When the owners of The Singing Kettle decided to shut up shop, stars Anya, Kevin and Gary, were having too much fun to let it end there.
The trio return to Motherwell Concert Hall on Sunday, September 27, as Funbox makes it’s debut in the town with a new show ‘Pirates and Princesses’.
Anya Scott-Rodgers said: “We were devastated when we were told it was ending, but when it became clear that the company was not for sale, we decided to start our own show and carry on together.
“Funbox is the result. We have a very loyal fan base, so we will carry on the great tradition of a family singalong show with lots and lots of audience participation”.
It was that determination that made them set up from scratch a whole new company.
Kevin McLeod said: “It’s been a lot of hard work and a very steep learning curve; we are basically doing everything ourselves at the moment.
“But it’s so worth it, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. We love doing what we do too much.”
The gang didn’t hang around either, their first Funbox show was just two weeks after the final Singing Kettle performance.
Kevin added: “There was a momentum we had to maintain.
“It felt a bit like we were jumping on a moving train, but we wanted people to be reassured there was still a quality product out there for their children to get involved with.”
Anya, Kevin and Gary aren’t the only familiar faces in Funbox.
Gary Coupland said: “Our furry pal Bonzo the dog is with us too.
“He’s as naughty as ever, but he does behave for his best friend; Anya. He can’t wait to return to Motherwell. You’ll get to hear his new theme song as well”.
The gang will also be joined by some new characters for Funbox; look out for Fluffy and Flossie Funster.
Funbox have had a very busy schedule for 2015 with a second tour: “Fancy Dress Fun” on the road, and work on their Christmas tour “Santa’s Sleepover Show” well underway.
They even appeared at Tiree and Belladrum Music Festivals.
Gary said: “The response has been amazing. People have been so enthusiastic about the show.”
The gang have to find special keys that will open the amazing Funbox. Everything you need to sing a song or have an adventure is inside it. Gary added: “ We were very keen that kids could have their own Funbox adventures at home.
“Any toybox has the potential to become a Funbox.”
Audience participation is still the name of the game, and everyone’s invited to come in fancy dress and/or wear a silly hat.
Gary said: “It’s always been a big part of the experience of coming to our shows and it continues. And mums, dads, grannies and grandpas are encouraged to join in too.”
To get the show on the road Funbox also mounted a very successful Crowdfunding campaign.
Anya said: “We hoped to raise £20,000 towards the cost of the DVD, and made half in the first day, smashing the total in three weeks.
“It’s given us the chance to get the show up and running, but was also a huge morale boost for us.
“We knew we were on the right track. Our ‘Funboxers’ have had a real input in making Funbox happen. There were lovely stories of kids raiding their piggy banks to help us out. It was so touching.
“To all our fans; thank you”
There will be two performances of Funbox’s ‘Pirates and Princesses’ on September 27 at 1pm and 3.30pm.
Tickets costing £12.50 (family of four £46) are available by calling 01698 403120 or visiting Culture NL