Dive into the Enchanting World of Blueback


Are you ready for an extraordinary journey into the heart of WA’s mesmerizing marine landscape? Spare Parts Puppet Theatre presents a captivating adaptation of Tim Winton’s beloved book, Blueback, brought to life by award-winning playwright Peta Murray. Prepare to be immersed in a world of enchantment and wonder as Blueback takes the stage at the Ellie Eaton Theatre, Gate 1, Claremont Showground, this school holidays from July 1 to 15.

Set on an imaginary stretch of sea, sand, and surf somewhere on WA’s stunning coastline, Tim Winton’s beloved story takes us on an extraordinary journey into the heart of the state’s beautiful, precious, and endangered marine landscape, and what it means to belong, to love, to preserve, and to fight for the world you live in and those you share it with.

Through the magic of puppetry, audiences will be transported into the world of Abel Jackson, a young boy who forms a deep respect for the sea, its teeming marine life and a lifelong friendship with a giant groper he calls Blueback.

Blue Back Theatre School Holiday Theatre

The production, directed by Philip Mitchell (The One Who Planted Trees, Beanstalk), recreates a vivid underwater garden with exquisitely crafted puppets depicting fish, crabs, eels, abalone, coral and the ‘king’ of the reef, the majestic and playful Blueback himself. When this precious world is threatened by change and development, Abel must find the courage to stand up for what he believes and what makes life worth living.

Blueback is not just a theatrical spectacle; it carries a powerful message about our connection to the environment and each other. As the precious marine world faces threats of change and development, Abel finds himself in a position to defend what he loves and believes in. The story unfolds with humour, tenderness, and a profound sense of urgency, reminding us of the importance of cherishing and safeguarding our natural resources for future generations.

Artistic Director of Spare Parts Puppet Theatre, Philip Mitchell, describes Blueback as a timeless piece with a message that remains as relevant today as when Tim Winton penned it. Mitchell notes that the production aims to foster a deep connection and appreciation for our marine environment, urging audiences to become advocates for its preservation. Blueback is a reminder that we all have a part to play in protecting the fragile beauty that surrounds us.

Spare Parts Puppet Theatre is thrilled to welcome the talented performer Anna Lindstedt, who will make her debut with the company. Alongside her is the esteemed Shaun Johnston, returning to the stage after his outstanding performance in “Harebrain.”

Blueback is a production suitable for all ages, with a particular appeal to those aged 5 and above. The 50-minute shows are scheduled daily at 10 am and 1 pm, with twilight shows at 6:30pm on July 7 and 14. Tickets can be booked online at www.sppt.com.au or by calling 9335 5044. Don’t miss this extraordinary opportunity to embark on a captivating adventure that will leave you inspired, moved, and filled with a renewed love for our natural world.

Fun Performance School Holidays

About Spare Parts Puppet Theatre

Founded in 1981 in Fremantle, Spare Parts Puppet Theatre is one of the longest running theatre companies in Western Australia and is Australia’s champion of puppetry and a leader in puppetry internationally. The award-winning company presents seasons in Perth, tours regionally, nationally, and internationally and is Australia’s leader in the development of emergent and established puppetry artists. The company’s annual program reaches more than 200,000 audience members and participants. At the 2022 Performing Arts WA Awards the company won both of the industry’s top awards: BEST MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION (Beanstalk) and OUTSTANDING NEW WORK (The One Who Planted Trees).

Tim Winton

One of Australia’s most celebrated authors, Tim Winton was raised in Albany, a beachside town 400km South of Perth. He draws much of his inspiration from the natural coastal environments of Western Australia and they are often the settings of his books. He is a strong advocate for environmental conservation and has contributed to campaigns to protect Ningaloo Reef and Moreton Bay, among others. Winton is former member of the Board of Management of Spare Parts Puppet Theatre and remains connected to the company. His works, The Deep and The Bugalugs Bum Thief are popular and admired productions in the company’s repertoire.

Peta Murray

Murray is an award-winning Australian playwright, writer, dramaturge and teacher. She has won AWGIE awards for her plays, Spitting Chips and The Keys to the Animal Room, and Blueback, and the Victorian Premier’s Award for Drama for Salt. Murray is currently Vice-Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Research Fellow at RMIT Melbourne.

Blueback Production Credits:

Director Philip Mitchell

Book Author Tim Winton

Adapting Writer Peta Murray

Designer Hanna Parssinen

Composer Don Hopkins

Performers Anna Lindstedt and Shaun Johnston

Production Manager  Megan Fitzgerald

Blue Back Performance Spare Parts Theatre

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