Local puppeteers, Dave and Genevieve Davis get ready to perform at their fifth East Coast Blues and Roots Festival
Local puppeteers, Dave and Genevieve Davis get ready to perform at their fifth East Coast Blues and Roots Festival

Puppeteers find joy among the vegies and stars

By ZOE SATHERLEY

MAGIC, mayhem and mirth are the sure-bet ingredients for marital harmony and creative success, say Barkers Vale couple Dave and Genevieve Davies.

This year marks their fifth performance at the Byron Bay Blues Festival as the Gypsy Rollers Puppet Theatre and their 18th year of wedded bliss.

"An astrologer once told us we were 'intrinsically compatible' and that we'd always be happy. That's pretty much how it is," said Genevieve during rehearsals for their Blues Festival performance.

You'll find these puppeteers-come-singer-songwriters in the children's tent at the festival every day ? but don't imagine it's a kids-only performance.

There are many layers of meaning in their production of Dr Leroy Bootleg's All New Old Time World Famous Travellin' Medicine Show, which tells the colourful history of 'the blues'.

"It's a very funny, high energy, original work. People love it," Genevieve said.

Dave and Genevieve work together writing original scripts and songs to suit different events and festivals and have performed all over Australia, including at the Woodford Folk Festival.

They cover a variety of subjects such as the environment, conflict resolution, recycling, world peace, daily living issues such as television, health, exercise, and good old fashioned fun. They can write a script to suit any theme.

Back home on 'the farm', nestled in the foothills of the Border Ranges National Park, the couple devote their mornings to growing their own organic fruit and vegies.

Afternoons are spent workshopping new creative ideas and working towards producing their first joint CD and a short feature film.

Their busy life also needs to fit around the hectic demands of parenting their five children, Elanora, 6, Lowana, 9, Mindy, 13, Vaughan, 15 and Gareth, 25 and playing grandma and grandpa to their first grandchild, three-month-old Gwyn.

Caring for Genevieve's 84year-old mother, Jeanette, who lives with the family, also keeps them busy.

"Life is full of hustle and bustle out here. It's always a kind of controlled mayhem, but we laugh a lot," Genevieve said.

"We live in a magic environment and are blessed with a wonderful family. Dave and I spend all day together but never seem to get under each other's skin.

"We're good friends first and have a lot of shared interests. We're both earthy people who appreciate living in the moment and showing that we love each other."



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