Blueback puppet show brings underwater beauty

Bec Bradley in Blueback.
Bec Bradley in Blueback.

THE anticipation of a greater challenge is what brought freelance performer and puppeteer Bec Bradley back for another season of Blueback.

Bradley worked on the Spare Parts Puppet Theatre two-person production five years ago in the opposite role, this time being played by St John Cowcher.

“The other role was more manipulation of Blueback whereas this role has more manipulation of the other characters in the show,” she said.

“It’s different styles of puppeteering for each role and this time is much more challenging – it’s very interesting to experience the show from both sides.”

Bradley’s first SPPT show was 10 years ago when she had little puppetry experience but the company needed a trained stilt walker, which suited her after learning the skill from a friend in Spain.

Since then her puppetry expertise has grown with each production and Blueback sees her working with rod and Japanese-inspired Bunraku puppets.

Based on Tim Winton’s book, Blueback was adapted to the stage by Peta Murray and completes the trilogy of the company’s interpretation of the author’s works, including The Deep and Bugalugs Bum Thief.

The coming of age story follows the life of Abel Jackson who has developed a deep connection with the ocean and has a lifelong friendship with a giant groper called Blueback.

“Winton’s style of writing just lends itself to being turned in to imagery,” Bradley said.

“I think his language is so descriptive, we can relate to the things he’s writing about and he has quite a wicked sense of humour.”

Bradley said the production was delightful and entrancing as it brought audiences in to the underwater environment.

“A lot of the show is set under the water in the ocean and the audience sits there watching these amazing creatures move through the water,” she said.

“It’s magical and quite a moving story.”

Community Newspaper Group has 13 family passes to give away to Blueback on July 4. Enter at www.communitynews.com.au before June 26.

THE ESSENTIALS

What: Blueback

Where: Spare Parts Puppet Theatre, Short St, Fremantle

When: July 4 to 18

Tickets: www.sppt.asn.au