The Night Zoo // The Post Newspaper
Review by Pier Leach
“It’s a beautiful entertaining show about the joy derived from having animals in our lives.”
The Night Zoo is a winning production that deserves its regular rotation in Spare Parts Puppet Theatre’s ever expanding repertoire. First devised in 2009 by writer-director Michael Barlow, it’s one of the company’s rarer productions that isn’t based on a storybook, giving free reign to its creator to showcase a full cast of ingeniously conceived puppets (made by Jirka Zmitko, Sanjiva Margio and Lyndell Darch).
The Night Zoo focuses on Jamie, a lonely little girl who lives in the busy city and is desperate for an animal friend. With the help of the story’s two all-knowing narrators who double as puppeteers (the delightful Kylie Bywaters and Isaac Diamond), she gets to meet several when her vivid dreams take her to the zoo one night.
Lee Buddle’s fun, jazzy score cleverly morphs according to each animal’s “personality” and Bywaters and Diamond – both recent WAAPA graduates – show impressive physicality as they transform into cheeky meerkats, preening water birds, penguins, an orangutan and several other zoo creatures using a stunning range of masks, rod and body puppets.
It’s just 45 minutes long, short enough for even the youngest of children, but it is a high energy production for the pair as they zip about the stage on roller sneakers, seamlessly taking on multiple characters. Barlow’s simple revolving set and deftly integrated animations lend the production a sense of space and flow.
It’s a beautiful, entertaining show about the joy derived from having animals in our lives.
The Night Zoo
DATE: September 22 – October 06 2018 | 10am & 1pm daily (except Sundays and public holidays) plus special 6:30pm sessions on September 28 & October 05
BOOK TICKETS online or call 9335 5044