Behind The Scenes

Creator's Statement

Director Nick Verso was inspired to create Crazy Fun Park after losing several friends as a teenager.

‘I never really spoke about it. There was no language for a teenage boy to process grief and what happens when you watch somebody’s life get ripped away from them. I wanted to create a show that dealt with grief and loss as well as the wonderful emotional chaos of adolescence. I didn’t want it to be a straight drama. I wanted it to be a fun, explosive celebration of life and spirit and how that energy can live on in our memories. We wanted to reflect strong emotions authentically, and perhaps even offer our audience tools to explore and process difficult feelings themselves.’

- Writer / Director Nicholas Verso

Creating an Abandoned Theme Park

Finding an abandoned amusement park to film safely in was not an option. Instead, the show’s production team built a full-sized fun park in a warehouse in Melbourne’s western suburbs.

Producer Joanna Werner said, ‘We literally built our own fun park in a big shed in Altona!’

‘The added challenge,’ she continued, ‘was that the park set had to be able to appear as a functioning brand-new fun park, a dilapidated run-down ruin, and the haunted larger than life neon lighted park which comes to life each night.’

Director, Nicholas Verso, has a passion for old amusement parks. ‘Exploring abandoned theme parks is one of my favourite things to do. Whenever I’m in a new country, I always try to seek them out as they have such a bittersweet beauty — these once idyllic colourful joyful places fading and being consumed by nature. I wanted the park to really capture that but also be a really vibrant, luminous place for the audience to inhabit and escape to.’

The show’s Production Designer, Paddy Reardon, worked for months and thought of every little detail to make the park feel as real. And everything in it worked!

In the end, the park meant more to Verso than just a set. ‘[It] became a vessel to hold all these disparate kids and a way to honour friends of mine who are no longer with us and give them a home where they can live forever.’

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