldn’t let him do anything and wrapped him up in cotton wool and Andy having mean parents who made him do terrible things like making him wear shoes, clean his teeth , brush his hair, and putting a coat on when it was cold, these two crossed paths in an ocean when Andy saved Terry in a paddle boat. After saving Jill on an iceberg in the ocean, the rest is history and the threesome became inseparable.
Throughout the show, we are introduced to Hector Houtkop who clearly has an ulterior motive creating suspicion amongst the housemates. A few too many accidents are happening for their own liking and Jill has to come to the rescue more than once.
We soon hear about the story of Captain Woodenhead and how Terry, Andy and Jill became pirate slaves aboard his pirate ship. The final scenes take us to present day where the drama unfolds with ten unlucky pirates, the maze of doom and a giant fish who smells of gorgonzola cheese! Maybe Jill’s suspicions were correct?
The 26-Storey Treehouse is a fabulous adaptation and true to the book. With the addition of a couple of songs to keep the audience interested and a basic set with wonderful props, this play adaptation is the perfect performance to take your Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton fans to these school holidays. The cast are wonderful in the portrayal of these book characters and ensure that there is a child like quality in their acting which appeals to the audience.
To our surprise Terry and Andy were awaiting the audience in the Western Foyer ready to sign books and have a chat with many of their adoring fans.
The 26-Storey Treehouse runs daily (excluding Mondays) until the 5th October at the Sydney Opera House Playhouse. Shows currently have limited availablity but the Sydney Opera House have just announced that due to popular demand, The 26-Storey Treehouse will be returning in January 2015 and are on sale now. To book tickets to the current production click here.
Targeted demographic: The Sydney Opera House recommends children 6+ but I would suggest it would make more sense to the die hard fans who have read the Treehouse Series. Boys in particular would appreciate more of the toilet humour jokes.
Photography: Under no circumstances are you allowed to take photos, videos, audio before, during or after the show or you will asked the walk the plank in front of everyone.
Duration: The show goes for approximately 60 minutes
Amenities: Toilets are located close by in the foyer area. Even though the show is quite short, it is recommended that to take a toilet break before the show so you don’t miss a single second of this wonderful production.
Parking: If you are heading to The 26-Storey Treehouse during the week, it is recommended you use public transport as Wilson Parking Mon-Fri is quite expensive around $35 but if you are seeing a show on the weekend it is $15 flat rate to park you car underneath the Sydney Opera House.
Food: If you don’t have to stick to a budget there are several food options located around the Opera House (Junior Lunch at Opera Kitchen for $15 per child) but if you are watching your pennies, pack your sandwich and sit by the harbour. The kids will love watching the ferries come and go from Circular Quay.