Funambulist Fun Workshop FAQs

Who are the presenters?

The presenters are Hilary Bell and Matthew Martin the author and illustrator respectively of the children’s book The Marvellous Funambulist of Middle Harbour. They have both had experience in delivering workshops for children. Hilary Bell and Matthew Martin have been friends since 2000 when their infant sons introduced them to each other. Hilary is an award-winning playwright and librettist. As well as The Marvellous Funambulist, she is the author of Numerical Street and Alphabetical Sydney. Matthew Martin is a cartoonist and illustrator whose drawings have been published in books, magazines and newspapers around the world.

Where is the workshop held?

The workshop is held at the Museum of Sydney.

Why is the Museum of Sydney running this workshop?

This workshop is a public program for children, which is connected to the Demolished Sydney exhibition currently showing at the museum.

What will happen in the workshop?

The presenters will set the scene about Sydney’s constantly changing landscape with reference to the site of first Government House at Museum of Sydney.  There will be a whirlwind tour of the Demolished Sydney exhibition and other parts of the museum for more inspiration.

In the workshop Hilary and Matthew will show their book The Marvellous Funambulist of Middle Harbour, tell stories around the idea of place and how this can change radically over time such as Town Hall and the cemetery that was there beforehand as well as other Sydney tales that kids will love such as the Kymeeagh poo farm! Hilary will read verses and Matthew will do live-action cartooning.

Then it’s time to draw using templates that will allow the children to create their own reinventions of landmark structures such as Centrepoint Tower and the Opera House. The children will be given free rein to draw their own fantastical futuristic buildings that will together create a beautiful and weird city skyline.

My child is 6 years old - can they attend the workshop?

This workshop is aimed at children aged 7 years and older. If a 6-year-old has other brothers or sisters attending the workshop then they are welcome to attend.

Where do I drop off and pick up my child?

A Museum of Sydney staff member will meet your child inside the entry of the museum. You may leave once your child has been ticked off, but it is recommended that you stay for the introduction. To collect your child you will be directed to the workshop room.

Can my child leave the workshop by themselves?

No. Your child must be collected by an adult.

Is my child supervised?

Yes, your child is supervised at all times by the presenters Hilary and Matthew.

Can I stay with my child in the workshop?

Unfortunately due to the size of the workshop room we cannot allow parents to stay and watch. There will be an opportunity to view their work at the end of the session.

I want to visit the Museum while my child is in the workshop, do I need a ticket?

Yes, you will be required to purchase a general museum entry ticket. You and your child are welcome to stay as long as you like.

Can I purchase the book in the Museum of Sydney shop?

Yes, The Marvellous Funambulist of Middle Harbour is available for purchase in the museum shop. It is also available in most large book stores.

Are Hilary and Matthew able to sign the book?

Yes, they are more than happy to sign your child’s book.