This sophisticated and immersive work will introduce your youngest audiences to the joys of live music and theatre. It fills a unique gap in the market for children and families – newly commissioned classical music of the highest calibre, presented in a theatrical setting.
"Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge appeals to adults and children at several levels, emotional and intellectual. It teaches and entertains, drawing on themes of friendship and caring across generations... captures the imaginations of young audiences igniting what will hopefully become a lifelong appreciation of the performing arts."
There was once a small boy called Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge and his house was next door to an old people’s home. He knew all the people who lived there, but his favourite person of all was Miss Nancy Alison Delacourt Cooper. When Wilfrid finds out that Nancy has lost her memory, he sets out to find out what a memory is…
This delightful production, based on the poignant picture book by Mem Fox and Julie Vivas, adapted and directed by Sandra Eldridge, will weave together captivating storytelling with mesmerising music in an immersive and intimate performance. Featuring a new score by award-winning composer Paul Stanhope performed by a string quartet from the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge is the perfect introduction to live classical music, guaranteed to enchant audiences both young and old.
Illustration © Julie Vivas
Creating the stage adaptation of Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge with the ACO and composer Paul Stanhope was a deeply joyous creative journey. In our collaboration, we began sending back and forth impressions, ideas and inspirations, slowly marrying the text and musical score into a beautiful harmonious work. The heart of this book beats so strongly and I will never forget the experience of creating this beautiful show and how, during difficult times, the hope and joy it inspired.
“Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge appeals to adults and children at several levels, emotional and intellectual. The cast and creatives have retained its complexity in the transition from page to stage. It teaches and entertains, drawing on themes of friendship and caring across generations. It captures the imaginations of young audiences igniting what will hopefully become a lifelong appreciation of the performing arts.”
“This is not just a show for the children, this is a family excursion. So grab something warm, something from long ago, something to make you cry and laugh because the time spent with Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge and the ACO will be as precious as gold.”
Reviews by Judith
The Australian Chamber Orchestra lives and breathes music, making waves around the world for their explosive performances and brave interpretations. Steeped in history but always looking to the future, ACO programs embrace celebrated classics alongside new commissions, and adventurous cross-artform collaborations.
Led by Artistic Director Richard Tognetti since 1990, the ACO performs more than 100 concerts each year. Whether performing in Manhattan, New York, or Wollongong, NSW, the ACO is unwavering in their commitment to creating transformative musical experiences. The Orchestra regularly collaborates with artists and musicians who share their ideology, from instrumentalists, to vocalists, to cabaret performers, to visual artists and film makers.
The ACO applies this same commitment to making and performing work for young audiences, and in 2019 commissioned their very first work created specifically for children. An adaptation of Margaret Wild’s classic picture book, There’s A Sea in My Bedroom, the work was an immersive introduction to live classical music, seamlessly blending story with a mesmerizing new score by award-winning Australian composer, Paul Stanhope. The show premiered at Sydney Opera House and received an overwhelming positive response from audiences young and old. Following this success, the ACO commissioned and created Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge, based on the poignant picture book by Mem Fox, and performed a sold-out two-week season at Sydney Opera House to critical acclaim in May 2021.
Adelaide Festival – Presented by DreamBIG Children’s Festival | Land of the Kaurna People
17 – 21 May | BOOK
Colac Otway Performing Arts & Cultural Centre, VIC | Land of the Gulidjan and Gadubanud People
Wyndham Cultural Centre Werribee, VIC | Land of Land of the Wathaurung, Woiwurrung and Boonwurrung People
Paranaple Arts Centre Devonport, TAS | Land of the punnilerpanner People
Theatre Royal Hobart, TAS | Land of the muwinina People
Lighthouse Theatre Warrnambool, VIC | Land of the Gunditjmara People
6 & 7 June
Bunjil Place Narre Warren, VIC | Land of the Bunurong Boon Wurrungand Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung People
Gippsland Performing Arts Centre | Land of the Braiakaulung People
West Gippsland Arts Centre Warragul, VIC | Land of the Gunaikurnai People
13 & 14 June
Geelong Arts Centre, VIC | Land of the Wathaurong (Wadawurrung) People
16 & 17 June
Riverside Theatre Parramatta, NSW | Land of the Dharug People
21 – 24 June
Goulburn Performing Arts Centre, NSW | Land of the Gundungurra People
27 & 28 June
Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre Nowra, NSW | Land of the Dharawal and Yuin People
Adapted & Directed by: Sandra Eldridge
Music by: Paul Stanhope
Production Design by: Kelsey Lee
Cast: to be announced
If you are interested in touring get in contact!
Arts on Tour
02 8038 1880
Arts on Tour is based in Redfern NSW and we respectfully acknowledge the Gadigal people as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the unceded land on which we work.
As we tour artists and productions across these vast lands, we pay our respect to all First Nations Elders, past, present and future.
We celebrate their continuing connection and contribution to culture, country and community, and thank all First Nations peoples for their wisdom in caring for the land, the sky, the rivers and the sea.