A Camper, A Quokka And An Emu: Kids can help find cure in ‘Hiccup!’

A Camper, A Quokka And An Emu: Kids can help find cure in ‘Hiccup!’

“My go-to hiccup cure is to walk up to someone and ask them ‘Do you have the hiccups?’ I don’t know why, but getting someone to answer that question and think through the hiccups seems to magically cure them every time,” says Ellen Steele, co-creator and director of “Hiccup!,” coming to the Walton Arts Center on April 16.

In the children’s musical theater production, a sleepy camper, a cheeky quokka and an emu with a penchant for inventions band together to find a cure for a koala’s ear-shattering case of the hiccups. The friends embark upon a journey of eating, singing and inventing their way toward a cure.

“Hiccup is a psychedelic, rocking musical extravaganza,” Steele says. “It’s surreal and silly and fun. It’s a pretty wild ride and I think children are always up for going on a big adventure in the theater.”

“Hiccup!” is a production of Windmill Theatre, which helped bring “Bluey’s Big Play” and its large puppets and actors to Fayetteville in December along with BBC Studios and Andrew Kay.

“Puppetry, for all age groups, particularly a young age group … it’s just magic. There’s something incredible about watching a puppet show with a young audience member. They’re completely with it,” Steele explains. “There’s no questioning of the mechanics behind it. You just get to meet this incredible puppet character who can do incredible things.”

She adds that she loves staging this type of production for children, but it’s a challenge.

“They’re an incredibly honest audience, and when you capture a young audience’s attention, it feels totally electric,” she says.

It helps that the show is interactive.

“There’s heaps of opportunities for them to participate. And we love a noisy audience,” she adds.

“I’ve been pretty lucky to work with Windmill for over a decade on heaps of shows for children, particularly puppet shows,” Steele says of the children’s theater company out of Adelaide, Australia.

She says that the show was developed with her long-term collaborator, Jude Henshall, and the staff at the theater.

“Jude and I are parents ourselves. When we were making this show, we were really conscious that the best work for children is also super entertaining for adults — we were really inspired by works like The Muppets that speak across generations,” she says.

“There’s something for everyone in ‘Hiccup,’ and there’s something so special about families coming to the theater together and having fun looking for the great hiccup cure.”




WHEN — 4 p.m. April 16

WHERE — Starr Theater at the Walton Arts Center, 495 W. Dickson St. in Fayetteville

COST — $10 for children, $15 for adults

INFO — waltonartscenter.org

Categories: Family Friendly