Round The Twist The Musical in development
RGM Productions, together with composer Paul Hodge and director Simon Phillips, are developing a musical based on the first and second series of Round The Twist.
This week the team achieved an important milestone, with a successful application to the Federal Government’s Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) fund.
Round The Twist is an iconic Australian children’s TV series.
Last year the Guardian claimed Round The Twist “redefined what a children’s program should be” because it was "hilarious, scary, heartfelt, uniquely Australian and decried more than once as being too rude for TV. "Round the Twist has endured to become a cult classic thanks to its “deliciously macabre” plot lines which constantly pushed broadcast guidelines. Episodes included children being attacked by a deluge of birds-do, a strange cabbage patch family emerging out of a giant cabbage to reclaim their baby, a water spirit helping a child pee over a wall in a pissing competition, and a ghost dog that curses a child to end every sentence with the phrase 'without my pants.'
Based on the beloved short stories by award-winning writer Paul Jennings, with an iconic theme song by Andrew Duffield, the TV series has aired in over 150 countries over thirty years. The series is currently streaming on Netflix Australia. The first two series, produced by the Australian Children’s Television Foundation, with Executive Producer Patricia Edgar, and Producer Antonia Barnard, were written by Paul Jennings, working closely with Esben Storm, who was also the series lead director. The first series was screened on the Seven Network, before both first and second series went to air on the ABC. The series actual premiere was on the BBC, because Seven held onto the tapes for nearly a year before putting it to air.
The musical adaptation is being produced by RGM Production’s Garry McQuinn, who has taken “Priscilla Queen of the Desert” musical to the West End, Broadway and around the world. ROUND THE TWIST THE MUSICAL, featuring the unforgettable theme song, is written by award-winning writer- composer, Paul Hodge and directed by the renowned Simon Phillips (Muriel’s Wedding, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Love Never Dies).
Garry McQuinn said “RGM came on board to develop ROUND THE TWIST THE MUSICAL buoyed by the immense energy and enthusiasm of Paul Hodge and Simon Phillips. We are thrilled that RISE has seen fit to award this great new Australian work with funding, enabling us to give everyone a great night in the theatre, enjoying the antics of the Twist family. “
Paul Hodge, writer and composer of ROUND THE TWIST THE MUSICAL said “I am one of a generation of kids around the world who grew up watching and loving Round The Twist. Music has always been a core part of the series. 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. For a show so much about family, I’m thrilled that the generation that grew up watching the show will be able to introduce a whole new generation of kids to the story – it will be a true family event.”
Simon Phillips said ”This is a brilliant opportunity to develop a musical based on a true classic of Australian children’s literature and television. So many Australians who were entertained by Round The Twist as children are now parents themselves and ready to pass on the joy! (Or just go by themselves for the nostalgia trip.) Distilling twenty-six episodes of ghost-busting television into just two hours of thrilling musical theatre is no mean feat, and the grant will enable us to properly explore all its possibilities and produce a well-honed, action-packed result. It’s also terrific that the government has chosen to support the work of Paul Hodge, a young, up-and- coming musical writer of huge talent and potential. His commitment to ROUND THE TWIST THE MUSICAL has been unswerving and it’s fantastic that it has been given a chance to come to life.
Paul Jennings AM, writer of Round The Twist said “When I was writing each of the twenty- six episodes, I was the father of four children who lived in a house on the edge of a wild sea cliff. The Twist family was based on my own situation as a single parent. When Paul approached me and the ACTF with his ideas to adapt the series as a musical, we were absolutely delighted at his plans and proven abilities. Paul has done a tremendous job. He has taken the original stories and scripts and combined them with some wonderful new ideas. The book is fresh and new while remaining true to the heart of the series”.