SeeSaw_M4_970x90.jpg
Kids/Reviews/Theatre

Captivating creatures

10 July 2019

Junior review: Spare Parts Puppet Theatre, Fox ⋅
Spare Parts Puppet Theatre, Fremantle, July 6 ⋅
Review by Bethany Stopher (age 12) ⋅

Based on the book by Margaret Wild, Fox is a beautiful show that incorporates puppetry into dancing with ease.

As the lights dimmed we could see the shadow of two trees being held up by performers. The lights flashed to represent lightning and suddenly we could spot orange silk unfurling from the sides of the stage. The magpie (played by Gala Shevtsov) flew around the stage, twittering loudly, until the fire snatched away one of her wings.

Right from the start Fox was captivating. The performers were very convincing, acting exactly like the creature they were portraying. Magpie was very quick on her feet, emitting high-pitched wails that sounded very similar to the actual bird. Dog (played by Scott Galbraith) was very boisterous, making the little kids laugh with his antics and scratching. Fox (played by Rachel Arianne Ogle) was a very sinister character with a vicious snarl and twisting body.

Whilst simple, the scenery was also very effective. At the back of the stage there was a sheet used to project things on. Most of the time it was just a plain colour or pattern but sometimes they were illustrations from the book, which I found a nice link to the source material. The sheet was moved from backstage in certain scenes, which made a rippling effect or the ripples of water dropping on a pond.

The lights (controlled by Graham Walne) and music also had a big impact on the emotions of the story; when the characters were happy, the lighting was warm and the music upbeat. When the story turned unpleasant the colours were stark and the music intense.

“Puppetry involves giving life to things that don’t have life in themselves,” director Michael Barlow stated at the Q&A session after the show. It was interesting how many of the children had questions for the cast, which shows how involved they were in the experience.

One thing that I particularly liked was that use of the narration from the book as a voiceover. If anything got too scary for younger children it reminded them of the fact that it was a story and nothing terrible was actually happening. Although the show stuck to the storyline of the picture book, the depth of the emotions and meaning were thoroughly explored. This made it a very enjoyable experience.

The puppets, made by Leon Hendroff, are truly works of art. They added so much to the performance as the actors became them and gave them a personality. I especially admired the fox puppet, a fox head perched on the hand while vibrant silk draped over her arms along a piece of wire. This gave a very life-like effect.

Overall, I was very impressed with the show. It is an emotional, inspiring story that cleverly incorporates dance. The actors were brilliant, the puppets amazing.  What more could you want? Definitely a must see for the holidays.

Fox continues until July 20.

Pictured top: Dog (Scott Galbraith) and Magpie (Gala Shevtsov) are playful friends. Photo:Simon Pynt.

Like what you're reading? Support Seesaw.

Author —
Junior Reviewer

At Seesaw we believe that shows designed for children should be reviewed by children. Our junior reviewers write an honest response, in their own words. Their contributions are a vital part of the arts playground.

Past Articles

  • Potter wizardry casts chaotic spell

    Potted Potter is a completely silly attempt to condense the Harry Potter series into a 70-minute show, and junior reviewer Bethany Stopher is totally on board the Hogwarts Express for the hilarious ride.

  • Puppeteers breathe new life into century-old rabbit

    Spare Parts Puppet Theatre is celebrating the centenary of The Velveteen Rabbit with a cleverly staged adaptation of the much-loved story, writes our junior reviewer Bethany Stopher.

Read Next

  • Photo by Jarrad Seng
www.jarradseng.com Kids' Gig Guide. A man in yellow sunglasses and a white shirt smiles as he holds up a small dog made from folded cardboard. What to SEE: Winter holidays kids’ gig guide 
    Kids

    What to SEE: Winter holidays kids’ gig guide 

    22 June 2022

    There’s no excuse for boredom in the July school holidays with a wealth of entertainment and activities around town for the young ones in your life. Check out the winter edition of our kids’ gig guide.

    Reading time • 7 minutesMulti-arts
  • Jesse Chester-Browne and Amy Yarham in a scene from Freeze Frame Opera's 'Hansel and Gretel'. Two actors dressed in khaki and green scout/guides uniforms look at a gumball machine. The glass bowl of the machine is filled with bright glowing strands of light and it is topped with a miniature gingerbread house Classic fairytale gets a modern twist
    Kids

    Classic fairytale gets a modern twist

    9 May 2022

    Freeze Frame brings opera to a new generation with a light-hearted performance of an old favourite Hansel and Gretel, writes young writer Bethany Stopher

    Reading time • 5 minutesOpera
  • Two men in blue t-shirts and jeans. One is wearing big round glasses and the other has a tall cone hat which is blue with gold stars Potter wizardry casts  chaotic spell
    Kids

    Potter wizardry casts chaotic spell

    21 April 2022

    Potted Potter is a completely silly attempt to condense the Harry Potter series into a 70-minute show, and junior reviewer Bethany Stopher is totally on board the Hogwarts Express for the hilarious ride.

    Reading time • 4 minutesTheatre

Cleaver Street Studio

Cleaver Street Studio

Cleaver Street Studio