NOTHING delights Spare Parts Puppet Theatre whiz Michael Barlow more than seeing the delight on children’s faces months after seeing a show.
“It’s quite common to hear kids talking about something they have seen for months afterwards,” he told Community.
“It’s a shared family experience and parents often tell us they have enjoyed the show as much as the kids have, which is a really lovely endorsement to hear.”
“In that sense, I feel we’re offering something really different and unique for Perth families.”
The acclaimed Fremantle-based company has been delighting Perth families for three decades (2012 is its 30th anniversary) and Barlow is now counting down to the world premiere of Miss Lily’s Fabulous Feather Boa, which features Bassendean puppet performer Jacob Lehrer and will run during the school holidays.
Set in tropical Queensland, it tells of a lonely and timid potoroo arriving at the holiday house run by Miss Lily, a tango dancing crocodile, in an uplifting and amusing story depicting a character’s liberation and transformation.
Barlow adapted the story from a book he found some years ago that belonged to his nieces, Miss Lily’s Pink Feather Boa.
The title was tweaked to broaden the stage production’s appeal to boys as well as girls.
While the target demographic is ages four to 12, Barlow opted against branding the show as one for “kiddies”, insisting Spare Parts strived to create theatre that was accessible to young children but also intelligent and sophisticated enough for adults to enjoy.
“We’re not dumbing down our theatre as we know a lot of adults come along with their children,” he said.
“There are aspects that kids get and adults don’t, but with the way that it unfolds on the stage, this would be stimulating for adults as well.”