INTERVIEW BY VICTORIA HANNAFORD
Umbilical Brother David Collins unleashes mayhem for the school holidays, writes Victoria Hannaford for the Daily Telegraph.
David Collins feels lucky. Not just today – every day. Best known as one half of the Umbilical Brothers, the performer is gearing up for his first children’s show (The Luck Child, part of the Sydney Theatre Company’s Actor on a Box program).
Working with Jonathan Biggins director of Sydney Theatre Company’s Wharf Revue, the pair wrestled over which text to use for the production. Anything with pirates was ruled out by Collins.
“I made up my mind when I saw the title of this one, because luck has always been big for me – I believe the more you feel lucky, the luckier you are and I have always felt lucky,” Collins says.
The Luck Child is a folk tale about a boy fated to become king, and the story immediately inspired Collins.
“It started with an evil king, it had a ferryman and magic in it, it had an island with a mythical beast on it surrounded by jewels and a child who was fated to be the ruler of the land – it just had everything,” he says.
“We started with that story and we’ve put a lot more into it. Now there’s a circus, the child is found by a monkey and raised by them at one stage, and the mythical beast is a three-headed hound, and one of the heads is a cat – there’s nothing like the sound of a cat attack,” Collins says, before letting out a noise that sounds like an angry feline."
The show is giving Collins the chance to unleash his inner child.
“The Umbilical Brothers have gone 21 years without a fart joke,” he says. “That ends next week.”
There’s no doubt he’s having fun creating a show for kids. Getting up to demonstrate, Collins mimes his way through an imaginary valley, with flatulent sound effects.
“I have to go through the Valley of the Winds. It started off as a bubbling brook, but within five minutes it had progressed,” Collins says. While he’s a little “trepidatious” about performing for children, Collins is keen to share a little of his life philosophy.
“Kids already have a sense of luck and wonder in them, but it’s whittled out as you grow older. This show, we hope they’ll leave thinking they’re the lucky child.”