National Theatre of Parramatta (NTofP) will present a new musical theatre work based on Shaun Tan’s award-winning book, The Red Tree at the Riverside Theatres for a limited season from 20 October 2017.
Bringing this production to life for the stage, NTofP has enlisted multi award-winning playwright Hilary Bell, award winning songwriter and composer Greta Gertler Gold, production designer James Browne (The Hungry Caterpillar, Cabaret and Velvet the Show) and director Neil Gooding (Church & State, Paris – a Rock Odyssey and Truth, Beauty and a Picture of You).
The Red Tree will take audiences on an extraordinary journey to a world of imagination, where origami boats embark on ocean voyages, giant fish host musical interludes, and parades pass by. This is the story of a young girl living inside her bedroom and how she conquers her fears and anxieties, finally embracing hope and taking control of the world that has always been around her.
Drawing on Gertler Gold’s extensive musical background, the original score for The Red Tree fuses pop, classical and traditional musical theatre elements with sound design and digital recording technology in an exciting contemporary twist.
“Shaun Tan’s book, The Red Tree, is a work of brilliance,’ said director Neil Gooding. “It is evocative, emotional and unique. Bringing the book to life on stage is an exciting challenge. I am thrilled to be working with Hilary Bell and Greta Gertler Gold to find a way of telling the narrative through action and music in a way that we hope will engage audiences of all ages.”
“The casting of Nicole Bowman has been a vital ingredient in finishing off the presentation of The Red Tree. Nicola is a star of the future – a wonderful actress and stage presence, whose singing voice has to be heard to be believed.”
The Red Tree has captured the interest of readers around the world. An acclaimed Australian work, The Red Tree won the Patricia Wrightson Prize in the 2002 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards, and following its French translation, the ‘le Prix Octogones 2003’ prize by the Centre International d’Etudes en Literature de Jeunesse.
Director: Neil Gooding Featuring: Nicola Bowman Music: Greta Gertler Gold Musicians: Ben Fink, Bonnie Stewart Set & Costume Design: James Browne Lighting: Verity Hampson Video Media Design: Mic Gruchy Audio Design: David Grigg Additional Sound Design and Musical Arrangements: Adam D Gold Dramaturg: Polly Low Puppetry Consultant: Fiona Gentle Puppet and Prop Maker: Aesha Henderson Book and Lyrics: Hilary Bell (based on the book by Shaun Tan)
The Red Tree
Lennox Theatre – Riverside Theatres, Corner Church and Market Streets, Parramatta
Season: 20 – 28 October 2017
Information and Bookings: www.riversideparramatta.com.au
Image: Nicola Bowman features in The Red Tree – photo by Jeff Busby / illustration by Brian Vallesteros