Publication: Stage Whispers
Author: Kimberley Shaw
9th January 2016
Although I have had the pleasure of seeing Miss Lily’s Fabulous Feather Boa before, this incarnation is perhaps even more magical, a gorgeous production aimed at kids, presented and received with joy.
Miss Lily is an exuberant and friendly crocodile, who runs a tropical holiday house. Among the guests are cricket-loving koalas and footy playing wombats, but most in need of Miss Lily’s company is ‘The Last Poteroo’ who is lonely and feeling lost.
The audience hope that the fabulous feather boa belonging to Miss Lily (the boa being a wonderful ‘performer’ in its own right), will give The Last Poteroo the confidence to seek out a future.
Three highly energetic and extremely fit performers play the plethora of characters in this gentle but rollicking tale. Particularly memorable are Rebecca Bradley’s larger-than-life Miss Lily, Shane Adamczak’s delightfully portrayed Poteroo (with what may be my favourite Spare Parts puppet ever) and Nick Pages-Oliver’s gorgeously opposed Young Koala and Young Wombat. The manipulation of the boa (Bradley and Pages-Oliver) was truly magical and received spontaneous, and highly deserved, applause.
This sweet adaptation contains strong messages about endangered animals, prejudice, the importance of family and the development of self-belief, but allows the audience to absorb this naturally and never feels heavy or preachy. The over-arching Australian identity is lovely to see, especially leading up to Australia day.
Iona McAuley’s puppet design is really lovely, while Lee Buddle’s composition feels organic and Karen Cook’s lighting allows magic to occur.
While the Tinies in the audience were obviously delighted (and showed it), there were several adult groups enjoying this lovely puppet theatre experience. It is well worth considering Miss Lily’s Fabulous Feather Boa these holidays, for both young and old.
Directed by Michael Barlow.
Spare Parts Puppet Theatre, Fremantle, WA. Jan 4-30, 2016
Image: Tanya Photography