Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - LIFESTYLE - Tanya MacNaughton

SPARE Parts Pup­pet The­atre has played a big role in the­atre maker Sally Richard­son’s fam­ily.

Richard­son, who grew up in Como, wrote her show Splat! for the pup­petry com­pany, where it pre­miered in 2007 fea­tur­ing the fa­ther of her three chil­dren, dancer Ste­fan Karls­son.

Now their 19-year-old son Yvan Karls­son will per­form in the work when it has a re­turn sea­son for the school hol­i­days.

“Artis­tic di­rec­tor Philip Mitchell of­fered him (Yvan) the show and I ac­tu­ally didn’t know he was do­ing it un­til much later,” Richard­son said.

“It’s funny be­cause Yvan ob­vi­ously saw it a lot when he was lit­tle and my boys very much in­spired the show.

“But he’d seen it so many times, he used to sit in re­hearsal with his Nin­tendo be­cause he said he was over it; we cer­tainly never imag­ined that some years later Yvan would be on the same stage per­form­ing in it.”

Yvan was se­lected last year for Spare Parts’ First­Hand emer­gent pup­petry train­ing pro­gram and will be joined in Splat! by fel­low dancer Imanuel Dado and Bec Bradley.

“Yvan and Imanuel, who is also new to the show, are both from a dance back­ground and have just brought so much ex­cit­ing phys­i­cal­ity,” she said.

“They’re young guys and their moves are a lit­tle bit more funky and cool. They have that youth­ful en­thu­si­asm that’s in­fec­tious.”

The 50-minute, fast-paced pro­duc­tion was cre­ated for ages three and older and mixes pup­petry with black the­atre, cir­cus, an­i­ma­tion and paper play.

“It sounds really ba­sic but it’s about how a square, tri­an­gle and cir­cle get on with each other,” Richard­son said.

“The square is red, the tri­an­gle is yel­low and the cir­cle is blue. It looks at mood and per­son­al­ity and about how to make friends.

“But it’s also about learn­ing to play through ac­tiv­ity; paint­ing and draw­ing and the idea of blend­ing colour to mix and match, and re­mind­ing peo­ple you can turn a piece of paper into a whole uni­verse.

“I also wanted to cre­ate a show where kids could make a lot of noise, so it’s all non­ver­bal to mu­sic.”

Richard­son said her cen­tral aim had been to make a show re­flect­ing our need to be treated as in­di­vid­u­als.

“All three of my chil­dren are very dif­fer­ent and it amazes me when peo­ple make all sorts of gen­er­al­i­sa­tions,” she said.

“Par­tic­u­larly in times like ours, it’s so im­por­tant to un­der­stand em­pa­thy and ac­cep­tance about peo­ple who might be dif­fer­ent.

“Stereo­types are dam­ag­ing which­ever way you look at them, but to try and make a show that would ap­peal to both boys and girls was the real aim, and I think we’ve done that.”

Pic­ture: Jon Hew­son www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d455677

Writer Sally Richard­son with Yvan Karls­son.n

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