The Banjo Show
Up Tour Itinerary About A.B.Paterson Non-Schools Kit Schools Kit

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 performance".

                Click here for photos of previous performances   

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 versatility. 

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 represented.

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 Stoppers.