Especially on Birthdays comes to Adelaide Festival Centre

Posted by Adelaide Festival Centre on Thursday 4 April 2019

The sounds of an internationally-renowned American composer, producer and musician will come to Adelaide Festival Centre later this month, for the children’s show Especially on Birthdays.

Matthew Wilder achieved a worldwide hit with his iconic single “Break My Stride”.

He produced the No Doubt album, Tragic Kingdom, which has sold 22 million copies worldwide, and has written songs for Christina Aguilera, Kelly Clarkson, Miley Cyrus and Disney’s Mulan. He’s earned three Grammy nominations, along with nominations for an Oscar and a Golden Globe.

Now, he’s composed a score for Especially on Birthdays, aimed at children 4-8 years, which premiered in Mount Gambier before heading to Adelaide Festival Centre’s Space Theatre on 27 April.

All the Mount Gambier performances featured Matthew’s music, while the final three shows in Adelaide will be his score. The first three Adelaide performances will be composed by Zephyr Quartet and voiceROM.

Matthew Wilder said collaborating with The PaperBoats Director Dave Brown – the former Artistic Director of Patch Theatre Company for 20 years – was a special experience. “When the opportunity came up, I jumped at it. I wanted to do something that was outside my box. I was inspired by the non-verbal aspect of the piece. I was writing, composing and performing. It was an unusual opportunity to stretch.”

Director Dave Brown said Especially on Birthdays is a performance about friendships and birthdays. “Birthdays are the most anticipated days of every child’s life, so every child will relate to Especially on Birthdays in their own way according to their life experiences, interests and age. It’s a show with lots of action, amazing music and very little language that will evoke recognition and surprise, anticipation and joy, curiosity and wonder.  Children are entranced and enchanted by this show from start to finish. It takes us to the very heart of childhood."

Part performance, part game and part celebration, Especially on Birthdays tells the tale of twins and a sixth birthday one of them doesn’t want to have. The story unfolds in an intimate setting with audience members facing each other across the performance space.

Adelaide Festival Centre Programming Executive, Children’s and Families, Susannah Sweeney said it is important to immerse children in great arts experiences: “Dave Brown is the king of making work for children 4-8 years and Especially on Birthdays is another beautiful work.”

Media kit:

Matthew Wilder bio:

Media contact: Jennifer Salter 0487 296 984 or