Ruffy gets a roof

DECLARING himself more Fozzie Bear than Kermit the Frog if he were to be a puppet, WA arts minister David Templeman re-opened Spare Parts Puppet Theatre this week.

The theatre was closed in June last year after it was discovered that for years Pioneer Park’s reticulation system and  shallow water table had been flooding a basement under the stage and damaging the building.

Mr Templeman says a $400,000 exo-skeleton designed by local architect Murray Slavin had solved the problem and helped secure the theatre’s “medium to long-term” future in the city.

“In the future if you are going to grow children’s theatre, redevelopment could be looked at,” Mr Templeman told the Herald.

“I’m just so impressed with Spare Parts, and they are doing a lot of collaborative works with other cultural organisations in WA and that is magical.”

• Arts minister David Templeman and Fremantle MP Simone McGurk at the re-opening of Spare Parts. Photo by Steve Grant

Mr Templeman says other struggling arts organisations should take a leaf out of the theatre’s books, saying their artistic endeavours had been matched by their sustainability.

Local Labor MP Simone McGurk was impressed by the exo-skeleton, though Mr Slavin probably would grimace at her description of “big kids’ Lego”.

“As a puppet parent, which I have been for quite a while, it’s good to see Ruffy has got a roof over his head,” Ms McGurk said.

While Spare Parts’ latest production Tom Vickers and the Extraordinary Adventure of his Missing Sock is still showing at the WA Shipwrecks Museum until April 29, the re-opened theatre means its production of The Farmer’s Daughter in late June/July can be back under its own roof on Short Street.

But tix at


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