Twilight family picnic in botanic gardens

Performers Al Mustapha Al Shahid, left, and Teresa Price are among the artists, actors and poets who will roam Colac Botanic Gardens today.

MUSICIANS, actors and a bush poet from across the district will take over the Colac Botanic Gardens today.

The Friends of the Colac Botanic Gardens’ inaugural Twilight Family Picnic, organised with the Colac Players, will feature an array of artists from 6pm.

Colac Players’ Al Mustapha Al Shahid, who co-ordinated the theatre acts, said the night would feature three singers, two pieces of improvised theatre and a bush poet between three main areas of the iconic gardens.

“It’s a divine location for theatre,” Al Shahid said of the gardens.

“You can be anywhere, any time. It sort of becomes a timeless thing,” he said.

“Alice and the Mad Hatter will be there, and the ugly sisters – they’ll just come up to picnickers and say ‘are you Cinderella? Come and do some cooking for me!”

Al Shahid, or “Mussie”, said he would perform with his guitar at the picnic.

“I do a lot of busking at Apollo Bay and I’ve got a lot of nursery rhymes,” he said.

“Then I break into some more popular songs and just encourage them to keep dancing.”

Forrest’s Teresa Price will perform her original songs tonight for the first time tonight.

“I’ve been playing guitar and singing for about 10 years and I’ve recently started writing my own music in the last year,” Price said.

“I’ve performed at open mics, I’ve done singing with a band but this will be my first time performing my own pieces,” she said.

“I’m feeling pretty good – doing your own songs, it’s a more comfortable place to sing than singing someone else’s music.”

Price said the entertainment was “a good excuse to come out” to the gardens.

People can take a picnic or book a table at the Botanic Café, which is one of the three performing areas.

“I think there will be a few people here, it’s a lovely time, just at that twilight time of the evening,” Price said.

“It’s a beautiful visual, seeing all the families picnicking and enjoying each other’s company and the entertainment,” she said.

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