Meet Alicia Cush, the Artistic Director of Little Match Productions, creators of The Owl and the Pussycat, which will run at Festival 2018, the arts and culture program of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
The Owl and the Pussycat is created specifically for children aged between 4 and 10 years old. The interactive journey inspires, educates and enthralls by inviting children to participate in musical and multi-sensory ways to help our lovable couple reach their destination.
With Festival 2018 just around the corner haven spoke with Alicia Cush to get to know a little bit more about The Owl and the Pussycat.
Tell us a little bit about your role in Little Match Productions?
My role at Little Match Productions is as Artistic Director and Co-Founder, with fellow Co-Founders Designer Penny Challen and Performer Bethan Ellsmore. My background is in Classical Music and conducting, so I am always involved in creating, arranging and shaping the music of all our projects. As an independent company, each one of us wears a lot of hats in each creative project. We always multi-task and are multi-skilled and this project sees my wearing the hats of Artistic Director, Creative Producer and Musical Director.
What inspired you to tell the story of The Owl and the Pussycat?
Penny and I always wanted to create a high-quality musical piece for children. We met for a creative chat and coffee at The Burrow just over two years ago and the waiter gave us a menu disguised in a children’s poetry book. We soon discovered our shared love for the first poem in the book, The Owl and the Pussycat… the rest is history. We adore non-sensical literature and Edward Lear’s poetry, but we were also drawn to this poem’s potential to tell a beautiful story of harmony and acceptance.
What can audiences expect from The Owl and the Pussycat?
Audiences will climb aboard a giant pea pod boat and can expect to enter a magical musical world where animals sing sweetly and a puffin parade play instruments. It’s a fully immersive and interactive journey where our loveable duo meet many a colourful character; a Sea Bear Captain who is most partial to honey, the cantankerous Sir Kitty, a tattooed punk Piggy-Wig and a Woodstock-inspired Turkey prophet. There is puppetry, live vocals, incredible costuming and a lively instrumental trio. It’s intimate, multi- sensory, a visual feast and a very silly boat ride. This is wonderful storytelling and experiential theatre at its best.
What’s your favourite thing about children’s performance/theatre?
I absolutely love the sharing that exists in children’s theatre. There is a beautiful sharing between carers and their children, of laughs, wonderment, silliness, nostalgia and discovery. I am personally known as laughing very loudly at children’s performances and embarrassing my two girls, aged 4 and 5. Also, there is nothing better than a really good joke for the adults snuck into a kid’s show.
What are you looking forward to most about Festival 2018?
I’m looking forward to fully absorbing myself in the whole festival and all it has to offer families. There are some very talented Queensland artists, many of which are my friends, creating wonderful art all across the state. I can’t wait see these works myself and share them with my two girls, Matilda and Bertie. And, of course, I can’t wait to see the faces of our very special sailors when we finally set sail with The Owl and the Pussycat.