Teens, toddlers and primary kids are all set to be well entertained this August as The Art House is bringing three shows to the stage that each appeals to different age groups.

For teens, there’s Trophy Boys: a show that shines a spotlight on adolescent masculinity with a ferociously intelligent script and brilliant performances. It’ll make you laugh, cry and feel uncomfortable: everything theatre should do. This should be compulsory viewing for all high schoolers.

Toddlers, guess what? Grug, everyone’s favourite little burrawong tree from Ted Prior’s iconic children’s books, is visiting The Art House. This cute puppet show will see kids and adults fall in love with this curious creature all over again.

Primary-school kids, we have an absolute treat for you! For the first time ever, Erth (Australia’s renowned physical and visual theatre company is performing at The Art House. In Arc they bring to the stage 14 life-sized, lifelike puppets of animals at risk of extinction and invite audiences to meet and interact with them.

Want to know more? Scroll down for further details, trailers and ticket links for all shows.


Trophy Boys at The Art House this August


It is the grand finale of the Year 12 inter-school debating tournament and the all-boys team from the elite St Imperium College is ready to annihilate their sister-school rivals until…

Trophy Boys is exactly what theatre should be: hilarious, brave, shocking, poignant and moving.

What begins as a riotously funny satire on insecure adolescent masculinity becomes an interrogation into the misogyny, homophobia and toxic masculinity that exists in elite private boys’ schools and in the men they produce.

Cameron Woodhead of The Age gave it five stars, saying, “Theatre lovers should rush to see Trophy Boys… The script is powerful and ferociously intelligent; the performances witty and exuberant, and crucially, empathetic.”

This is witty writing that packs a wallop. You’ll be laughing at some funny dialogue and then, woomph, the next line will punch you in the guts and make you cry.

Wonderfully, this show has a school performance and a general performance. School group bookings are available through The Art House box office.

If you can get your high-school students to one show this year, make it this one.

Trophy Boys performance teaser


Trophy Boys
Age group: Recommended for Ages 13+.
Show duration: 70 minutes, no interval.
Where: The Art House, 19-21 Margaret Street, Wyong.
Show times: 2 August 2024 – 11AM (School Performance with some General Public seating available) | Wed 12 June 2024 – 7PM.
Tickets: Adult $35 | Concession $30 | Encore Members $25 | Under 30 $25 | School Groups $20.
Phone: 4335 1485
Book the show here.
For school bookings, please email [email protected]



Grug at The Art House this August


Grug, Australia’s favourite little burrawong tree has jumped from the library to the stage to bring you a gorgeous puppet production that’ll enthrall kids and adults alike.

Eighties and ’90s kids, dig into the deep recesses of your mind and you’ll know the first lines of Ted Prior’s iconic picture book all too well, and there’s something utterly nostalgic and nurturing in knowing how this show will begin…

“Once the top of a Burrawang tree fell to the ground. Then the grassy top began to change. It became Grug!”

This children’s performance combines stunning design and beautiful live puppetry to bring Grug to the stage where audiences join him on some of his picture-book adventures. You’ll step into Grug’s burrow and help him grow cabbages, bake a cake, learn to dance and play soccer with Cara the Carpet Snake.

Parents and grandparents will equally delight in seeing Grug come to life and in introducing their tiny tots to one of Australia’s most iconic and funny little characters.

Grug performance teaser

Grug
Age group: Kids aged 2-6 years old (and their adults).
Show duration: 35 minutes, no interval.
Where: The Art House, 19-21 Margaret Street, Wyong.
Show times: Mon 5 Aug 2024 – 9:30AM | Mon 5 Aug 2024 – 11AM.
Tickets: Adult $20 | Encore Members $15 | Child under 12, $15 | Family of 4 (2A,2C or 1A,3C) $60 | School group $15
Phone: 4335 1485
Book the show here.
For school bookings, please email [email protected]



Arc at The Art House this August


Have you heard of Erth? You likely have. They’re the creators of spectacularly brave, beautiful and much-celebrated children’s works, such as Erth’s Prehistoric World and Erth’s Prehistoric Aquarium. Impressively, they’re an Australian puppetry theatre company that’s internationally recognised as an innovator of physical and visual theatre. AND for the first time EVER, we’re super excited to share, you can see them on the Central Coast’s Art House stage! How excellent is that!

Arc is Erth’s newest work and it invites young people to explore the natural world of our feathered, furry, and smooth-skinned friends at risk of extinction.

Showcasing exquisite life-sized puppetry, an enigmatic host and participatory theatre, Arc lifts audience interaction to the next level. The host invites children to meet and interact with 14 incredible lifelike roving animals, including snow leopards, hammerhead sharks, microbats and elephants.

This show is intimate and every bit magical. It’s for animal lovers, climate change warriors and little people with big hearts who will no doubt make big impacts in this world.

We absolutely recommend you get tickets to Arc: it’ll resonate with you and your kids far beyond curtain call.

Arc performance teaser


Arc
Age group: Kids aged 5+ (and their adults).
Show duration: 55 minutes, no interval. +Post-Show Q&A
Where: The Art House, 19-21 Margaret Street, Wyong.
Show times: Wed 28 Aug 2024 – 6PM | Thu 29 Aug 2024 – 10AM (School Performance with some General Public seating available).
Tickets: Adult $25 | Encore Members $20 | Child under 12, $20 | Family of 4 (2A,2C or 1A,3C) $75 | School groups $15.
Phone: 4335 1485
Book the show here.
For school bookings, please email [email protected]

This feature was created in partnership with The Art House.



Written By: KATIE STOKES

Founder & Editor

After working in print and online media for more than a decade, Katie launched Playing in Puddles in 2017. A mum of three young boys and local of the Central Coast, Katie loves discovering and sharing all that’s happening in our region. 


Wondering what sort of shows come to The Art House?

Read on to discover some of the amazing kids’ shows that have already been performed on The Art House stage in 2024 and 2023.

Don’t want to miss out on hearing about these shows? Bookmark this page, subscribe to Playing in Puddles’ free newsletter and get yourself an Art House encore membership for first access to tickets, discounted tickets and 1 free “bring a friend” ticket to an “Art House Presents” show.


The One Who Planted Trees at The Art House this June


What can one person do to combat climate change? How can one person make an impact? These are the wonderful BIG questions posed by The One Who Planted Trees, a puppet musical for LITTLE people.

Told through puppetry, digital animation and song, The One Who Planted Trees is the uplifting story of one woman’s quest to change her life and the world around her. Narrated by a cattle dog, and with the help of a bandicoot, a koala and a fun-loving frilled necked lizard, this is a tale of hope, restoration, deforestation and climate change.

While the message is serious, the puppets keep the story fun and light. They’re Muppet-like in their design and movement and there’s lightness and humour in their interactions, too.

The show was inspired by Jean Giono’s book The Man Who Planted Trees, and it reminds audiences that when the humblest of tasks are performed with love, their impact increases immensely – even when it seems to go unnoticed. The Spare Parts Puppet Theatre has done an incredible job in taking a big, complex message and making it beautifully clear in this show aimed at primary-school audiences making it a fabulous show for both families and school groups.

 School group bookings are available through The Art House box office.

As a fun bonus, Central Coast Zoo will bring some animals into the studio as free pre-show entertainment, too.

The One Who Planted Trees trailer.

When: Performed in June 2024.
Where: The Art House, 19-21 Margaret Street, Wyong.


How to Catch a Star at The Art House this June


If you want your child to experience live music – not only of the festival or market vibe, but that played by a violinist, a cellist and a violist – then we’ve found the perfect toddler show for you.

Based on the children’s book by Oliver Jeffers (yes, the same author of The Day the Crayons Quit fame), How to Catch a Star is an original stage show produced and performed by the Australian Chamber Orchestra. Now that’s pretty special!

Jeffers’ magical tale about a boy who one day decided, “he would try to catch a star… but first he had to think of a plan.” is brought to life through storytelling and a new score performed by a professional string quartet.

This show has many elements that we love. Firstly, the musicians aren’t hidden in a pit – their music and instruments are an integral part of the performance and they share the stage with the character. Secondly, the staging is cute. And clever. And so very like the book. And thirdly, preschoolers have *very* short attention spans, so this half-hour show is a perfect length. It’s enough time for them to experience the magic of the theatre but rounds it all up before they get restless, devour ALL of the snacks and chuck an overtired wobbly.

If you want to introduce your little one to a sophisticated theatrical experience and ignite in them a love of music, grab tickets to How to Catch a Star.

Plus, as a real bonus, there will be a Meet The Musicians Q&A after the show. This gives little ones an opportunity to ask questions about the instruments, see them up close and learn from these professional musicians.

How to Catch a Star trailer.


When: Performed in June 2024.
Where: The Art House, 19-21 Margaret Street, Wyong.


Tempo at The Art House Wyong


Has your child ever dreamed of running away with the circus? The Flying Fruit Fly Circus is Australia’s National Youth Circus, and their performers bring a range of dazzling skills to the stage – think unicycle riding, backflipping, aerial silk sliding and juggling.

Directed by Jake Silvestro with an original score by Ania Reynolds, Tempo features an extraordinary ensemble of young and incredibly talented 12 to 18-year-olds who play musical instruments and perform myriad tricks. There’s sleight-of-hand magic, slapstick comedy, impressive hula hoop twirling and a girl playing a grand piano while doing a handstand!

With no dialogue and plenty of gasp-inducing action, Tempo will appeal to all ages – from trainees to ringmasters. Plus, it’s a great way to show our young people what they can achieve – with just a little (or more likely, a lot) of practice.


When: Performed in April 2024.
Where: The Art House, 19-21 Margaret Street, Wyong.


You Are A Doughnut! at The Art House Wyong  


When the props of a stage show include poop emojis, toilet paper blowers, crazy string and a flushable toilet, you know you’re in for a laugh.

A little bit cray cray, a little bit science class, You Are A Doughnut! is a hilarious multi-award-winning family show that educates and entertains. Its creators – Oesoph A. Gus and Dewey Dean (aka That Science Gang) – are biology teachers and absolute masters of informative comedy.

In their latest show, You Are A Doughnut!, they explore the human digestive system using singing, dancing and a heap of clowning. Kids will love the toilet humour and parents will love the hidden learning as That Science Gang investigate every twisting tube and remarkable organ with the help of enzyme-powered ping pong balls, a rainbow collection of poop puppets and a bizarre poetry performance.


When: Performed in April 2024.
Where: The Art House, 19-21 Margaret Street, Wyong.


Whalebone at The Art House Wyong

Performed by the imaginative mind of clown, tinkerer, inventor and comedian Jens Altheimer, Whalebone is a show unlike anything you’ve likely seen before.

This show is a visual festival that brings circus performance, computer animation, video, and invention to the stage. It’s a crossing and colliding of times as artificial intelligence shares the stage with a typewriter, a rotary dial telephone and a black-and-white TV.

The premise is this: in a world where AI and machines are going rogue and making more and more decisions for us, there’s a lone worker on a mission. Sitting in the mysterious ‘depository’, this worker tries to safeguard human stories, memories and emotions. Can he? Will he?

Whalebone sparks conversations about what it is to be human and what role technology should play in our lives.

When: Performed in May 2024.
Where: The Art House, 19-21 Margaret Street, Wyong.


The Vegetable Plot, The Art House Wyong


Aspara Gus, Ru Barb and Sir Paul McCarrotney (aka Luke Escombe, Luke Hoorweg and Paige Hoorweg) are The Vegetable Plot. They’re the ARIA-nominated Australian children’s band serving up funky-fresh tunes that encourage a healthy relationship with fruit and veg.

Their music is earthy and rootsy and delivered in bite-sized song, and their soundtrack is one that adults enjoy playing in the car as much as the kids.

Since sprouting at the 2014 Sydney Fringe (and winning the award for Best Children’s show), they’ve travelled across Australia playing their toe-tapping tunes and sharing their truly rotten lol vegetable puns.

They’ve been streamed 2.5 million times on Spotify. And if you’re not already, you’ll soon be streaming them too.

When: Performed in January 2024.
Where: The Art House, 19-21 Margaret Street, Wyong.


Mada’s Magic Marvels, The Art House Wyong


Are you ready to be dazzled? “Mada’s Magic Marvels” is an innovative and interactive magic show, and it’s hitting The Art House stage this January.

Audiences young and old will be left scratching their heads in disbelief as Australia’s very own Mr. Magic makes objects appear, disappear and then transform right before their eyes!

“Mr. Magic” (aka Adam Mada) has been entertaining international audiences with his custom magic and illusion shows for more than 20 years. AND he’s a magician to Hollywod stars too! He’s the Magic and Illusions designer for The Metaverse of Magic, and the Magic and illusions coach for the global smash hit Harry Potter and The Cursed Child – Parts 1 and 2 in Australia.

Get set to be mystified and left awe-struck. And if you’re really lucky, you may be chosen to even assist with a spectacular illusion on stage.

Plus, magician apprentices can hone their skills by joining in a magic workshop under the tutelage of Mr. Magic himself.

When: Performed in January 2024.
Where: The Art House, 19-21 Margaret Street, Wyong.


The Listies Make Some Noise, The Art House Wyong


If you’re looking for some gratuitous, ridiculous, hilarious fun with your school-aged kids these holidays, then we have found a show for you! 

The Listies are two incredibly talented Aussie comedians – Rich and Matt – and they are the duo behind kid-senstions The Listies!

These guys are side-splittingly funny and they’re sure to become your kids’ favourite funnymen too. Their comedy is interactive, illogical and irreverent – and there’s as much silliness for adults as there is for the kids.

Their latest show, The Listies Make Some Noise, is a bonkers comedy extravaganza of epic proportions that sees The Listies singing silly and hilariously accurate songs about trying to leave the house with kids, baby’s bedtime, and those wacky arm-waving inflatable blow ups… don’t worry, you’ll know it and get it and love it when you see it! The show is jam-packed with magically silly skits that parents will relate to and kids will have an absolute chuckle at.

AND If you want your kids to fall in love with the theatre, The Listies will do it every time. Book your tickets here.

PS. For the Monday 6PM show come dressed in your cosiest, comfiest, and coolest pyjamas to add to the fun. *Mums and Dads are expected to join in too!

When: Performed in January 2024.
Where: The Art House, 19-21 Margaret Street, Wyong.


The Owl’s Apprentice + Shadow Puppet Workshop, The Art House Wyong


The Owl’s Apprentice is an interactive show that uses shadow puppetry, hand puppetry and story-telling to delight audiences young and old.

It’s a gorgeously nostalgic play performed by Jenny Ellis, a puppeteer of more than twenty years who weaves the whole story together – and plays multiple characters – on her own.

The play follows a young owl named Poot Poot, who has been sent to Owl School to learn to become wise. Throughout the story, Poot Poot meets other animals who share wisdom with him. He meets a wombat who tells him to keep trying and not give up. He meets a Lyrebird who teaches him to listen very carefully to what he hears. He meets a Kookaburra who makes him laugh even when he’s sad. He meets an echidna who shows him how to protect himself and a platypus who shows him it’s okay to be different. On his journey, he finds that wisdom isn’t just one thing; it’s a collection of all the little things you learn every day.

The show has been created by Little Wing Puppets – an Australian puppetry company specialising in children’s theatre. In January 2023 they brought their show A Little Bit of Blue to The Art House too.

Plus, Jenny Ellis will be extending her puppeteering wisdom to kids aged 4-12 in her Shadow Puppet-making workshops. Available as a workshop and show package, this hands-on experience will give children a range of skills to make their own shows as well as a puppet they can take home.

When: Performed in January 2024.
Where: The Art House, 19-21 Margaret Street, Wyong.


“POSSUM MAGIC” AT THE ART HOUSE – 2023 KIDS STAGE SHOW

Get ready for a spell-binding adventure, because “Possum Magic” is coming to The Art House Wyong in October! This enchanting new theatrical production is an adaptation of Mem Fox’s classic children’s book, where Grandma Poss hides Hush from a dangerous snake by making her invisible. There’s only one problem – Grandma Poss can’t remember how to make Hush visible again! So they head off around Australia, searching for yummy human foods to reverse the spell.

The show features live action, puppetry, animation (and a little bit of magic too!). It’ll have your kids oohing and aahing at the beautiful special effects, drawing them into an imaginary world where anything is possible. It’s a much-loved tale and we can’t wait to see it on stage!

Book your seats now to share this mesmerising adventure with your kids.

When: Performed in October 2023.
Where: 
The Art House, 19-21 Margaret Street, Wyong.


“WARU – JOURNEY OF THE SMALL TURTLE” AT THE ART HOUSE – 2023 KIDS STAGE SHOW

“Waru – Journey of The Small Turtle” is an imaginative performance by the acclaimed Bangarra Dance Theatre. It’s their first dedicated work for children, and we are so excited to be able to see this incredible show right here on the Central Coast! With music, movement and meaningful themes, it’s a captivating production you won’t want to miss.

Children can immerse themselves in an interactive experience as they follow little turtle Migi’s challenging journey across the sand and seas of the Torres Strait. Along the way, they’ll be inspired by Islander culture and dance, whilst learning about climate change and caring for our environment. It’s a contemporary take on a traditional tale, and a truly special experience to share with your family.

When: Performed in September 2023  
Where: 
The Art House, 19-21 Margaret Street, Wyong.


“HICCUP” AT THE ART HOUSE – 2023 KIDS STAGE SHOW


“Hiccup” is a rocking, outback adventure about finding the great hiccup cure! There’s catchy songs, gorgeous puppets and a unique Australian feel that kids and parents will both adore.

So here’s the story: It’s a perfect, balmy night in the outback. A sleep-deprived camper, a cheeky quokka and an emu with a penchant for creating wild inventions, awake to discover that a koala has come down with a stubborn and ear-shatteringly loud case of the hiccups.

The three embark on an epic journey through the night that sees them frantically eat, sing and invent their way towards a cure before the sun comes up. You’ll absolutely delight in the array of fantastical hiccup cures they come up with!

When: Performed in 2023  
Where: 
The Art House, 19-21 Margaret Street, Wyong.


“EUPHORIA” AT THE ART HOUSE – 2023 KIDS STAGE SHOW


“Euphoria” is a heartwarming tale of a country town, a festival and a community coming together after tragedy. Drama enthusiasts, older teens and aspiring actors will love the play’s wit, heart and regional voice. Written by award-winning playwright Emily Steel, it’s a fantastic tale of good days, bad days and everything in between.

Note that the show contains coarse language and adult themes (referencing mental illness and suicide), and is recommended for ages 15+.

When: Performed in 2023  
Where: 
The Art House, 19-21 Margaret Street, Wyong.


“Are We There Yet?” at The Art House – 2023 KIDS STAGE SHOW

If your little ones loved seeing Alison Lester’s classic children’s book Magic Beach brought to life on stage, then they’ll love this current adaptation of her charming “Are We There Yet?” Get set to join 8-year-old Grace and her family as they embark on an expedition around Australia. Expect songs, laughter, quokkas, and a tonne of fun!

When: Performed in 2023  
Where: 
The Art House, 19-21 Margaret Street, Wyong.


“SILENCE” at The Art House – 2023 KIDS STAGE SHOW

Coming to the Art House Wyong this March is the riveting contemporary dance performance “SILENCE”. Beating drums, evocative lighting, and seven powerful dancers unite on a stage slowly engulfed in dirt to start a conversation for the return of Indigenous lands. SILENCE acts as an entry point for our young adults to explore First Nations rights and history, and is a wonderful way to engage your curious teens in conversation. 

When: Performed in 2023  
Where: 
The Art House, 19-21 Margaret Street, Wyong.


“GARDEN PARTY – A BEE STORY ADVENTURE” AT THE ART HOUSE – 2023 KIDS STAGE SHOW

Get your school holidays buzzing with a magical theatre adventure AND an amazing circus workshop! “Garden Party – A Bee Story Adventure” is an incredible new physical theatre show combines acrobatics, dance, circus tricks and a little magic too. Queen Bee and Worker Bee are dealing with a sticky situation – can they get unstuck? With glow-in-the-dark fun, groovy live music and themes of sustainability, teamwork and community spirit, it’s a feel-good way to create some holiday memories with your hive.

Families can continue the fun after the show with a sweet treat from the on-site cafe, and an exclusive Garden Party Circus Workshop! These are perfect for mini-acrobats aged 9-13 who love to bend, leap and jump. They’ll learn some amazing new skills (think juggling, balancing exercises, acrobatics and more!) and explore their creativity too. It’s all led by highly qualified circus artists, and no experience is necessary. Workshop tickets must be booked as part of a show package, and they’re limited to 20 places, so get in quick!

When: Performed in 2023  
Where: 
The Art House, 19-21 Margaret Street, Wyong.


“Holiday Island” at The Art House – 2023 KIDS STAGE SHOW

A clown longs for a summer getaway, so she decides to create it herself. With nine brightly coloured suitcases in tow, she builds an imaginary world of play, relaxation, and togetherness: it’s called Holiday Island.

Like a silent film, driven by a nostalgic soundtrack, kids and their families can expect to be treated to a cheery and uplifting holiday adventure. Got kids who’d love to get involved in the antics? They may be invited up on stage, leaving the more reserved folk to enjoy the action from their seats.

This show is only 45 minutes long so perfect for young children who don’t like to sit still for too long.

As part of the Summer at The Art House program, teaching artist and professional clown Ali Gordon will work with children to use play, clowning, and theatrical comedy to grow a bigger heart and have just a little more fun in this cute Clowning Workshop. The workshop will run for 45 minutes, is suitable for kids aged 5+, and can be booked as part of a Show + Workshop package.

When: Performed in 2023  
Where: 
The Art House, 19-21 Margaret Street, Wyong.


“A Little Bit of Blue” at The Art House – 2023 KIDS STAGE SHOW

Looking for fun ways to spend the summer school holidays with your young kids? Take them to see A Little Bit of Blue at The Art House Wyong!

Best suited to children aged 3 – 10 years old, A Little Bit of Blue is an interactive detective show for families, told with puppetry. And your kids will be totally drawn into this show’s magnificent story as it unfolds. Why? Because they’ll be asked to help solve the mystery of who keeps stealing Mrs. Mavis Hooley’s things!

And, what makes this experience extra special is that kids aged 3+ will have the opportunity to practice making their own puppets and bringing them to life in the shows accompanying Puppetry of Paper Workshop as part of a special show and workshop package.

When: Performed in 2023  
Where: 
The Art House, 19-21 Margaret Street, Wyong.


The “Splash Test Dummies” at The Art House – 2023 KIDS STAGE SHOW

Want to see a jaw-dropping, splish-splashing, side-splitting circus performance this summer? If that’s a big fat “yes please!” you’re in luck because the award-winning Splash Test Dummies will be hitting The Art House stage this January!

Four-time winners of the Best Children’s Presentation at Adelaide Fringe Festival AND of the highly coveted Children’s Choice Award (Runner Up) at Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2016, the Splash Test Dummies will be treating Central Coast families to a performance that promises to drown them in tears of laughter!

PLUS, mini circus fans can choose to attend one of TWO awesome workshops that will be accompanying The Splash Test Dummies as part of a show and workshop package.

When: Performed in 2023  
Where: 
The Art House, 19-21 Margaret Street, Wyong.

Header image: The Listies


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