Disney’s Winnie the Pooh: The New Musical Stage Adaptation will finally make its Australian debut after critically acclaimed runs in New York, London and Chicago.
The show, created by acclaimed Australian-American creative Jonathan Rockefeller, will debut in Brisbane this July before hitting the road for a national tour including Sydney, Canberra, Adelaide, Perth, Hobart and Melbourne -featuring an all Australian cast.
Disney’s iconic Winnie the Pooh, Christopher Robinson and their best friends Piglet, Eeyore, Kanga, Roo, Rabbit and Owl (oh… and don’t forget Tigger too!) have come to life in a beautifully crafted stage musical adaptation featuring stunning life-size puppetry for audiences of all ages.
Inspired by the beloved books by A.A. Milne and the classic Disney featurettes, Disney’s Winnie the Pooh: The New Musical Stage Adaptation has garnered rave reviews while being called “Enchanting” (Time Out) and “A whimsical delight with brilliant puppetry” (Entertainment Weekly).
The London premiere this Spring smashed U.K. box office records, being deemed “a show that truly spans the generations” (WhatsOnStage).
“The music, the spectacular life-size puppets, and the charming performances are the perfect way to introduce (or re-introduce) audiences to live theatre, and this is a must-see show for Winnie the Pooh fans,” said Jonathan Rockefeller.
“We are excited to bring the Hundred Acre Wood to Australia so that audiences of all ages can join us for this heart-warming production.”
Disney’s Winnie the Pooh: The New Musical Stage Adaptation made its world premiere in 2021 at Theatre Row in New York City, garnering rave reviews and box office records. The show received both Drama Desk and OBA nominations. The show has played in Chicago, toured the United States, before debuting in London a few weeks ago.
Winnie the Pooh has been enjoyed by millions of readers and viewers ever since English author A.A. Milne first chronicled the adventures of Christopher Robin’s friends in the Hundred Acre Wood in 1926. The books, featuring illustrations by English illustrator E.H. Shephard, have sold over 50 million copies worldwide.
The theatrical rights to the Pooh stories were acquired by Disney in 1961, with an original intent to produce a feature film, but after production began, Walt Disney decided to make short featurettes instead. The three featurettes were subsequently incorporated into the feature The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh – this was the last film in the Disney canon in which Walt Disney had personal involvement.
The first featurette, Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree was released during his lifetime, while Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day was still in development. Disney’s Winnie the Pooh has since become one of the best-loved and most successful franchises in history.
The Sherman Brothers are the multi-talented Oscar® and Grammy® Award-winning American song-writing duo of Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman. They wrote more motion-picture musical scores than any other song-writing team in film history.
Among these are the Disney classics Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, and The Aristocats. The Sherman Brothers worked directly with Walt Disney on the first two Winnie the Pooh featurettes: Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree (which garnered a Grammy Award nomination) and Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day.
The brothers won a Grammy Award for the third featurette: Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too. All three featurettes were incorporated into the 1977 musical film The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. The duo also wrote songs for Winnie the Pooh and a Day for Eeyore and The Tigger Movie, with their music also featured in the movie Christopher Robin.
Jonathan Rockefeller and Rockefeller Studios have received global acclaim for their adaptations of such iconic works as Winnie the Pooh, The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Paddington Bear. Rockefeller’s production of The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show, based on the books of renowned author/illustrator Eric Carle, tours in over 12 countries.
Most recently, Sesame Street The Musical debuted Off-Broadway, preceded by Disney’s Winnie the Pooh: The New Musical Adaptation (produced in association with Disney Theatrical Productions).
Winnie the Pooh: The New Stage Adaptation is produced by Life Like Touring, in partnership with Rockefeller Productions, and in association with Disney Theatrical Group.
Winnie the Pooh: The New Musical Adaptation kicks off an Australian tour in July. Tickets on sale Thursday 15 June 2023. Join the waitlist now! For more information and tour dates, visit: www.winniethepoohshow.com for details.
Images: Winnie the Pooh: The New Musical Adaptation tours across Australia from July (supplied)