Author: Vanessa Gudgeon
A visit to the Spare Parts Puppet Theatre is a big event for adults and children alike. It is a place of excitement, enchantment, wonder and “cool creepiness”, to quote one small child, and is a place that will spark memories that will last a lifetime.
These school holidays see Spare Parts Puppets Theatre hosting a wonderful production of the ever popular children’s classic The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry; a story about a boy from a tiny planet who flies around the galaxy to learn all there is to know, about as much as he can, in his short life.
Along the way he meets many characters, including a pompous king, a silly accountant, an adorable fox, a slithering snake and a pilot who is trying to fix his plane.
This production is very interesting, as it touches on subjects which will appeal to both adults and children alike. It is a wonderful introduction to philosophy and encourages its audience to reflect on their own relationships and values.
This production uses a great combination of live actors and intricate puppets onstage, who inter-wind the story with a strange, yet catchy song and improvised dance movements, which flow along beautifully in between scene changes.
The sound and lighting are a perfect accompaniment to the story and really add to the emotions of the characters, as well as adding to the wonder and imagination of the audience with the use of sound effects, such as the engine of the pilots very cool plane and the little lights used to make up the beautiful stars in the night sky.
The director Michael Barlow has done a fabulous job of breathing life into this production, along with the help of Jiri Zmitko’s sets, which, while simple, are exceptionally well built and leave so much room for the imagination to roam, through their portrayal of the prince’s tiny planet, outer space, and the Sahara Desert. Jiri also hand carved all the intricately beautiful puppets, which really bring this story to life and are an absolute privilege to see in action.
The stars of the show, Jessica Lewis and Shane Adamczak, not only play all the live action characters, but also do all the puppeteering are exceedingly talented and perfectly portray all of their characters throughout the entire run of the play, as well as keeping their cool during their exclusive 10 minute Q & As with the audience after each show.
The Little Prince is a must see show for the entire family, but be quick, because it will only be here until April 23rd, as it will soon be going on a 3 month tour across Australia.