On Our Beach

On Our Beach
By Peta Murray. Spare Parts Puppet Theatre, Short St, Fremantle WA.. Directed by Phillip Mitchell. Sep 28 - Oct 12, 2019.

On Our Beach, a World Premiere production by Spare Parts Puppet Theatre, is a delightful romp that is part traditional puppetry, part promenade theatre, with a huge amount of audience participation and a whole lot of surprises.

The Opening Night audience, which had a few more grown-ups than will be expected at most performances, showed that it really is a show that will be appreciated by parents as much as their children, which makes this a particularly attractive holiday option for families.

Three very personable performers, dressed as life guards, guide us through the experience. Rebecca Bradley leads the way, a head life guard who is very funny and anchors the show nicely. Shona Mae adds a great deal of charm, and while all three sing very well, Tani Walker’s beautiful solo singing is a lovely gentle touch during this adventure packed show.

There are a few lovely puppets in this show, designed by Cecile Williams, but the favourite is definitely loveable dog FOMO, who adds some lovely comic moments. The lighting design by Chris Donnelly is outstanding, with the lighting in this very intimate production almost a character in its own right, while Stage Manager Jackson Harrison also makes cameo appearances while managing the show, and an audience that become performers.

To say too much about this feel-good show would spoil the surprise element which is part of its essence and much of the fun.

Be prepared to kick off your shoes, get involved, and make new friends on this holiday adventure that is ideal for primary school kids and their favourite adults.

Kimberley Shaw

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