Bega’s Theatre Onset plans to add an extra dimension to the summer festivities on the coast. The company is currently in negotiation for the performance rights of Flora and Ulysses, the smash hit Kid’s show with plans for a January production. A successful bid would likely see the company stage the Australian premiere.
Company president, Rebecca Lupton, says that the show is an adaptation of the Newberry Medal prize winning children’s book by Kate D’Camillo.
‘Oregon Children’s Theatre commissioned John Glore for the adaptation and the result is a slick comic book show that has delighted the kids and entertained their parents. The show premiered in the US in February this year and a rash of productions by children’s theatre companies across the country have followed. If we can pull this off we’ll be staging the Australian premiere here in Bega in January.’
Flora and Ulysses is the unlikely tale of a squirrel sucked into a vacuum cleaner and who, as a result has super powers. He gets his name from the enormous Ulysses 2000 X vacuum cleaner that sucked him up. Our super powered squirrel, like all good super heroes is strong and can fly but better yet, he writes poetry. It’s not great poetry but then, he is a squirrel.
Adopted, by Flora the ten year old daughter of a romance writing mother and a dithering father, Ulysses brings estranged parents back together, cures a neighbour’s blindness and proves, as if it ever needed proving, that love conquers all.
Theatre Onset has chosen Alex Nicol to direct and he’s planning a ‘comic book’ style production.
‘Nothing about this show will be real. There are tremendous opportunities here for a whole range of talented people. Who is going to make our Ulysses for us? We’ll need costume makers for the bright simple costumes, carpenters for the comic-book cut out furniture and I’m planning a live orchestra, with a difference.
‘Read any comic book and you’ll know that every stumble, collision or fall is emphasised with a ’POW!” BASH!’ ‘THOCK!’. There’s plenty of action in Flora and Ulysses and I want that punctuated by live sound effects. Here’s a chance for someone with imagination to come up with weird ways of making sounds and performing them live during the show.’
Flora and Ulysses requires a cast of seven with some actors doubling in smaller roles. Principal requirements are for two young people capable of playing ten year old Flora and eleven year old William Spiver and for an actor capable of voicing Ulysses and manipulating a hand puppet.
‘Ideally teenagers will fill the roles Flora and William with the ages of other cast members being flexible,’ says Nicol.
Theatre Onset is inviting anyone interested in the back stage, technical or performance roles in the show to meet at the Funhouse, the old video store, in Bega on Sunday 22 October between two and five pm. Actors interested in auditioning are invited to call Alex Nicol on 64922619 to arrange an appointment.
‘We’re planning a January production for Flora and Ulysses, says Lupton, ‘and that will mean that cast and crew will need to be available throughout November, December and January for rehearsal and performance. A true ensemble production is the plan with the back stage crew, technicians and actors all being fully involved. It’s a great chance to show our summer visitors that the coast can offer more than surf, sand and fishing. This is a major production; time is of the essence if we are to succeed and enthusiasm for the production meeting on Sunday 22 October is the key.’