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You are in: Norfolk » Going Out » Stage

11 February 2004 1759 GMT
HI-5 comes alive at the Theatre Royal
Picture: HI-5 Alive!
The Australian group, HI-5 Alive!

HI-5, the Australian children's programme will be making an appearance at the Norwich Theatre Royal in March, with their group HI-5 Alive!

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CONTACT INFO

Norwich Theatre Royal
Theatre Street
Norwich
Box Office:
01603 63 00 00

HI-5 Alive! will be performing at the Theatre Royal on Sunday March 7, 2004.

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Executive producer, Helena Harris, who once lived in Norfolk told Rachel Binns how she was inspired by her friends here.

It's been a whirlwind year for Helena Harris. In October 2003, HI-5, the children's programme she created in Australia, won its fourth consecutive ARIA - a music award equivalent to our Brit Awards.

The show, which was created in 1999, has gone from strength to strength and is now show in 64 countries.

Picture: Helena Harris - right, with the cast of HI-5
Helena Harris (right) with the cast of HI-5

After HI-5 Alive's successful tour in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, the show embarked on a UK tour which kicked off in Manchester.

Helena Harris came to Norwich from Australia in the late 1980s with her husband and two-year-old daughter.

After spending 10 months in Norfolk, Helena returned to her native country and started work in children's programmes for ABC.

She then set up her own company, Kids Like Us with business partner Posie Graeme-Evans and HI-5 was created.

Helena has revealed to BBCi's Rachel Binns how her idea for HI-5 was partly inspired by her stay in Norfolk.

How does HI-5 differ from other children's programmes?

One of the big differences with HI-5 is that we encourage children to physically interact with the show.

It's very fast paced for a children's show and it's something that we experimented with to make sure that it was fine before we went ahead and made it.

Picture: HI-5
HI-5 is very colourful

One quite distinct difference is that we're not afraid of putting lots of music and colour into the show.

We still put in lots of new and interesting things to children which are delivered in a way that they will understand.

The HI-5 show is very successful in Australia and the UK and across the world. What do you think makes it so appealing to children?

They really enjoy interacting with the presenters. I don't think the children realise it's educational - I hope they don't!

We don't want it to be in-your-face educational, although every single segment has an educational aim and that is reflected in the theme of the episode.

We cater to an incredibly wide range of kids' ages and we consider that when we're writing the show.

Each of our segments have simple stories, then we add layers, like a song - we add jokes and then we add layers of complexities so the youngest child will follow it, but the oldest child will pick up the more complicated bits.


Charli Robinson of HI-5

What was your reaction to the HI-5 group winning the ARIA (Australian Record Industry Association - the equivalent of the UK's Brit Awards) for fourth consecutive time?

We were ecstatic! We really were because we didn't think it was likely to happen - no-one's ever done it before.

It's obviously primarily a television show, but the music and album itself stands alone.

Our composer, Chris Harriott is just amazing. He's the most prolific writer and so in tune with children and writes the music so well. It's easy to follow, easy to dance to and easy to sing along to.

Read more: Why Helena moved to Norwich from Australia »

 

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