Benjamin is Will’s best mate in the whole wide world. Benjamin is also a dog.
One morning, Will wakes up with an idea. He has decided to build the first ever boy-dog operated flying machine. And so, this coming-of-age adventure takes to the skies…
Follow the extraordinary journey of this young boy, his dog, their wild imagination and a ukulele. The show features a smattering of songs, crazy contraptions and illustrations by visual artist Jacinta Larcombe.
Benjamin & Me is a show for families and adventurous adults. It’s the newest work from award-winning writer and performer Mark Storen (The Polite Gentleman), and is the debut production for his new company Whiskey and Boots.
“A talented, theatrical all-rounder” – The West Australian (A Drunken Cabaret)
“Yarn spinning of a high order” – The West Australian (The Polite Gentleman)
Recommended for audiences 8+
- Venue Format
- Theatre, Hall, Black Box Venue
- Technical Rating
- Touring Party
Benjamin & Me is a very self contained show. The show is family friendly and is most suitable for children 8+. The show is operated on stage by the touring party (2 people/performer/operator) The set is the boy dog operated flying machine which flatpacks down and is easily transported and assembled. Some lighting and sfx is built into the machine and operated by the performer. It is most suited to a theatre or black box, but could be performed in other venues with some lighting and FOH sound system. A FOH sound system is desired but not critical. The show can be performed acoustically. It is a 50 minute Storytelling show with music and illustrations.
Whiskey & Boots is the new performance company created to house the work of performer, director, writer, musician Mark Storen and performer/producer Georgia King. Whiskey & Boots work is best described as Storytelling with Music.
- Company Website
Unique Selling Point
Benjamin & Me is an intimate storytelling experience with music, in this instance a ukulele. Its a stripped back tale of Will Flanagan and his dog Benjamin. Will has grown up in an eccentric whiskey drinking, ukulele playing, handy kind of family. Wills Dad an inventor of sorts has a shed full of crazy contraptions made up of bits and pieces found around the family home. The story is one that encourages young people to embrace their points of difference and with a little imagination, show how everyday objects can turn into something remarkable, like a boy- dog operated flying machine.
The show is accompanied by a series of Illustrations that are presented in a giant storybook. We also have an audiobook with a miniature version of the storybook which can be used for promotional purposes and giveaways. The audiobook is also for sale at a cost of $10 after the show, so audiences can continue to enjoy the story and continue discussion as a family post show. We are currently putting the story and illustrations into a book which can be used in the same way as the audiobook. We have workshop plans for teachers to use in class.
Benjamin and Me is a fantastic show to generate discussion and stimulating activities in the classroom or the community.
Mark Storen has engaged in classroom activities with WA school children whilst developing the show. Below are some suggestions of activities that can be tailored to suit any classroom or workshops run for the community. ACTIVITY 1 Continue the story! Sit down and write a short story about Will and Benjamin’s next adventure. What sort of mischief can they get up to next and where will their flying machine take them?
ACTIVITY 2 Write your own smattering crazy song in music class! Pick up some odd objects, or bring some in from home! Pots and pans, plastic containers and some sticks, you don’t need much to make a beat! Create a rhyme and get in time!
ACTIVITY 3 Draw a storyboard of Will and Benjamin’s adventures. We found that many children who have seen the show want to continue the story or retell it through illustrations. We could then engage in discussions using these illustrations to further examine themes within the story. We could help facilitate building your own boy-dog operated flying machine from bits of household junk.