Published: 14/09/2018 11:02 - Updated: 14/09/2018 11:31

Funbox back at Eden Court with dino-rmous new show

Written byKyle Walker

Funbox Dinosaur Safari.
Funbox's music maestro Gary Coupland prepares for a spot of dino dentistry in new show Dinosaur Safari.

When Funbox started out in 2015, to say that it was a bit of a gamble would be an understatement.

Striking out on their own after the end of the Singing Kettle - the popular Scottish children's entertainment group whose three-and-a-half decade legacy included sellout theatre shows and a long-running TV series - there was no guarantee that people would follow performers Gary Coupland, Kevin Macleod and Anya Scott-Rodgers in their new venture.

Yet as Gary - the musician, composer and performer who was one of the Kettle's founding members - answers the phone, he's in the middle of sorting out Funbox's Christmas contracts for next year, with other shows booked up until 2022. "So then I might have arthritis, but never mind," he laughs.

Their return to Eden Court for their annual show - this time, taking the city's kids (big and small alike) on a Dinosaur Safari - is one that Gary is looking forward to.

"As soon as the Singing Kettle finished, when Artie told us he was closing the business, one of the very first places I got in touch with was Eden Court," he explains.

"I've always had a great set with [Eden Court head of live performance] Roz, she's been perfect and they've been great supporters of us. And they just said, 'Of course we'll have you as Funbox,' so it was amazing, you know?"

And getting on stage is just what the group need. With so much of the trio's time being taken up by admin - Gary handling the booking and radio adverts, Anya handling the shop and marketing, and Kevin doing 'basically everything - he's Mr Poster Boy' as Gary chuckles - being able to put on a show is a blessing.

"When we actually get together for three days to write our new show, it's the best thing in the world because we just turn off our phones, it's just like 'Wow!'" Gary says. "Writing's doing something that we're really brilliant at!"

"And even when we do the shows at the weekend, we always meet the people at the end and we get photos done, one of the parents was saying to us, 'What do you actually do on your day off?'

"I said, 'This IS my day off, when I'm performing on the stage!'"

The Funbox gang: Bonzo the dog, Anya Scott-Rodgers, Gary Coupland, and Kevin Macleod.
The Funbox gang: Bonzo the dog, Anya Scott-Rodgers, Gary Coupland, and Kevin Macleod.

With Dinosaur Safari, Gary and the gang are off on a particularly prehistoric adventure with the world's favourite big scaly monsters.

"We've got these dinosaurs," Gary starts, before chuckling. "I mean, they're not as good as David Attenborough's stuff or anything like that! But they're like cartoon dinosaurs that come on, and they're funny - it's perfect.

"And at one point I come on and actually have to rescue a key from Dino-plops so that's quite interesting you know - put your hand in there and there you go!"

Gary's commitment to getting his hands dirty in all aspects of the show - writing, performing, rescuing keys - extends most notably to the music, as the group's composer.

"The first song is, 'Rooooar roooooar roooooar like a dinosaaaaur - rah!'" he said, half in song. "We have to write songs that are immediately impactful on kids so that they can join in immediately."

 "And we ask them if they can roar like a dinosaur - and sometimes we don't need the mic for them to do that! Other times, our sound guy goes deaf!"

Funbox bring Dinosaur Safari to Eden Court on Saturday and Sunday. Shows both days take place at noon and 3pm, and tickets cost £15 (family tickets available). Go to

WHEN Funbox started out in 2015, to say that it was a bit of a gamble would be an understatement.

Striking out on their own after the end of the Singing Kettle - the popular Scottish children's entertainment group whose three-and-a-half decade legacy included sellout theatre shows and a long-running TV series - there was no guarantee that people would follow performers Gary Coupland, Kevin Macleod and Anya Scott-Rodgers in their new venture.

Yet as Gary - the musician, composer and performer who was one of the Kettle's founding members - answers the phone, he's in the middle of sorting out Funbox's Christmas contracts for next year, with other shows booked up until 2022. "So then I might have arthritis, but never mind," he laughs.

Their return to Eden Court for their annual show - this time, taking the city's kids (big and small alike) on a Dinosaur Safari - is one that Gary is looking forward to.

"As soon as the Singing Kettle finished, when Artie told us he was closing the business, one of the very first places I got in touch with was Eden Court," he explains.

"I've always had a great set with [Eden Court head of live performance] Roz, she's been perfect and they've been great supporters of us. And they just said, 'Of course we'll have you as Funbox,' so it was amazing, you know?"

And getting on stage is just what the group need. With so much of the trio's time being taken up by admin - Gary handling the booking and radio adverts, Anya handling the shop and marketing, and Kevin doing 'basically everything - he's Mr Poster Boy' as Gary chuckles - being able to put on a show is a blessing.

"When we actually get together for three days to write our new show, it's the best thing in the world because we just turn off our phones, it's just like 'Wow!'" Gary says. "Writing's doing something that we're really brilliant at!"

"And even when we do the shows at the weekend, we always meet the people at the end and we get photos done, one of the parents was saying to us, 'What do you actually do on your day off?'

"I said, 'This IS my day off, when I'm performing on the stage!'"

With Dinosaur Safari, Gary and the gang are off on a particularly prehistoric adventure with the world's favourite big scaly monsters.

"We've got these dinosaurs," Gary starts, before chuckling. "I mean, they're not as good as David Attenborough's stuff or anything like that! But they're like cartoon dinosaurs that come on, and they're funny - it's perfect.

"And at one point I come on and actually have to rescue a key from Dino-plops so that's quite interesting you know - put your hand in there and there you go!"

Gary's commitment to getting his hands dirty in all aspects of the show - writing, performing, rescuing keys - extends most notably to the music, as the group's composer.

"The first song is, 'Rooooar roooooar roooooar like a dinosaaaaur - rah!'" he said, half in song. "We have to write songs that are immediately impactful on kids so that they can join in immediately."

 "And we ask them if they can roar like a dinosaur - and sometimes we don't need the mic for them to do that! Other times, our sound guy goes deaf!"

n Funbox bring Dinosaur Safari to Eden Court on Saturday and Sunday. Shows both days take place at noon and 3pm, and tickets cost £15 (family tickets available). Go to www.funbox.co.uk

When Funbox started out in 2015, to say that it was a bit of a gamble would be an understatement.

Striking out on their own after the end of the Singing Kettle - the popular Scottish children's entertainment group whose three-and-a-half decade legacy included sellout theatre shows and a long-running TV series - there was no guarantee that people would follow performers Gary Coupland, Kevin Macleod and Anya Scott-Rodgers in their new venture.

Yet as Gary - the musician, composer and performer who was one of the Kettle's founding members - answers the phone, he's in the middle of sorting out Funbox's Christmas contracts for next year, with other shows booked up until 2022. "So then I might have arthritis, but never mind," he laughs.

Their return to Eden Court for their annual show - this time, taking the city's kids (big and small alike) on a Dinosaur Safari - is one that Gary is looking forward to.

"As soon as the Singing Kettle finished, when Artie told us he was closing the business, one of the very first places I got in touch with was Eden Court," he explains.

"I've always had a great set with [Eden Court head of live performance] Roz, she's been perfect and they've been great supporters of us. And they just said, 'Of course we'll have you as Funbox,' so it was amazing, you know?"

And getting on stage is just what the group need. With so much of the trio's time being taken up by admin - Gary handling the booking and radio adverts, Anya handling the shop and marketing, and Kevin doing 'basically everything - he's Mr Poster Boy' as Gary chuckles - being able to put on a show is a blessing.

"When we actually get together for three days to write our new show, it's the best thing in the world because we just turn off our phones, it's just like 'Wow!'" Gary says. "Writing's doing something that we're really brilliant at!"

"And even when we do the shows at the weekend, we always meet the people at the end and we get photos done, one of the parents was saying to us, 'What do you actually do on your day off?'

"I said, 'This IS my day off, when I'm performing on the stage!'"

With Dinosaur Safari, Gary and the gang are off on a particularly prehistoric adventure with the world's favourite big scaly monsters.

"We've got these dinosaurs," Gary starts, before chuckling. "I mean, they're not as good as David Attenborough's stuff or anything like that! But they're like cartoon dinosaurs that come on, and they're funny - it's perfect.

"And at one point I come on and actually have to rescue a key from Dino-plops so that's quite interesting you know - put your hand in there and there you go!"

Gary's commitment to getting his hands dirty in all aspects of the show - writing, performing, rescuing keys - extends most notably to the music, as the group's composer.

"The first song is, 'Rooooar roooooar roooooar like a dinosaaaaur - rah!'" he said, half in song. "We have to write songs that are immediately impactful on kids so that they can join in immediately."

 "And we ask them if they can roar like a dinosaur - and sometimes we don't need the mic for them to do that! Other times, our sound guy goes deaf!"

n Funbox bring Dinosaur Safari to Eden Court on Saturday and Sunday. Shows both days take place at noon and 3pm, and tickets cost £15 (family tickets available). Go to www.funbox.co.uk

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