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Cautionary Tales for Children
Arena Theatre Company

  • Venue: Piano Bar
  • When: Thu 1 Mar 09:30 AM - 10:15 AM
  • Genre: Music Theatre / Opera / Cabaret
  • Main Audience: Family
  • No. in touring party: 6

Cautionary Tales for Children
Based on the verse by Hilaire Belloc

In 1907, Hilaire Belloc caused a literary sensation when he published Cautionary Tales for Children, a mischievous anthology of satirical poems about badly-behaved children and the terrible fates that befall them. With titles like Henry King, Who Chewed Bits of String, and was early cut off in dreadful agonies, and Jim, who ran away from his nurse and was eaten by a lion, these hilarious poems cut to the core of British class and morality. Intended equally for children and adults, this anthology has inspired a range of authors including Edward Gorey and Roald Dahl.

Arena Theatre Company has set these verses to music, devised an original dramatic text and added some vaudevillian turns to bring Belloc’s wit to life. Director Chris Kohn has assembled a troupe of Australia’s finest theatre talent, including composer Mark Jones, writer Claudia O’Doherty and designer Jonathon Oxlade. Together they have conceived of a show-within-a-show, presented by a dysfunctional family of four, who have travelled in their antediluvian time machine with terrifying tales of naughty children from the past.

Premiering in 2013, suitable for children aged 8+ and their families. For presentation in cabaret venues such as the Spiegeltent and intimate theatres, to a capacity of 500.

Arena Theatre Company

Arena creates live performances for young people and their families. It is founded on the belief that theatre creates a space that is surprising, alive, fertile, explosive, dangerous and inspiring; a space where contemporary human experience can be uniquely expressed, felt, celebrated and reinvented.
This project continues Arena Theatre Company’s tradition of engaging some of Australia’s finest theatre talent. Multiple award-winning director Chris Kohn will reunite with Composer/Performer Mark Jones, who received the Green Room Awards for Best Actor and Musical Composition and a Helpmann Nomination for Best Actor for their last collaboration, Goodbye Vaudeville Charlie Mudd.
Jonathon Oxlade, who was nominated for a Green Room Award for Best Design for work on the same show, also joins the team. He is rapidly gaining recognition as one of the country’s most talented set and costume designers, as well as an illustrator, actor and theatre director. This will be Jonathon’s fourth work with Chris Kohn. Claudia O’Doherty is working with Arena for the first time. She has established herself as an exciting new voice in theatre, comedy and publishing in recent years, with award-winning solo shows and theatre productions as part of Sydney independent theatre company Pig Island.

Illustrator: Jonathon Oxlade


Erin Milne
General Manager, Arena Theatre Company
PO Box 179
North Melbourne VIC 3011
+61 3 9329 6266
+61 3 9329 0366
+61 412 853 220