Dog’s tale a les­son for kids

Pilbara News - - News - Ali­cia Per­era

Pre­mier Aus­tralian pup­petry com­pany Spare Parts Pup­pet Theatre toured the Pil­bara and Kim­ber­ley for the first time in three years last week, bring­ing a show about the unique bond between hu­mans and an­i­mals to school­child­ren.

Hachiko tells the true story of a loyal dog who re­turns to the Tokyo train sta­tion, where he used to meet his owner Pro­fes­sor Ueno, ev­ery day in the nine years af­ter the pro­fes­sor’s death, be­com­ing a beloved com­mu­nity fig­ure.

Per­form­ers Sean Guas­tivino and Barn­aby Pol­lock use origami-style pup­pets made out of card­board and pa­per to tell the story through the eyes of the many com­mu­nity mem­bers who come into con­tact with Hachiko over the years.

The show started its re­gional tour run, sup­ported by new part­ner com­pany Hori­zon Power, with per­for­mances last week at St Luke’s Col­lege and Tam­brey Pri­mary School in Kar­ratha be­fore play­ing Port Hed­land, Broome, Derby, Ngalapita com­mu­nity, Ku­nunurra and Wyn­d­ham.

Hachiko artis­tic direc­tor Philip Mitchell said the play was a “beau­ti­ful story” that cel­e­brated the loy­alty of an­i­mals and power of re­silience dur­ing dif­fi­cult times.

“If you own a pet you un­der­stand the loss you feel (when they are gone), and that’s what we are hope­fully (giv­ing) the kids — an un­der­stand­ing that death can be sad but it’s also a re­ally pos­i­tive thing be­cause we re­mem­ber, and that’s what the story of Hachiko does,” he said.

Mr Mitchell said re­silience was one of the main themes teach­ers and par­ents wanted to see in the shows. “To have an emo­tion­ally well com­mu­nity you need to talk about death with kids, we need to talk about re­silience, we need to talk about big life is­sues and how to nav­i­gate this re­ally dif­fi­cult world,” he said.

Each Kar­ratha school show as fol­lowed by ques­tion and an­swer ses­sions and pup­pet-mak­ing work­shops.

Hori­zon Power brand and com­mu­ni­ca­tions man­ager Andrew Riches said the com­pany was glad to be sup­port­ing Spare Parts in the Pil­bara and Kim­ber­ley.

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