SPARE Parts Puppet Theatre’s On Our Beach is fair dinkum fun for kids, but most of all it’s about a fair go.
Written by award-winning playwright Peta Murray, it uses interactive and immersive puppet theatre to explore ideas of identity, belonging and a connection to others.
Dressing up is encouraged and audience members draw a picture of themselves on a coloured circle while forming teams who go on an adventurous tour through Spare Parts’ theatre in Fremantle.
“[The audience] will experience what it’s like to experience unfairness for no particular reason,” director Philip Mitchell says.
During the tour, viewers chill out in a beach tent, and wander brightly lit corridors and darkened passageways, before arriving on a stage transformed into a beach.
“[It’s] a journey that transcends flags and clothes, or the colour of our skin,” Murray says.
It also explores the fear of missing out (FOMO) in a world that is sometimes fair and sometimes not.
“Through games and activities the production explores the fear that all of us experience at some point of missing out, being left out, or simply just not being ‘in’,” Murray says.
Lance Holt and Fremantle Primary School students helped fine-tune the play, providing valuable lessons in corralling up to 100 kids while still having fun.
A dog called FOMO and his friends Shona Mae, Rebecca Bradley and Tani Walker guide groups of 20 at a time, in a show so immersive kids will swear they got wet.
Actually they will get a little wet as they enter the quarantine zone to be sprayed with a fine mist to repel jelly fish, budgie smugglers, jet skis and four wheel drives.
The zone nearby is about protecting nesting birds, sandcastles, fish, dolphins and personal space.
There’s music (by Lee Buddle) and singing, and a ball pit where 15,000 soft balls fall from the ceiling.
On Our Beach is on September 28 to October 12 go to sppt.asn.au, or call 9335 5044 for times and details.
by JENNY D’ANGER