FUN TIMES: The Wiggles (from left) Emma Watkins, Lachlan Gillespie, Simon Pryce and Anthony Field with Dorothy the Dinosaur.
FUN TIMES: The Wiggles (from left) Emma Watkins, Lachlan Gillespie, Simon Pryce and Anthony Field with Dorothy the Dinosaur. Neil Hamilton-Ritchie

Get ready to wiggle, Gladstone

WIGGLE Simon Pryce started off as a back-up vocalist before he became Ringo the Ringmaster.

Today, he is adored by children all over the world as the Red Wiggle.

The Wiggles are returning on tour around Australia, and on July 4 they will bring their Rock and Roll Preschool Tour to Gladstone Entertainment Convention Centre.

The two shows in Gladstone sold out quickly, with the GECC deciding to put on a third.

Pryce said it always gave the group a boost to know the shows were still so popular 24 years on.

"It's a big day; I think a lot of the time children are absolutely exhausted at the end of the day and the parents feel the same way," he said.

"It's pretty amazing we can go to Australia and America and sell out all the shows."

Pryce has been in the Wiggles for three years.

He said it was the best job in the world.

"I think the parents get more into it than children," he laughed.

"When you are on stage watching the audience, you see parents watching the show in the eyes of children.

"We are in people's lounge rooms everyday and in their cars. We are part of the family for a time in their (children's) life."

Being a Wiggle was also rewarding, he said.

"The most rewarding part is meeting those families with special needs children and putting a smile on their face from time to time," he said.

"They are so energised and it's infectious. You want to make sure you give the best performance you can."

When asked about the repetitive nature of the songs, Pryce said he got plenty of mixed feedback from mums and dads.

"Repetition is what drives parents mad," he laughed. "Kids can watch the same thing over again and not get tired. A lady stopped me in street other day to talk to me about the Pappadum song.

"She went on a road trip for two months and all her children wanted to hear was Pappadum. She said it was excruciating and they listened to it hundreds of times."

Pryce's interests originally lay in musical theatre. He had never tried children's entertainment before the Wiggles.

"I went to drama school, I did television, musical theatre and opera," he said.

"I did sport science at uni and then I didn't know what to do.

"I have always been a person who wants to try different things and different roles so I auditioned."

The chaotic nature of a Wiggles show deserves some down time. Pryce likes to wind down with alternative music.

"I listen to classical music," he said.

"I listen to anything, even Nova on the way to the gig.

"I love going to the gym and going for a run. We spend a lot of time on the road and in cars so it's good to go for a walk and get that sense of where you are."

Pryce said Gladstone families would be in for a great time at the show.

"It's going to be lots and lots of fun," he said.



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