Sharon, Keep Ya Hair On!

Capital E, Wellington

24/03/2007 - 24/03/2007

Capital E National Arts Festival

Production Details

Based on books by Gillian Rubenstein
Director David Brown


Based on Gillian Rubinstein books Sharon, Keep Your Hair On;Hooray for the Kafe Karaoke and Prue Theroux – The Cool Librarian, this fully-fledged rock musical employs a high-energy mix of live music and song, multimedia, wondrous gadgetry and plenty of audience participation. Since they began in 1972, Adelaide-based Patch Theatre Company has presented 98 new acclaimed works to over 1.3 million children all over the globe. So don’t be shy, jump in and have a rockin’ good time.

What to Expect

Artform: an interactive, multi-media, concert narrative for children and families.

With the common theme of adapting to change, this funky, funny, wild and wacky trilogy of stories will feature audience members being interviewed on the big screen, invited on-stage, and taking part in the performance. The show draws the audience into the joys of storytelling through a unique mix of interactivity, live music, song, live video projection, children’s art and structured play. The audience becomes involved in the performance as would a live studio television audience; they ‘ re see the show and become part of it. Lighting operators, sound technicians and video projectionists mix it with the performers as the line between the performance and the audience dissolves. This performance runs for 50 minutes with no intervals. The shows hi-energy makes it fun for children of all ages starting from age 5.

Sharon, Keep Ya Hair On! has more than 100 performances to its credit presented across seven Australian states and territories in more than 20 major venues around Australia including Sydney Opera House, Victorian Arts Centre and at many Australian Festivals. In May 2006 it was presented three prestigious international children’s festivals in Vancouver , Calgary and Northern Alberta.

Catherine Oates, Susi Davies, Libby O'Donovan, Ian Moorhead, Bob Weatherly, James Sweeney

Theatre , Children’s , Music ,

“The kids loved it and so did I”

Review by Sarah Delahunty 21st Mar 2007

This show is total fun. A happy mixture of rock concert, TV show and storytelling which instantly pulls us into a wild and whacky world, and keeps us there laughing and listening all the way. With an extra touch – half the cast are made up of children from the audience!

A handful of kids have been primed just beforehand to participate in the action and this creates a sense of everyone being involved – the performers have just the right note of friendliness and respect for their young audience. Not something you always sense at a kids show.

There are gadgets here to impress – live video projection introduces us to the young girl picked to operate the changing pictures on the screen, instant photos seem to appear at various moments in the show, an apparent live link to another school comes from a camera pointed into the audience, and the microphones and splashes of colourful lighting take us into rock concert territory.

All these enhance the storytelling, but it is definitely the talent and personalities of the performers that make it such an engaging performance. It was such a blaze of  sound and action that I can’t put names to faces – everyone rocked.

Sharon Keep Ya Hair On is the first and longest story (of three). Jason lives in a shed next door to Sharon and when they get married all is fine until they have first one child, then another, then Sharon’s sister arrives having left her husband and brings her three children, and finally come Jason’s parents and their pet gorilla. All these are member of the audience.

At each new arrival Sharon freaks and Jason calms her down by saying "Sharon keep your hair on," and going off to make the house bigger. Behind them on the screen, cut-outs of the house and its growing number of occupants appear – and disappear as the visitors end up going their different ways.

This is told mostly in song, with fantastic voices, wonderful harmonies and blasts of music as Jace gets into the renovations.  The characters are drawn in the lyrics, so the children playing the parts just have to wear the costume, carry the props and enjoy the experience – though the gorilla had developed a few little moves of his/her own!

Although a story from Australia, the humorous, laid back, can-do, ‘family is family’ feel of this story is very Kiwi too – the kids loved it and so did I.

The other two stories, Prue Theroux the Cool Librarian and Hooray for the Kafe Karaoke, are shorter, with less action and perhaps slightly less appeal than Sharon, but there are more participation opportunities and more funny characters. The children who joined the actors onstage as the Karaoke Choir made the most of their moment – in fact a great time was had by all, as was evident in the excited buzz as the audience left the building.

Thank you to Patch Theatre Company for coming here to share your talent, expertise and enormous sense of fun with us.


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