Photos - Michael Barlow
What a great way to spend a morning or afternoon with the little ones in your family. With 2 performances of The Night Zoo, by Spare Parts Puppet Theatre on most days, this 50 minute play is just right to entertain kids up to the age of about 10.
The story follows Jamie, a little girl who looking out from her apartment window in the city, imagines the kind of adventure she’d like to have. One night, she dreams of a trip to the zoo and magical encounters with the giraffe, meerkats, elephant, orang-utan and thorny devils that live there.
The two puppeteers (Katya Shevtsov and Jacob Lehrer) executed the production by expertly animating and voicing all of the puppets which were either marionettes or others which were operated with full body costumes. Shevtsov and Lehrer also played human characters themselves, opening the show as bustling commuters on “shoe skates” to represent the lively setting of the city. This was then cleverly contrasted with the peaceful setting of the park and the tranquility of the zoo.
The theatre in Fremantle is intimate which is just perfect for giving the audience a sense of inclusion. A couple of kids in the front row even pulled their legs up on their chairs and giggled with nervousness after being hissed at by the thorny devils.
The lighting, set and costuming was such that the puppets become the focus and the audience was able to suspend their disbelief and buy into the fantasy of the zoo.
The Night Zoo is a fast paced show and included a lot of music, which is ideal for keeping the youngsters engaged for the duration.
Spare Parts Puppet Theatre presents
The Night Zoo
Venue: Spare Parts Puppet Theatre | 1 Short Street | Fremantle, WA
Dates: 8 Dec 2010 – 25 Jan 2011
Tickets: Adults at children’s prices $19 | Groups 4+ $17 | Groups 10+ $15
Bookings: (08) 9335 5044 | www.sppt.asn.au