The fresh faces of popular kids entertainment group Hi-5 have been announced.
Bailey, Courtney, Joe, Shay and Lachie are set to become household names as they prepare to wow young audiences on stage and screen. The five new cast members were chosen from more than 450 hopefuls after proving their “triple threat” talent – singing, dancing and acting – during a rigorous nationwide audition process.
“We were blown away with the enormous interest from performers across Australia wanting to be part of Hi-5,” Julie Greene, Executive Creative Director and Executive Producer for Hi-5, said.
“The judging process was extremely tough with so much talent on show, but we know our audiences will fall in love with the new members, just like we have.”
Hi-5 will have their first official public appearance at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl on Christmas Eve when they perform at Vision Australia’s Carols by Candlelight before heading into production for their new TV series that will screen on Go! Kids in 2017.
“We’re elated to have Hi-5 return to the Nine family. A new generation of Australian kids and parents will be able to discover this cherished children’s group reimagined for a modern world,” Hamish Turner, Nine Network Program Director, said.
“This is the first announcement in what will be a number of exciting new chapters for Hi-5, which will be a flagship children’s program on Nine. We look forward to supporting them both on Go! Kids and with touring, licensing and merchandising as they hit the road in 2017,” Alison Hurbert-Burns, Nine’s Head of Commercial Development, said.
For the first time since Hi-5’s inception 18 years ago, the producers invited performers around Australia to audition for all five spots in the elite children’s entertainment group and received an overwhelming response, staging over 200 auditions in four days.
Hi-5 was launched in Australia in 1998 with five performers entertaining children aged two to eight with music, movement, problem solving and play. Eighteen years later the children’s musical group is well known around the world, with an estimated audience of more than 10 million children globally enjoying Hi-5’s tours, music, and TV shows.
Meet the Cast
Lachie (19), a sports fanatic, who thrilled Hi-5 live audiences when he began touring earlier this year, elected to re-audition for a role. He said: “I’m relieved and excited to be starting with a cast that are all new, similar ages and excited by the opportunity. Being in Hi-5 is such a humbling and rewarding experience.”
Former Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) graduate and X Factor Australia contestant Bailey (19), from Perth, says making the cast was a lifelong ambition. “Wow! I cried when I found out. I’ve been so emotionally invested in Hi-5 and have dreamt of being in the show since I was a little girl.
Joe (24), based on the NSW Central Coast, is a regular performer, doing live gigs and touring, including with the late Jon English in The Rock Show, nationally and in Sweden. “I was on my way to a gig when my agent gave me the good news and decided to drive home and tell my parents face-to face. There were tears all around,” he said.
Courtney (18), from the Blue Mountains in NSW, has just undertaken a gap year volunteering in Cambodia where she worked on community projects including building a primary school.
Shay (18), also from the Blue Mountains, has just completed the HSC. She discovered her love of musical theatre at 13 and has been performing ever since. “When I received the call that I had made the cast I cried and mum and I headed out to celebrate,” she said
In 2017, Hi-5 will perform to sellout crowds across Singapore, Asia and throughout Australia, as well as featuring in their new variety show for the Nine Network on Go! Kids, which goes into production in January.