Iconic Australian children’s TV series Round The Twist receives RISE funding to develop into a musical

Australian-Children's-Television-Foundation-Round-The-Twist-(Series-3)RGM Productions has announced the development and production of Round The Twist The Musical following the successful application to the Federal Government’s Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) fund.

Round The Twist is an iconic Australian children’s TV series. An entire generation of Australians and people all over the world know they’re in for a treat when they hear “Have you ever, ever felt like this?”

This quirky children’s comedy set in an old, rugged lighthouse, focuses on the absurdist, supernatural events that happen to a widower and his three children.  It’s a story about growing up, family and strange things happening, told in a quintessentially Australian way.

The twice Logie award-winning Round The Twist was produced by the Australian Children’s Television Foundation and premiered on the BBC.

Based on the beloved short stories by award-winning writer Paul Jennings AM, with an iconic theme song by Andrew Duffield, the TV series has aired in over seventy countries over thirty years.

This news coincides with the announcement by Netflix Australia that the series is available for streaming, ensuring a new generation of Australian children will be mind-boggled by the iconic TV show.

The musical adaptation is being produced by RGM Production’s Garry McQuinn, who has taken Priscilla Queen of the Desert musical to the West End, Broadway and around the world.

Round the Twist, featuring the unforgettable theme song, is written by award-winning writer-composer, Paul Hodge and directed by the renowned Simon Phillips (Muriel’s Wedding, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Love Never Dies).

“RGM came on board to develop Round The Twist The Musical buoyed by the immense energy and enthusiasm of Paul Hodge and Simon Phillips,” said Garry McQuinn.

“We are thrilled that RISE has seen fit to award this great new Australian work with funding, enabling us to give everyone a great night in the theatre, enjoying the antics of the Twist family.”

“I am one of a generation of kids around the world who grew up watching and loving Round the Twist,” said Paul Hodge. “Music has always been a core part of the series.”

“The mystery behind the eerie music playing in the lighthouse underpins the show’s first season and the show’s iconic, unforgettable theme song, written by the amazing Andrew Duffield, will play a key part in the musical adaptation.”

“For a show so much about family, I’m thrilled that the generation that grew up watching the show will be able to introduce a whole new generation of kids to the story – it will be a true family event,” said Hodge.

“This is a brilliant opportunity to develop a musical based on a true classic of Australian children’s literature and television,” said Simon Phillips.

“So many Australians who were entertained by Round The Twist as children are now parents themselves and ready to pass on the joy! (Or just go by themselves for the nostalgia trip.)”

“Distilling twenty-six episodes of ghost-busting television into just two hours of thrilling musical theatre is no mean feat, and the grant will enable us to properly explore all its possibilities and produce a well-honed, action-packed result.”

“It’s also terrific that the government has chosen to support the work of Paul Hodge, a young, up-and-coming musical writer of huge talent and potential. His commitment to Round The Twist The Musical has been unswerving and it’s fantastic that it has been given a chance to come to life,” said Phillips.

“When I was writing each of the twenty-six episodes, I was the father of four children who lived in a house on the edge of a wild sea cliff. The Twist family was based on my own situation as a single parent,” said Paul Jennings AM, writer of Round the Twist.

“When Paul approached me and the ACTF with his ideas to adapt the series as a musical, we were absolutely delighted at his plans and proven abilities.”

“Paul has done a tremendous job. He has taken the original stories and scripts and combined them with some wonderful new ideas. The book is fresh and new while still remaining true to the heart of the series,” said Jennings.

Jenny Buckland, CEO of the Australian Children’s Television Foundation (ACTF) said “ACTF is especially protective of Round the Twist – it’s the show that put us on theworld stage and is so beloved of generations of kids that have grown up with it over the last 30 years.”

“Paul Hodge is one of that generation and when he pitched his ideas, it convinced us to let him have a go at turning it into a musical.”

“Paul’s brought the spirit and all the touchstones of the series into the show – the characters so faithfully drawn to the original, the quirky humour, the strange things that happen and the huge heart. This show is going to be a real crowd pleaser,” said Buckland.

Image: Round The Twist (Series 3) – courtesy of Australian Children’s Television Foundation