There's a bear in Tweed
PRESENTING a show he and millions of Australians grew up on is all in a day's work for Play School's Alex Papps.
He and fellow presenter Abi Tucker will be travelling around the country with toys Big Ted, Humpty, Jemima and Little Ted during the Play School National Live Tour, which visits the Tweed Heads Civic Centre next month.
Mr Papps said he had wanted to join the show for 10 years before finally gaining an audition.
"Like a lot of people I grew up (with) the show," he said.
"The live show is very faithful to the television program, but by virtue of the fact it's live it's bigger in terms of energy."
A story runs throughout the performance enjoyed by children and parents, which Mr Papps said was a "journey, like all good stories."
"Big Ted is anointed prince at the start and then he goes in search of a castle with his toy friends.
"It of course ends happily ever after, but I'm not going to spoil it for the children."
The enduring popularity of the second longest running children's television program still in production in the English speaking world lies in its simplicity, the presenter said.
"As we move further and further away from its messages, in an age of rampant consumerism, it's still fostering imagination, storytelling and co-operative behaviour.
"This is a show that's endured through a couple of generations. A show that parents and grandparents trust and want to introduce to their children."
Favourites such as the square, arch and round windows which offer children a view of the wider world can unfortunately not be featured live.
But Mr Papps said popular singing, storytelling and toy features of the ABC program would be right there on stage.
And he said live performances required a different approach.
"During the show you imagine you're talking to one child," he said.
"When presenting to up to 800 people the show requires a high energy to keep the attention of a large group."
That said, it is paced especially for children with quiet times to just watch and listen featuring alongside singing and dancing.
For ticketing information about the June 14 Tweed performance, click here or phone 1300 788 028.