Townsville’s Full Throttle Theatre Company has been awarded a Playing Queensland Fund grant to tour their latest adaptation of Astronomical across rural Queensland.
The production, which has been rewritten since its inception and first round of performances in 2016, will tour to 21 communities in Southern Queensland. Full Throttle’s Madonna Davies said the production would benefit not only from an updated script, but an upgraded set.
“We partnered up with Bob and Lynne Bartlett from the Townsville Astronomy Group – Bob wrote Astronomical – and now there’s a totally new script and they’re building a travelling theatre and observatory – which will allow us to have a platform on top of our tour truck giving the actors different levels as well as some projection and a couple of songs this time too, written by Goodo [John Goodson],” Madonna said.
Astronomical is the first edu-play in a series Full Throttle hopes to tour.
“The plan is we’ll have a series of these productions dealing with different themes. The edu-plays are all designed to tour, so Bob’s currently writing one about evolution that will include giant puppets, one about electricity, one about famous inventors, and I think another theme is around the concept of travelling to space and where that originated,” said Madonna.
“They’ll be developed over time and hopefully in the future we’ll be at a stage where we have more than one touring group on the road and have a couple of circuits at the same time. That’s the dream: employing lots of people and giving actors and theatre crews employment; taking these shows to remote, rural and regional Queensland where no one seems to want to go because of the lack of power or theatres.”
Astronomical received a grant from the Playing Queensland Fund, which supports the delivery of arts projects ready to tour and with demonstrated community interest, maximising opportunities for regional Queensland communities to experience high-quality arts events.
“The Playing Queensland Fund is really good because Full Throttle has been touring for 20-odd years and likes to go off the beaten track, so to speak,”Madonna said. “We tend not to perform in conventional theatres, but in community halls, school spaces and outdoor areas – which is good, it means we’re not relying on power or anything. That’s one of the beauties of Astronomical and one of the reasons I believe it has been so successful, because it can go anywhere.”
Astronomical will tour regional areas in Southern Queensland from 13 September – 13 October. For tour updates, visit the Full Throttle website.