Nick Jr. is bringing high energy adventure, singing and dancing to weekday mornings! Australia's favourite five- some preschool group, Hi-5 return to Aussie screens for season fourteen in Hi-5 House. Premiering Monday November 4th at 9.30am, the 25X30min format series will continue to air weekdays at 9.30am on Nick Jr. available only on Foxtel.
Hi-5 House will provide a stimulating variety of visual, aural and kinaesthetic experiences that cater to children's individual learning styles in a bright and energetic environment, the new Hi-5 House! Here, favourite Hi-5-er's Stevie Nicholson and Lauren Brant as well as three new cast members, Mary Lascaris, Ainsley Melham and Dayen Zheng will invite audiences to play along and learn through curricular activities based on music, movement and laughter.
'We're really excited to be the first territory to premiere Hi-5 House and bring this much loved group to a generation of new fans. The show is a perfect fit for our channel and brings to life our -play along and learn' philosophy" said Hugh Baldwin, Director of Television and Digital Content, Nickelodeon Australia.
"Hi-5's fresh format has a few new surprises. I'm confident that our fans will find tuning into the show the best play date ever. The new cast line up and exciting new look are sure to delight" said Julie Green, Executive Producer, Hi-5 House.
'It's an honour to be a member of Hi-5. If I have learnt one thing during my time with the group it's that children, no matter where in the world they are from, just want to have fun. I'm very proud of the work that we do" said Stevie Nicholson.
'I'm so grateful for this opportunity. I'm doing what I love and I can't wait to see all the little smiling faces and look forward to bringing a whole lot of fun to the Hi-5 family!" added Mary Lascaris.
In each episode, the all Aussie cast will explore five key educational concepts; visual and spatial awareness, linguistic and aural skills, logical thinking and mathematics, musicality, as well as physical and motor development. Old friends Jup Jup and Chatterbox will make regular appearances and new friends will be introduced, including a robot named Tinka. In a brand new segment 'The Chatterbox" fans will meet bookworms Aristotle and Horace as they, along with Chatterbox (or Chats as she's affectionately known) explore English words and phrases in hilarious adventures. In episode one Explore My Space pre-schoolers will explore the new Hi-5 house with the group and will be invited to help them unpack!
Question: What should audiences expect from Hi-5 House?
Ainsley Melham: Hi-5 house is a brand new series for the Hi-5 gang. They now have a house to live in and explore using music, puzzles, shapes, wordplay and body moves. Kids can expect to see some great new skills, themes and ideas as well as meeting some new friends of the Hi-5 gang.
Question: Where was Hi-5 House filmed?
Ainsley Melham: Hi-5 House was filmed at Infinite Studios in Singapore, a new facility of which we were able to create a new look for Hi-5.
Question: What did you enjoy most about this experience?
Ainsley Melham: Most enjoyable was the ability to actually step into another world each day and play in the Hi-5 house while filming. It felt like alternate reality.
Question: Can you talk us through how you recently joined Hi-5?
Ainsley Melham: Auditions started via video, from which the top 50 candidates were chosen. Then we worked through a weeks intensive audition of singing, dancing, script work and improvisation, where numbers were cut until the final 10 were decided. From here we performed as a part of hi-5, in costume and inside a theatre, from this performance the new members were chosen.
Question: What have you done in your past to be prepared for your role in Hi-5?
Ainsley Melham: I have been performing all my life, starting as a tap dancer from the age of 3. Since 2010 I have been studying Music Theatre at the Western Australian Academy of Performing arts WAAPA. Performing has always been in my blood, so has working with children. As a performer I feel like you get to tap into that inner child, which is exactly what you need to have access to when communicating with kids.
Question: What have you learnt from Stevie Nicholson and Lauren Brant?
Ainsley Melham: The lessons I have learnt from Stevie and Lauren are too many to number. Since I have been apart of the group I have learnt more about myself as an artist, a human being and a friend. You really have to be willing to be very vulnerable when working with children and that is something that Stevie and Lauren have encouraged. The more vulnerable you are the more open to new experiences and lessons you become. Similarly their tips and tricks for performing are endless and invaluable.
Question: Can you talk us through the play along and learn philosophy?
Ainsley Melham: The Play and Learn philosophy of Hi-5 is very simple and sounds exactly like what it is. Children learn ten-fold when they are engaged and having fun, they absorb lessons without knowing, lessons that seem to us to be so fundamental, but nonetheless lessons that they have not yet been exposed to. We adopt the philosophy that if we can get children engaged by playing games, dancing to music, singing songs and having fun while doing it then they are in a open state of mind to learn.
Question: Can you tell us about the new robot named Tinka?
Ainsley Melham: Tinka is one of Chats' new toy friends from her Chatterbox (Toybox). She is a singing dancing robot, but she has a little trouble communicating because she can only speak robot. Her relationship with chats is fun loving, like two best friends when they play, and they manage to work through the language barrier and have fun.
Question: Could you talk us through which was your favourite episode of Hi-5 House to film?
Ainsley Melham: My favourite episode of Hi-5 to film was the superhero episode. Everyone has a dream of being a superhero or having magic powers, so putting on a cape and pretending to be super strong and super speedy, flying around and being super was the best fun.
Question: What do you enjoy most about being a member of Hi-5?
Ainsley Melham: The thing i enjoy the most about being a member of Hi-5 is being able to perform live for the kids. When you are up on stage and you look down and there are hundreds of smiling, dancing, singing faces looking back at you, you are filled with the most intense gratitude and joy. It's truly an inspiring experience.
Question: Which do you prefer: performing on stage or for television in Hi-5?
Ainsley Melham: That is always a hard question because both are such different and brilliant experiences in their own right. However, I do love performing on stage, nothing beats going out and doing what you love, singing and dancing live for your fans to see and enjoy.
Interview by Brooke Hunter