Have you ever, ever felt like this?
Every Aussie kid with access to a television in the ’90s and early 2000s has memories of watching Round the Twist, a show based on the stories of Paul Jennings about the (honestly pretty messed up) adventures of three kids and their widowed father who lived in a haunted lighthouse. In just four short seasons, the series that captivated (read: traumatised) Australian children managed to bring us Bronson’s penis fish, the snotty ice cream man, the green cabbage patch baby, Pete impregnated by a tree spirit and more truly twisted storylines.
Back in 2021 we told you that Round the Twist was heading to the stage, but we didn’t know which city would score first dibs at the highly anticipated musical. Now we know.
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Round the Twist the Musical will premiere at Brisbane’s QPAC Playhouse on Sunday 12 November, 2024.
“It is our absolute pleasure to bring these characters, these stories and these songs to the stage for the first time ever. This has been a giddy labour of love for all of us here at Queensland Theatre for years now, and we’re beyond excited to finally see this production come to life,” said Queensland Theatre’s artistic director Lee Lewis in a statement.
The play is being developed by RGM Productions, the London-based theatre company behind musicals including Priscilla Queen of the Desert, but the idea to put Pete, Linda and Bronson’s wacky escapades on stage first came from up-and-coming writer-composer Paul Hodge, who approached Jennings and the Australian Children’s Television Foundation (ACTF) to turn the show into a musical.
“ACTF is especially protective of Round the Twist – it’s the show that put us on the world stage and is so beloved of generations of kids,” Jenny Buckland, CEO of the ACTF, said in a 2021 press release. “Paul Hodge is one of that generation and when he pitched his ideas, it convinced us to let him have a go at turning it into a musical. Paul’s brought the spirit and all the touchstones of the series into the show. [It’s] so faithfully drawn to the original … This show is going to be a real crowd pleaser.”
“Music has always been a core part of the series,” Hodge said in the same 2021 press release. “The mystery behind the eerie music playing in the lighthouse underpins the show’s first season and the show’s iconic, unforgettable theme song, written by the amazing Andrew Duffield, will play a key part in the musical adaptation.”
Hodge wrote the musical’s book, lyrics and music. The show will be directed by Simon Phillips (Muriel’s Wedding: The Musical, Ladies in Black).
Round The Twist: The Musical will run from 12 November to 1 December, 2024 at the Playhouse at QPAC.