Beach chem­istry

Canning Gazette - - STAGE - Tanya Mac­naughton

SPARE Parts Pup­pet The­atre’s new work On Our Beach may have no story or script but it cer­tainly still has pup­pets.

Con­tin­u­ing the com­pany’s delve into ex­per­i­men­tal the­atre, the school hol­i­day sea­son is an im­mer­sive ex­pe­ri­ence by Dr Peta Mur­ray (Blue­back) de­signed for au­di­ences to get a good dose of dopamine, oxy­tocin, sero­tonin and en­do­mor­phins through con­tact with other peo­ple.

“It’s very easy to pas­sively con­sume im­ages, thoughts and ideas with ter­ri­bly addictive tablets, iphones and In­sta­gram,” artis­tic di­rec­tor Philip Mitchell said.

“Mur­ray’s re­search looks at if we are los­ing some of these chem­i­cals be­cause of the life­style we’re now liv­ing.

“It’s es­sen­tial we’re re­leas­ing these chem­i­cals in our bod­ies but we need to re­lease the whole dose, not just for our heads and minds but also our bod­ies and emo­tions as well.”

The ex­pe­ri­ence be­gins from the mo­ment au­di­ences en­ter the venue via the back door where the­atre-go­ers are iden­ti­fied (they have to draw a pic­ture on a name tag) and pro­tected from beach nas­ties like sun­burn, mozzies and stingers.

Then there is the chance to take a photo with a gi­ant post­card, and ride a surf­board in front of a big wave made out of tow­els, be­fore en­ter­ing the the­atre space for a se­ries of beach ac­tiv­i­ties in­clud­ing Sculp­tures by the Sea and vol­ley­ball where the ball is op­er­ated as a pup­pet.

The ex­pe­ri­ence in­cludes live mu­sic by PNG Aus­tralian mu­si­cian Tani Walker and cen­tres around fair­ness and un­fair­ness in Aus­tralian cul­ture. A se­ries of un­fair things will hap­pen on the beach to make some au­di­ence mem­bers feel dis­crim­i­nated against.

“It brings that idea of the beach as the place where we’re all equal,” Mitchell said.

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