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Red Wiggle Simon Pryce says Christmas is about giving, not about gifts

Advent event: Red Wiggle Simon Pryce has written and narrated Roger Robot for the Lights of Christmas. Photo: Giovanni Portelli

THE Christmas sound and light show at St Stephen’s Cathedral will feature an animated children’s story by an expert in all that delights the young, and the young-at-heart.

Roger Robot has been written and narrated by none other than the Red Wiggle, Simon Pryce, especially for The Lights of Christmas.

“Roger Robot was just a little character that I thought children would respond to,” Mr Pryce told Sydney’s Catholic Weekly newspaper.

“Through my years working with The Wiggles, you get a sense of the type of things that appeal to children … But it’s also just that idea of a loved toy who has a life and mind of his own, a young boy’s best friend.

“It’s also tying together the sort of values of St Vincent’s Hospital and the values of Christmas, those kinds of things we hold so dear, and putting into place around a children’s story.”

Mr Pryce’s short story draws on the Christmas theme of “Giving”.

“The end of the story says it’s better to give than receive,” he said. “And that sums it all up – that we live each day as a day of giving.”

Mr Pryce, who has had an extensive career in theatre and played the Red Wiggle with the famous group since 2013, said he enjoyed the process of creating an animated story.

“Putting all the components together, with the music, animation and the artwork, it’s been a real thrill for me, something I didn’t expect to do,” he said.

“That’s the beauty of life sometimes, a whole new experience you never thought you would have.

“When I saw the first piece of artwork I couldn’t believe it.

“I’m really excited to see the finished product.

“I think it will be quite emotional too, seeing it come to life.”

A normal Christmas day for Sydney-based Pryce includes a visit to a children’s hospital along with the other Wiggles, and going from ward to ward singing for the kids and their families.

“That’s what Christmas means to me,” he said.

“It’s about giving but not about gifts.

“It’s about love, compassion and kindness.

“It’s those kinds of values we should live every day of the year, not just at Christmas.”

Mr Pryce said the beauty of performing for children was that they had “no inhibitions”.

“They’re very honest and that’s the way I try to perform to children, and try to write for children,” he said.

“When you’re on stage looking out into an audience, you see all the different personalities children have.

“One’s shy, one’s running around … if you’re not engaging with a child you’ll know pretty quickly because they’ll just turn away. So I love that honesty of children.”

Mr Pryce said he was excited to see Roger Robot come to life as part of The Lights of Christmas show.

“Christmas is one of my favourite times of year as I love the chance to see the delight that giving and receiving creates, especially to little ones,” he said.

The entire show runs for 12 minutes.

It will be split into three segments, starting with a kaleidoscope of colour moving across the exterior of St Stephen’s Cathedral, inspired by the beauty and craftsmanship of the building’s stained-glass windows and terrazzo mosaics.

Roger Robot will feature in the second segment of the show.

The Lights of Christmas is created by AGB events and presented by Charter Hall with support from the Australian Catholic University, Catholic Super, Catholic Church Insurance, St Vincent’s Care Services and the Queensland Government.

It will run each night from 7.30pm to midnight beginning on December 12 until Christmas Eve.

– Catherine Sheehan of The Catholic Weekly

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