BANJO is a theatrical performance based on the life and works
of A.B.(BANJO) Paterson; author of Australiaís unofficial national anthem,
Waltzing Matilda. After itís world premier at the 1998 Adelaide Fringe
Festival, BANJO, performed by Karm (Craig) Gilespie has been invited to tour to the
United States and has been hailed by the critics as "Brilliant and
hilarious", "thoroughly entertaining", and "a terrific
Banjo has been designed to work in many locations to a variety of audiences.
For our Schools version, check out the schools kit,
it has all the information you may need about the show. For our community and
Festival version, check out the non-schools kit.
The tour itinerary page will indicate when
BANJO may be heading your way.
After having performed in the Middle Back Theatre in Whyalla to a packed
house of 450 and then in a Woolshed to 35, in art galleries and social /
function rooms, along with hundreds of school drama rooms, Banjo has proven its
In 2002 The EXTENDED 90 minute version of BANJO will tour all of Australia to
celebrate THE YEAR OF THE OUTBACK. Please register your interest and/or contact
us for more details.
Combining Paterson journalistic narratives, his war
correspondence, and his poetry, the production is seamless as it moves from one
moment to the next. Throughout the performance Gilespie creates no less than 24
characters. These include Paterson himself along with old favourites such as
"Mulga Bill" and "The Man From Ironbark". Soldiers, young
men, old men, bushmen, farmers; every face of Banjoís classic Australia is
An emotional smorgasbord is presented with tragedy and
hardship being served alongside exhilaration and excitement. Patersonís
overwhelming pride and love for his native soil takes centre stage as the spirit
of Australia is clearly reflected with humour and pathos.
Gilespie, having grown up on a farm near Skipton in the
Western district of Victoria, Australia, is able to directly relate to the vivid
descriptions in Patersonís writing. In particular their shared personal
experiences of not only the hardships of droughts, and plagues of mice and grass
hoppers, but also the beauty of the " everlasting stars."
When asked what the play is really about Gilespie says,
"it looks at the way Paterson explored his past, his memories and his
childhood experiences, and in doing so, he was able to make sense of his present
and build dreams for the future".
Devised & Performed by Craig (Karm) Gilespie
Musical by Paul Colman
Designer: Mark Wager
Set Construction: Tony McGrath
Original Music Sound Track Recorded and Mixed by:
David Carr at Rangemaster Studios (Melbourne)
Mastered by David Briggs at The Production Workshop
Musicians: Paul Colman, acoustic guitar
David Carr, Lead guitar (His Ghost)
Main Photograph: Denise Nester
Graphic Art: Robert Thom Design
CRAIG (Karm) GILESPIE is a graduate from Rusdenís four year dance/drama
course and since 1990 has worked extensively within the industry in many areas.
His versatility has seen him work professionally as a dancer, puppeteer, actor,
writer and director. Acting credits include the lead role in Strzelecki with
Strzelecki Theatre at Playbox, and a number of productions for both Polyglot
Puppet Theatre and Donít Move Theatre Productions. Television credits include
Blue Heelers and The Man From Snowy River.
PAUL COLMAN (Musician) is a Melbourne based
singer/songwriter/entertainer. He regularly performs his solo acoustic show and
has appeared a number of times at Crown Casinoís Mercury Lounge including as
the supporting artist for Richard Claptonís national tour. Paul has co-written
with artist such as Jack Jones (Southern Sons) and Graeme Goble (LRB). ĎBeat
Magazineí recently described Paulís New CD (the band thing) as "the
kind of singer- songwriter album that Paul Kelly would
have been proud to release", giving it a rare 9.5 out of 10.
MARK WAGER (Designer) A graduate of theatre design at NIDA, Mark has
worked extensively as a designer around the country. He worked for ten years
with Melbourne Theatre Company and recently designed the touring exhibitions of
Peter Rabbit, Flora Flower Fairies and currently, the Australian Children
Television Associationís exhibition of Liíl Elvis Jones and The Truck