Pup­petry pulled at heart­strings

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Weekley Life - Tanya MacNaughton

WHEN set, cos­tume and pup­pet de­signer Iona McAu­ley first worked on Spare Parts Pup­pet The­atre Company’s pro­duc­tion The Night Zoo in 2009, she was fresh out of WAAPA and only re­cently dis­cov­ered her love for pup­petry.

“I al­ways had this idea that I was never into pup­pets and then my boyfriend at the time sug­gested we see Spare Parts show, TheDeep,” she said.

“I im­me­di­ately re­alised how wrong I’d been and wanted to be a pup­pet de­signer. I thought back through my life as a child and all the things I had en­joyed, most of them were ac­tu­ally pup­pets.

“I thought pup­pets where just all Punch and Judy, but as soon as I saw the show I fell in love with them and was to­tally con­verted, so when they of­fered me the po­si­tion here it was the best thing ever.”

The company will present a re­turn sea­son of TheNightZoo from Jan­uary 5 to 31, which fol­lows the story of a young girl who lives in an apart­ment and longs for a pet.

“She dreams she be­comes friends with the an­i­mals from the zoo and then dur­ing the story she ac­tu­ally finds a dog,” the Scot­tish- born de­signer said.

“Most of the an­i­mals are rod pup­pets but the gi­raffe, ele­phant and orang-utan are body pup­pets where the ac­tors are ac­tu­ally wear­ing them.”

McAu­ley, who is also an as­so­ciate at SPPT and fa­cil­i­tates the company’s pup­petry work­shops, said she had a hands-on de­sign ap­proach and col­lab­o­rated with writer/di­rec­tor Michael Bar­low and ac­tors to make the best show pos­si­ble.

The Night Zoo’s sum­mer school hol­i­day sea­son fol­lows the schools-only sea­son at the end of term four, which in­cluded a com­mu­nity en­rich­ment pro­gram with WA-based prop­erty group Hawai­ian as­sist­ing pri­mary schools in­clud­ing North Cottes­loe Pri­mary School to ex­pe­ri­ence the show.

“See­ing the re­ac­tions of the kids is what re­ally gives me a buzz,” McAu­ley said.

“Know­ing you’ve done some­thing and then they’re laugh­ing or cry­ing, hav­ing that emo­tional re­sponse to it, is just so re­ward­ing.”

Www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d429849

Spare Parts Pup­pet The­atre Company set, cos­tume and pup­pet de­signer Iona McAu­ley with Ru­fus.

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