Puppet show to tour region
The story of a dog who becomes beloved by a community is a favourite of Pilbara audiences, and it is also the theme of a children’s puppet show visiting the region later this year.
Fremantle-based puppetry company Spare Parts Puppet Theatre has recently announced their first tour of the Pilbara and Kimberley in four years, thanks to a new partnership with Horizon Power.
Their show Hachiko uses innovative origami-style puppets and set design to tell the true story of a dog in Japan who for 10 years kept returning to the local train station where he used to meet his owner, becoming a valuable community figure in the process.
Hachiko artistic director Philip Mitchell said the show held some powerful lessons for children as well as entertainment.
“It’s not dissimilar to the Red Dog story,” he said.
“It is one of these stories of how important animals are to us, but also for adults and kids to have conversations about loss. It’s really important kids have the emotional maturity to talk about that.
“We’re not necessarily wanting to teach kids lessons, but we’re wanting them to understand about what it’s like to lose somebody or to lose a dog. So it does deal with sad themes of loss, but it also deals with resilience, and the ability to be loyal and never give up.”
The performance will be followed by a question-and-answer session with children and a hands-on puppet-making workshop.
Mitchell said the company was looking forward to bringing the show to a North West audience after such a long break. “The biggest problem (is) we’re often restricted by the enormous cost it takes to get performers and puppets up here,” he said.
“This is at last going to complete a Statewide touring strategy for us, so every West Australian will get to see a Spare Parts show.”
A Horizon Power spokesman said the company was proud to be supporting the North West tour.
“Spare Parts has given thousands of regional Western Australian children the opportunity to engage with the arts and watch a professional live performance arts experience — many for the first time,” he said.
Spare Parts will bring Hachiko to interested Pilbara and Kimberley schools around September and October this year.
Spare Parts Puppet Theatre show Hachiko explores the bond between human and dog.