With clever staging, mesmerising movement and rich storytelling, Spare Parts’ production of Blueback captivates junior reviewers Jackson and Chloe Davis.
Blueback, Spare Parts Puppet Theatre
Ellie Eaton Theatre, 28 June 2023
Reviewed by Jackson (13) and Chloe (8) Davis
Adapted by Peta Murray from the book by Tim Winton, Blueback is expertly crafted and extremely creative.
The show explores deep themes such as death, looking after the land around you, hunting and overfishing, as well as moving homes and schools. The show manages to explore these themes while being accessible and suitable for everyone from young kids to adults.
The puppeteers in the show masterfully manipulate the characters’ different motions. Notably, the movement underwater looks especially fluid and realistic for both the humans and the fish, creating a very immersive play.
The staging is very clever with its ideas and portrayal of the many different scenes using only a few pieces of set, which are still able to show the core locations and storyline of the book it is based upon.
The audio is astounding, and the narrator has a deep, captivating voice. The puppets and the audio are perfectly in sync with very precise timing from the puppeteers making the audio very enthralling and easy to listen to.
There is no time when we wanted to look away from the play. Blueback is almost mesmerising with a mix of the surprising, booming sound design and the fluid, hypnotic motions of the characters.
When you arrive at the theatre, there is a section in which kids are invited to show off their artistic skills and create their own fish for fun and then hang it up on the wall of fishing nets. The show has comfortable seating and a row of mats at the front with blankets for children in case they want to lie down and relax.
Overall, we would definitely recommend Blueback to our friends, and anyone aged four and above. It is a very immersive and interesting experience.
Pictured top: Spare Parts Puppet Theatre explores some deep themes in this adaptation of Tim Winton’s ‘Blueback’. Photo: Simon Pynt
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