Windmill Theatre Company play Beep is being adapted into a mixed-media series for ABC Kids, with production underway in Adelaide.
Produced by Windmill Pictures, Beep and Mort tells the story of two best friends from different worlds, solving their daily dilemmas and unexpected challenges through invention, play and adventure.
The series, aimed at pre-schoolers, is designed by Jonathon Oxlade and directed by Rosemary Myers, both of whom worked on the 2016 film Girl Asleep and several Windmill live shows, including the recent stage adaptation of Bluey.
The writing team consists of Charlotte Rose Hamlyn, Simon Butters, Amy Stewart, Hunter Page-Lochard, Wendy Hanna, and Lorin Clarke.
Myers said the creative development of the series drew on the concept’s theatrical roots while also integrating new technologies.
“The result is a contemporary hybrid form of puppetry that blends hand and rod puppets with post animated object puppets,” she said.
“In a screen landscape dominated by animation, we want to create a textured, built world that children feel they can almost step into and walk around in.”
Beep and Mort will be the first studio program for children made in South Australia for over a decade.
Major production investment was provided by Screen Australia, in association with the ABC, with support from the South Australian Film Corporation. ABC Commercial holds world distribution rights.
ABC head of children’s content Libbie Doherty believed the series would “gently ignite” the minds and “warm the hearts” of the broadcaster’s preschool audience.
“From the minute Windmill pitched the series to us, we immediately fell in love with these two new preschool stars – the unique and incredibly cute Beep and Mort,” she said.
“We are thrilled to be working in Adelaide with Kaye, Rose and the creative team who have created a beautifully warm and wholly original world, including a six-metre-high set.”