Farm­yard in­spi­ra­tion

Fremantle Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -­mu­ni­

IN­SPIRED by her child­hood on a farm, Kylie By­wa­ters uses her ex­pe­ri­ence to op­er­ate sev­eral life-size pup­pets in the show The

Night Zoo. The pup­pet show will be held at the Spare Parts Pup­pet Theatre from Septem­ber 22 to Oc­to­ber 6.

An­i­mal at­trac­tion on stage KYLIE By­wa­ters spent her youth on a Bus­sel­ton farm, be­friend­ing ducks and chick­ens and let­ting her imag­i­na­tion run wild.

Her cre­ative spark and love of an­i­mals fol­lowed her up to Perth and into adult­hood and de­light­fully comes into play in The Night Zoo.

By­wa­ters op­er­ates sev­eral life-sized pup­pets in the Spare Parts show, in­clud­ing a lit­tle girl named Jamie.

Jamie lives in a city apart­ment and can not have pets, but just like By­wa­ters as a young­ster, she too has the chance for wild ad­ven­tures and rev­els in the joy of an­i­mal friend­ship.

The magic un­folds one night when a menagerie of an­i­mals leave the zoo to visit the lit­tle girl and take her danc­ing.

“Jamie has a very spe­cial bond with the an­i­mals and talks to them as if she was talk­ing to a per­son,” By­wa­ters said. “She refers to them as friends, not pets, and it’s a beau­ti­ful story for chil­dren.”

The Os­borne Park per­former and WAAPA grad said op­er­at­ing the pup­pets, to­gether with Isaac Di­a­mond, was tougher than ex­pected.

“Isaac and I have re­ally strug­gled with get­ting into phys­i­cal fit­ness to be able to per­form this show,” she said. “The pup­pets are in dif­fer­ent shapes and sizes and some, es­pe­cially the ele­phant, are re­ally heavy and dif­fi­cult to move.

“We come in quite early ev­ery day and do a nice big stretch and then Michael Bar­low (writer and di­rec­tor) takes us through a fit­ness regime.”

By­wa­ters has a back­ground in work­ing with spe­cial needs’ kids and praised Spare Parts for in­clud­ing a ‘re­laxed’ twi­light show with less in­ten­sity that was ideal for chil­dren with con­di­tions such as autism.

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie

d486744­mu­ni­ d486744 Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie

Per­form­ers Isaac Di­a­mond, di­rec­tor Michael Bar­low and Kylie By­wa­ters with some of the pup­pets from The Night Zoo.

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