Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) today announced the children’s comedy-musical Proudfoot & Friends by Lucas Proudfoot from Friday 8 to Sunday 10 March 2024 in the Cremorne Theatre.
Featuring state-of-the-art digital puppeteering and choreographed animated projections, Proudfoot & Friends is an interactive, sing-along adventure for children from three to seven years. Lucas Proudfoot will lead big and little kids on an interactive journey around Pelican Bay, meeting characters such as elder Aunty May and cheeky friends Ned and Sis, alongside magical animal friends.
A member of the Tweed Coast Bundjalung/South Sea Islander Community, Lucas Proudfoot is an award-winning First Nations performer and has over 25 years’ experience as a professional musician. He said his inspiration for the show has sprung from many different facets of his life.
“Proudfoot & Friends centres on universal themes of caring for country and for each other, delivered through music, movement, and humour,” Proudfoot said.
“Creating Proudfoot & Friends was inspired by my last 14 years of touring and performing in schools and kindergartens across the country. Having met thousands of children and their families during this time, I always love hearing their stories, which in turn, has inspired me to create entertaining and inclusive content for young audiences to enjoy.
“I also have a strong focus on numeracy and literacy along with rhythm and rhyme, which supports children’s early language development as they learn to recognise and respond to sound patterns. My two daughters, who are now four and eight years old, love stories being read to them in a rhythm and rhyme way, allowing them to more easily connect with the story.”
Proudfoot & Friends also champions the use of state-of-the-art digital puppetry using gesture control programming, taking storytelling to the next level. Proudfoot believes this is what sets his show apart from other early childhood productions.
“The show is truly a unique offering because the animated characters who appear on-screen can interact with me as well as the audience,” he said.
“This is all via digital puppeteering tech which is controlled in ‘real-time’ backstage. Our Technical Director, Freddy Komp is a master with this, having more than 300 cues to deliver throughout each performance.”
Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch referred to Lucas as an inspiring First Nations artist creating child-centred performances that focus on important values such as respect for Country, flora and fauna, friendship and family.
“Lucas’ passion and talent for sharing Indigenous stories with young audiences and their families is evident in his exciting stage musical featuring original songs, local First Nations dancers, digital puppets and choreographed animated projections,” Minister Enoch said.
“Queensland Government investment through Arts Queensland’s multi-year project funding has supported Proudfoot Productions to create Proudfoot & Friends, commission new music, supported skills development and the employment of an early career stage manager through a paid industry placement.
“This investment in Proudfoot Productions helps deliver on the priorities of the Creative Together 2020-2030 roadmap including supporting a strong and sustainable sector, elevating First Nations arts, sharing our stories and celebrating our storytellers,” the Minister said.
A former professional surfer and rock musician, Lucas has been a special guest on Australia’s favourite children’s program Play School (ABC TV), where he performed four original songs as part of the program’s ‘Music in Me’ series.
Lucas has also appeared on JuicedTV, an online channel made for and by kids in hospitals and is regularly invited to perform and speak at cultural and literary festivals around Australia.
Lucas is also an ambassador for the Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation.
Signed with Sony Music Publishing Global in 2022, Lucas has performed for approximately 500,000 children over the last 10 years in schools and kindergartens.
The toe-tapping and rib-tickling Proudfoot & Friends will hit QPAC’s Cremorne Theatre from Friday 8 to Sunday 10 March 2024. Tickets are on sale now via qpac.com.au or 136 246.
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