A taste of puddin’ magic in the gardens

December 1, 2021 BY

Tug of war: The play features Tim Harris as Bill Barnacle, Zoe James as magic pud Albert, and is directed by Susan Pilbeam, pictured in the Watkin Wombat costume. Photos: EDWINA WILLIAMS

BUNYIP Bluegum, Bill Barnacle, Sam Sawnoff, and your family are invited to Buninyong for a slice of celebratory pudding on Sunday.

The Friends of Buninyong Botanic Gardens are marking the green space’s 160th anniversary with an adapted performance of Norman Lindsay’s The Magic Pudding by The Bard in Buninyong’s players.

Community members young and old – no puddin’ thieves – are welcome to enjoy the 10am, 1pm or 3pm shows, before activities are run by event sponsor Ballarat BotaniKIDS.

The Bard in Buninyong founder and director Susan Pilbeam said the “first slice” of the 103-year-old classic children’s tale will be staged by a cast of six.

“It’s going to be heaps of fun, and to do something for kids means all bets are off, we can dress up and be silly,” she said.

Full of “ridiculousness,” colourful characters, fabulous costumes, and songs, Ms Pilbeam said children will enjoy the interactive pantomime style of performance.

Ballarat BotaniKIDS convenor Julie Bradby has organised a splash of earthy, messy fun after the cast takes a bow.

“We’re going to be making mud puddings, so there’s a nice little segue there, and we’re going to find gumnuts, leaves and wrap them in material for decorations,” she said.

“Alongside the 160th anniversary of the Gardens, this is a celebration of Christmas and things Aussie. That’s why the Norman Lindsay story of The Magic Pudding has been selected.

“It has such good language in there and funny old sayings for the kids.”

Friends of Buninyong Botanic Gardens president Roger Permezel said the Bard in Buninyong usually performs a Shakespearean play annually.

Unable to put on a show last year, the anniversary celebrations have provided the perfect opportunity for them to tread the boards – or the grass – with a classic piece that’s entertaining for audience members of all ages.

Adults will also be able to explore the Gardens on a tour guided by the Friends, and have some celebratory refreshments. Children will receive a showbag.

Head to the comments sections of The Magic Pudding posts on the Ballarat BotaniKIDS Facebook page at bit.ly/3CHjLTf to book.

The anniversary event has been financially supported by the Community Bank Buninyong.