We’re devastated the iconic Ekka was cancelled for the second year in a row due to COVID-19. As The Ekka is a rite of passage for the children of Queensland, we’re grabbing the commiseration candy and bringing back our childhoods with ‘The People’s Day Playlist’.
This confection of favourite childhood songs has been handpicked by stars of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Stephen Anderson (Willy Wonka) and Lucy Maunder (Mrs Bucket), who were slated to perform at The Ekka in the Main Arena on People’s Day. Get your ears around it, and read what they had to say about each song:
Stephen’s Nostalgic Numbers
Pure Imagination – Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory (1971), Gene Wilder
I wore out a VHS of the original 1971 film when I was a kid. Gene Wilder’s performance – and this song – are an indelible part of my childhood.
The Candyman – The Mike Curb Congregation
The grooviest 1970s version of this standard around. So catchy!
I’ll Be Seeing You – Billie Holiday
One of my favourite songs by one of my favourite artists – and even more poignant in the times we’re living though.
When I Grow Up – Matilda the Musical, Original Cast
Lucy and I first worked together in the Australian production of Matilda the Musical. This adaptation of Roald Dahl’s novel features the outstanding music and lyrics of Tim Minchin.
Zadok the Priest – George Frideric Handel
Listen to it properly, then watch “Zadok Shreds” on YouTube. It’s an hilarious dubbed version of Handel’s piece that leaves Lucy and I literally wheezing with laughter in the dressing room.
Caravan – The John Buzon Trio
Lounge at its best.
Life on Mars? – David Bowie
My favourite Bowie song – the melody and the lyrics are perfect and always surprising.
Sukiyaki – Kyu Sakamoto
First released in Japan in 1961, the song topped the U.S. Billboard charts in 1963. The song became one of the best-selling singles of all time, selling over 13 million copies worldwide. It was a favourite of my grandmother’s – and recently featured in the Closing Ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics.
Lucy’s Sentimental Singalongs
We Go Together – Grease, Australian Cast
My partner Jared and I met doing the last Australasian tour of Grease, it’s very special that we are back together on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory!
My House – Matilda the Musical, Original Cast
I was pregnant when I was supposed to start the QPAC season of Matilda as Miss Honey. I ended up joining in Perth six weeks after my daughter was born but would sing this song all through my pregnancy. Also, Stephen and I worked together for the first time on Matilda so it holds a special place in my heart.
What I Did for Love – A Chorus Line, Natalie Cortez
This was the first song I ever sang at a Musical Theatre camp when I was 12. I had never really entertained the idea of singing before and it ignited my love for it.
Mister Clicketty Cane – Peter Combe
This is my childhood in a song - so nostalgic! I watched the Peter Combe video until it broke.
Finale (Don’t Feed the Plants) – Little Shop of Horrors, 1982 Original Cast
My dad introduced me to the CD of the original Broadway cast of Little Shop of Horrors when I was about seven. This song was always my favourite.
What’s Love Got to Do with It – Tina Turner
A classic. My daughter’s favourite song at the moment. She has it on repeat and will belt it out at the top of her lungs.
Part of Your World – The Little Mermaid (1989), Jodi Benson
This was my audition song for WAAPA (Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts) much to the amusement of my classmates. Alan Menken is one of my favourite composers, it’s a great song!
Behind the Scenes
Our Behind the Scenes series takes you on an exclusive journey into the heart of QPAC, where the magic of the stage comes to life.
Five Minutes with ... Jonathan Biggins
We spent five minutes with Jonathan Biggins who starred in The Gospel According to Paul he’s pure PJK with his wit, intellect and ego.
Five Minutes with ... Noni Hazlehurst
We spent five minutes with Noni Hazlehurst who is one of Australia’s best known, and most well-loved actors. In a career spanning decades Noni is a household name.
Five Minutes with ... Laser Beak Man
We spent five minutes with Laser Beak Man who was created by Tim in 1999 at aged 11. Since then Tim and Laser Beak Man have won fans all over the world.
Five Minutes with ... Suzi Quatro
We spent five minutes with Suzi Quatro who is a singer, songwriter, actor, activist, glam rock legend and role model. With 50 million albums sold, the she continues to delight in creating music.
Five Minutes with ... John Cameron Mitchell
We spent five minutes with John Cameron Mitchell who is a writer, director and actor that we’ve seen on stages and screens from infamous New York City night clubs and Broadway theatres.
Five Minutes with ... Cyndi Lauper
We spent five minutes with Cyndi Lauper who won a Tony Award for her score for the Broadway musical Kinky Boots making her the first woman to ever win solo in that category.
Five Minutes with ... Sarah McLeod
We spent five minutes with Sarah McLeod who is an Australian singer-songwriter known both for her solo work and as the singer/guitarist of rock band The Superjesus.
Five Minutes with … Jimeoin
We spent five minutes with Jimeoin, the English-born Irish stand-up comedian and actor, who is well known not only for his live gigs, but also for his television shows.
Five Minutes with … Eddie Perfect
We spent five minutes with Eddie Perfect who is a singer-songwriter, pianist, comedian, writer and actor.
Five Minutes with ... Vika and Linda Bull
We spent five minutes with Vika and Linda Bull, an Australian vocal duo who came to prominence after singing backing vocals in Joe Camilleri's band The Black Sorrows from 1988.
Five Minutes with ... Reuben Kaye
We spent five minutes with Reuben Kaye, acclaimed comedian and cabaret icon who is described as “the evil love child of Liza Minnelli and Jim Carrey” (British Theatre Guide).
Five Minutes with ... Robert Grubb
We spent five minutes with acclaimed actor Robert Grubb who played the dual roles of Admiral Boom and Chairman of the Bank in Disney and Cameron Mackintosh's Mary Poppins.
Five Minutes with ... Damien Leith
We spent five minutes with Damien Leith whose career skyrocketed after winning Australian Idol in 2006, Since then, he’s been a singer, playwright and tv/radio host personality, sometimes all at once.
Five Minutes with ... SOLCHLD
We spent five minutes with SOLCHLD to chat about her inspirations, what makes her laugh, and how the BlakBeats program has helped her as a musician.
Five Minutes with ... Sami Afuni
We spent five minutes with Brisbane-born performer Sami Afuni who thrilled audiences in HAMILTON, performing in the dual role of Hercules Mulligan/James Madison.
Five Minutes with ... Peter Cook
We spent five minutes with Brisbane playwright and actor Peter Cook who returned to his hometown in February 2023 with his compelling and uplifting one-man play, Breaking the Castle.
See what songs are on musical theatre star Philip Quast's playlist.
The Ultimate Musical Playlist
Listen to the ultimate musical playlist as chosen by three of musical theatres leading ladies.
World Violin Day Playlist
We asked the talented violinists of Camerata to share their favourite music featuring the violin and why.
Alexandra Flood’s Playlist
Find out what music makes the top ten play list for an internationally acclaimed coloratura soprano.
Introducing Kids to the Orchestra
Children will be introduced to all of the orchestral instrument families: string, woodwind, brass and percussion by QSO horn player Vivienne Collier-Vickers.
Get creative in Roma
QPAC brought Creative Fusions to Roma; a five-day music-making program for musicians aged 10 to 100 years.
Ishmael first day
Take a peek behind the scenes at the first day of rehearsals for Dead Puppet Society’s much anticipated world premiere production, Ishmael.
An Interview with Gideon Mzembe
Actor Gideon Mzembe talks about his life and his career while he was at QPAC, performing in shake & stir theatre co’s sold-out return season of Animal Farm.
The Role of the Staging Director
An Interview with An American in Paris Australian Staging Director Hannah Ryan, during the Australian premiere season at QPAC.
A yarn about Frozen costumes
Read the interview with Frozen’s Costume Designer and Wigs associate Janet Hine who oversaw the creation of costumes for the Australian production of Frozen.
75 years of QSO
In their anniversary year, we review the life of the orchestra powered by music and inspired by the state it calls home.
Fanfare Competition 2021 Finalists
The 2021 Artology Fanfare competition saw over 100 young Australian composers submit their very own attention-grabbing composition.
Our Ultimate Listening Guide
Tune into the music picks of these three superstar Australian performers who come together for an evening filled with opera arias and Broadway show tunes.
An Acrobat’s Warm Up
Circa Contemporary Circus calls QPAC’s Playhouse home for a season each year. Here’s a glimpse of the company warming up for its five-star show Humans.
An Evening with Anthony Warlow
Gather insight into Anthony’s life and his decades-long internationally acclaimed career.
Remembering a True Giant of the Arts
Dr Tony Gould AM was QPAC's founding Director. QPAC's Chief Executive, John Kotzas, sat down with Rebecca Levingston on ABC Radio Brisbane to remember him.
Mother by Noni Hazlehurst
An artist, educator and activist, Noni Hazlehurst considers ideas of madness from her role in Mother and as an individual of our society today.
From Broadway with Love
The Australian musical theatre legend and internationally acclaimed star of Broadway and The West End talks about her new solo show.
Shear Brilliance Comes to QPAC
Internationally acclaimed Brisbane-based Circa has joined forces with animation studio Aardman to create a new circus-theatre production.
How to inspire creativity in children
Regularly flexing creative muscle as children and adults builds arts literacy – the ability to identify, interpret & assess in varying arts forms and contexts.
Paul Keating Moves to QPAC's Upper House
We caught up with Biggins about the return season of The Gospel According to Paul.
How to be creative
QPAC asked a musical theatre star, an artistic director, a lighting designer and a professor of the arts for their tips on how to be creative.
The Fanfare competition invited young composers aged 12 to 21 years to submit their own short 30 second attention-grabbing composition.
The Role of Early Music Today
Tembembe Ensamble member Leopoldo Novoa talks about his experience playing with early music superstar Jordi Savall.
Five Minutes with ... Isabella Swietlicki
We chatted with Isabella Swietlicki about her most treasured festive memories and what she loves most about Christmas