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Stories of land and love

Junior review: Spare Parts Puppet Theatre, The Farmer’s Daughter ·
Spare Parts Puppet Theatre, 4 July ·
Review by Isabel Greentree, age 8 ·

The show was called The Farmer’s Daughter, by Spare Parts Puppet Theatre. It was about a strong relationship between a girl (Daisy Coyle) and her grandfather (Humphrey Bower). It was also about the settlers who came and farmed in Australia. The girl wants to be a boy because she wants to help her father (St John Cowcher) on the farm but he won’t let her.

The play opens with an Aboriginal woman (Ruth Battle) who is interested in the settlers so she hides and spies on them. Then the settlers build a farm and destroy the land. Along the way we meet several animals. I liked the kangaroo best because the actor (Battle) had amazing bouncy shoes. She was good at keeping her balance. I also liked the sheep because it kept stealing the sacks of money, and as soon as they got the money back the sheep would get another sack.

The grandfather tells the girl a story about the fox and the trees, and the fox wants everything the trees have. When the trees refuse, the fox’s hair falls out in fury and then the fox chops all the trees into wood chips. The girl decides to make a better ending, and the fox eventually becomes a man because his tail drooped and came off.  Also, as the girl wishes for rain, a big lightning bolt strikes the dry paddocks and causes a bushfire, and eventually the farmers beat the fire and it begins to rain.

The set had special lighting so the actors could draw in the dirt and project the pictures on the blind. When the family was hunting the kangaroo, the mother (Rebecca Bradley) used her torch to make the background scenery. The music was exciting and helped you understand what was happening. I liked the music in the storm because it felt like something bad was going to happen just before the lightning strike.

My favourite part of the play was the relationship between the girl and her grandfather and how he told her lots of tales and myths.

This play may not be suitable for kids under five because they might get scared by the gun shot sound effects and the loud music. Kids from about eight will really enjoy this play. I think it was fabulous.

The Farmer’s Daughter plays Spare Parts Puppet Theatre until July 20.

Read the “senior review” by Nina Levy here.

Pictured top is Ruth Battle in ‘The Farmer’s Daughter’.




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