Spare Parts Puppet Theatre Ellis Pearson with Macadamia Castle owner Tony Gilding creating puppets with Newrybar Public School students Uta Yaguchi, 9, and Jack Azad, 10.
Spare Parts Puppet Theatre Ellis Pearson with Macadamia Castle owner Tony Gilding creating puppets with Newrybar Public School students Uta Yaguchi, 9, and Jack Azad, 10. Marc Stapelberg

Imagination comes to life with the arrival of puppets

EXCITABLE chatter echoed loudly as students from Newrybar Public School tried their hands at making puppets with actors from Spare Parts Puppet Theatre.

Australia's leading puppetry company Spare Parts Puppet Theatre conducted the special puppet-making workshop at Macadamia Castle yesterday, after performing for the kids the previous night as part of their national tour.

The company was in the region for three sold-out performances of their show The Arrival, inspired by the book by Shaun Tan, at NORPA at Lismore City Hall.

Actor, Ellis Pearson (Spare Parts Puppet Theatre) said the special thing about puppetry is making something inanimate come to life.

"It shows them how to open their own life, their own breath and sense of humour and own movement gets transferred to that object,” Mr Pearson said.

"It's their imagination coming to life. Puppetry is all about imagination, which is such a unique part of ourselves as human beings.”

The show comes to life in a metropolis full of floating ships, mysterious lights, alien symbols and weird animals, animated with acting and puppetry from the company.

The Arrival has all the elements of theatre, but with no dialogue.

Mr Pearson said Shaun Tan's work has an ability to transcend social cultural and age barriers.

"It is a universal tale of the challenges, the humour and adventures of arriving in a new country and resonates far beyond any arrival... a new school, a new job, a new town.

"The absence of words not only makes the story perfect for puppetry but emphasises the isolation that is experienced by many people arriving in a new place.”

Macadamia Castle owner Tony Gilding said he couldn't believe how captivated the audience was during the show.

"It just appeals to everybody regardless of their age, sex or abilities. There is something about the story that makes it very exciting,” Mr Gilding said.



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