The Arrival

First Performance June 28th 2006

Adapted from Shaun Tan’s multi-award winning book

Follow Aki as he starts life amidst the extraordinary inhabitants of this new land.

Will he find a place to live? Will he find a job and make friends? Most of all, will Aki ever see his family again?

The absence of words not only makes this story perfect for puppetry but emphasizes the isolation experienced by many people arriving in a new place.

The Arrival is a fusion of Tan’s beautiful and surreal illustrations with exquisite puppetry, haunting music and fine acting. This ground breaking production blurs the boundaries of performance, digital animation and puppetry.
This is an emotionally moving piece which will touch anyone who has bid farewell to a loved one.


Philip Mitchell
Adapted by Michael Barlow
Jiri Zmitko
Lee Buddle
Lighting Designer
Graham Walne
Puppet Construction
Jiri Zmitko and Kipling Smith
Animation Design
Michael Barlow

2006 Premiere Season

2008 Fremantle Season

2008 National Tour

2011 Fremantle Season

2017 Performers

Alicia Osyka

Adrienne Patterson

Ellis Pearson

Shirley van Sanden


Winner of the Western Australian Equity Guild Award for ‘Best Production of 2006’

Reviews & Media

"…one of the best pieces of children’s theatre stages in Perth for years, a soulful and richly imaginative show of refreshing excellence."

The Australian