Watch sheets and pillows turn into a giant polar bear, gaze at beautiful lighting effects in Queens Park’s magnificent banyan tree and see animations projected onto a big screen at The Magic Banyan Tree show on July 6.
Robyn Peach, events manager for Fraser Coast Tourism & Events, said the free, outdoor performance, starting at 5.30pm, would be a highlight of Maryborough’s Mary Poppins Festival, presented in partnership with Tourism and Events Queensland.
“The show was written especially for the festival and families should pack picnics and bring blankets or chairs to enjoy the live show under the banyan tree,” she said.
Writer and director Kristen Maloney said the story was about Michael and Jane, characters from the Mary Poppins books, who were refusing to go to bed until they heard a story.
“We have stories from the indigenous community, the Shang family who has Scottish and Chinese heritage, the local youth theatre group and, of course, a story about Mary Poppins,” she said.
“By hearing all these stories, Michael and Jane learn that time spent with your family, no matter how minor or ordinary, is always special.
“The inspiration for the story really came from the community: these are all their words and I have worked with them on how we could bring the stories to life in a show.”
Ms Maloney said animations were one of the show’s special elements and had been hand-drawn to look like a picture book.
She said the puppetry was also a lot of fun, turning everyday objects into fantastical creatures.
The banyan tree thought to have been planted as early as the 1870s and one of the largest in Australia, would “look truly magical on the night”, Ms. Maloney predicted.
The project, proudly funded by the Regional Arts Development Fund – a partnership between the Queensland Government and Fraser Coast Regional Council, involves about 16 performers from Maryborough and Hervey Bay.
Mrs. Peach said the show provided the perfect forerunner for Mary Poppins in the Park on Saturday, July 7, the festival’s major celebration.
“It’ll be a day filled with costumed characters, themed activities, workshops for children, pop-up performances, races, entertainment, readings by popular authors, and music from local artists,” she said.
The Queensland Government, via Tourism and Events Queensland, is proud to support the Mary Poppins Festival which features on the It’s Live! In Queensland events calendar. Your perfect next event is in Queensland where live events combine with the most incredible destinations, and life is beautiful one day, perfect the next.
Article and photo submitted by Fraser Coast Tourism and Events