——– Our History ——–

Dragonfly Shadow Puppets

Primary school students operate shadow puppets. Galiwin’ku, remote Northern Territory.

Island Night was a large scale production by Red Roar presenter Gavin Vance for the Artists in Remote Schools project on Elcho Island, remote Northern Territory (2012). Work here was focused on collaborations with local artists – Gavin worked with painter Jeffery Gurruwiwi – to bring creative arts programs to students aged 5-15. Students devised stories from their knowledge of local environments, then painted scenes on backdrops and school fixtures to tell their stories. Island Night saw young people using mask, puppets, drama, live music and visual arts, and the aim was to build their confidence for performance.

Island Night

‘Island Night’ performance, AIRS program, Galiwin’ku, remote Northern Territory, 2012.

Alongside The Song Room in western Sydney we have worked to create memorable events for schools in their communities, notably Hooray for Hollywood (2011) a joint production between Eagle Vale High School and Blairmount Public, and Wizard of Oz Remixed (2009) with Blackett Public School, performed at the Joan Sutherland Centre. Both events captured the imaginations of students and the participation of parents and the community.

Throughout 2005-2006 our presenter’s work with Australian Theatre for Young people included Acting Intensives for 8-12 year olds and 12-15 year olds, and School Holiday Workshop Programs for all ages both in Manly and at home base in Walsh Bay.  

Further afield, we have devised and created original performances with school groups for the Singapore Youth Festival, working long term there to deliver play building and writing workshops alongside theatre companies and youth agencies. Sticks & Stones (2002), a play about bullying in the horror genre was awarded a Gold Medal, Next Top Model (2004), a play about youth and beauty was awarded a Silver Medal. We quickly discovered that the different approaches to performance from the various cultural groups in Singapore helped bring more depth and dimension to all of our Drama Workshops for Schools, School Holiday Workshops for Kids, and After School Activities.

Our other work in Singapore includes writing for the popular children’s TV program Our House (2004), writing and direction for youth theatre productions Possessed (2003) and Lord of the Flies (2004), and for children’s theatre productions Bah Humbug (2004), Maxx & The Magical Traxx (2002) and Three Blind Mice (2002). But our most ambitious youth project there was a futuristic re-imagining of Romeo & Juliet (2003) also engaged youth at risk in satellite rap & graffiti projects in its creation.

For Dramaplus Arts (2003)

In 2001, Red Roar regular Velma Vegas was invited to present a solo show for the Launchpad project at the Stables Theatre. Rave was the result and it’s a touching true story about coming of age, coming out and coming to terms with family. It brings seldom spoken words into the spotlight, and marries them with original takes on popular 70’s, 80’s and 90’s songs, all set to the strings, keys and horns from members of well-known Sydney band Waiting for Guinness.

In 1999 the company was invited by Belvoir Street Theatre to be part of the new B Sharp season of independent plays, and the result was a Late Night Talk Show format we called RAUNCH TV. With comedy sketches, the outrageous Raunch TV Dancers, pre-recorded mini-mockumentaries, guest superstar Velma Vegas belting out show tunes new and old, and music from members of the acclaimed Waiting for Guinness, the season brought packed out houses to Belvoir Street.



‘Late night TV comes to Belvoir!’
(SMH Spectrum, 2000)

In 1998, we took our cue from the beautification projects beginning to crop up all around Sydney in preparation for the Olympic Games, and out popped a play called Filth. Devised up by Gavin Vance with Andy Turnbull and Julian Louis, it chronicled the lives of a very odd couple who become cemented in to their inner city apartment by one of the aforementioned projects. A nod to the Young Ones style of rough and ready comedy, Filth had something to say about the soul of our city being sold. Audiences loved it. One reviewer called it ‘very raw, very fringe, and very funny.’

It was around this time that absurd comic trio The Dulcie Twins brought their eerie stillness and perfect comic timing to the Adelaide Fringe Festival for the first time in a show called – strangely enough – Introducing The Dulcie Twins.


‘The best thing to come out of Sydney in a very long time.’
(OTS, 1998)

Billed as ‘the ultimate road movie live’ and reviewed as ‘the best play of 1997’ on debut in Sydney, Without a Hitch is based on a real life hitch hiking journey from Geelong to the red centre and beyond. Also a poignant story of love lost, and a search in earnest for Australia’s true heart, the play enjoyed sold out seasons at festivals around the country. Without A Hitch spun off a version for Sydney Secondary Schools, complete with Devising Workshops run for students by the show’s actors. It was here that Red Roar began developing its Drama Workshops for Schools, School Holiday Workshops for Kids, and After School Activities.

Then, for the Sydney Fringe, we introduced another true travellers tale, Wanderlust, written and performed by Kate Smith. It was a stand up comic’s ride around the world leading us to run with the bulls, drink with the Scots, and marvel, wide-eyed, at the Americans! Wanderlust was invited to play at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival in 1998.


‘The Best Play of the 1997!’
(Beat Magazine)

Which brings us back to the beginning …

… In 1995, a collective of students from Charles Sturt University in Bathurst unleashed a highly charged street theatre show protesting the nuclear testing in the South Pacific called Hit the Road Chirac. We performed the show on Sydney Town Hall steps then marched with what felt like millions. When Bob Brown addressed us, we felt we could win. It was inspirational. But the tests went ahead…

This was the genesis, the birth of Red Roar. Only months later, we took up a residency at Cafe AD in Glebe, performing weekly revue style comedy sketches, musical acts and impro riffs to an eclectic audience of students and latte sippers. It was a ‘sing-for-your-supper’ type of arrangement with an open mic section, and here, over time, as we wrote and read, we latched on to more ideas to develop…

So … with almost twenty years experience writing producing and directing original work for both large and small-scale projects, Red Roar can offer assistance at any stage of a project, from conception and development through to final draft.


CALL US NOW ON 0467 375 368

or email Gavin Vance: director@redroar.com.au

Red Roar Creative Registration Form


“The Five-Day Play was the best fun Liesl has had in the school holidays for a long time! She thoroughly enjoyed it and loved the build up to performance on the final day (which the parents enjoyed as much as the kids). It really was wonderful to see them in action.” Liesl’s Mum - Lynda Jupp, October 2013

'The larger Kids Theatre providers don't produce programs as fun as these, or performances as good as these! Red Roar is is REAL value for money!' Maddie's Mum, Kerrie Cant, February 2014

"Thank you again for giving the kids the space to play, learn and grow. We can't wait for the next one!" Georgia Bartley, April 2014

“… The passion they have for what they do, and their attention to detail, make them a fabulous asset to any school.” Abbey Proud – Principal, Newtown Public School

“ … perfectly pitched and presented … The students were being inspired… These programs gave them maximum enjoyment, more confidence, and a fuller sense of belonging.” Anna Carmody – The Song Room