Capturing a Moomin in time
THOSE who missed seeing Spare Parts Puppet Theatre’s premiere season of Moominpappa at Sea last October at WA Museum during the AWESOME International Arts Festival for Bright Young Things have a second chance during the school holidays when the company presents it at their Fremantle theatre.
Adapted from Finnish author and illustrator Tove Jansson’s book, Moominpappa at Sea is a co-creation by SPPT associate director Michael Barlow and creative consultant Noriko Nishimoto, with the former the solo performer of the piece.
“The version we’re presenting this time is the kind of vision that Noriko and I had from the outset because it will be in the theatre with a full lighting design,” Barlow said.
“So coming back to it now, I feel the show is where I’d always hoped it would be.”
Jansson’s nine- book series featuring the adorable and silly Moomintrolls holds a special place in Barlow’s heart after reading them as a child. “It’s something that’s been in the back of my mind for many years,” Barlow said.
“When I read this one ( Moominpappa at Sea) again in particular, it appealed to me because the central character is the father and I’m in my mid 40s, so it was a nice parallel.
“I also felt we’d had quite a number of works at Spare Parts where the focus was on a character who was a child’s age and I thought it would be interesting to present a story that had an adult figure in the middle of it.
“It was also this interesting atmosphere of an ocean environment, which reminded me of Fremantle.”
Barlow said the production followed Moominpappa, who took his family to live on a remote island to become the lighthouse keeper.
Each family member has an interesting experience with the inhabitants, including Groke, who haunts the island at night.
The 45-minute show is suitable for ages four years and older and there will be a special artist talk following the 6.30pm, April 8 performance.
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Spare Parts Puppet Theatre associate director Michael Barlow with puppets Moonintroll and Groke.