Director Marc Parrett catches a big hit with We’re Going On A Bear Hunt


We’re Going On a Bear Hunt.
We’re Going On a Bear Hunt.

MARC Parrett used to love reading stories to his daughter.

He often made up silly voices for the characters and improvised extra lines.

Classic 1989 children’s picture book, We’re Going On a Bear Hunt, was a particular favourite.

Now his daughter is 21 – and studying poetry at university – and the UK-based producer/director is keeping that nostalgia alive by bringing the classic ‘swishy-swashy’ tale to the stage.

Parrett was a performer and co-deviser of the original London show, which has toured the world since 2006 featuring puppetry, music, rhymes and repetitions, and took over as associate director a few years ago.

He said the book “ingeniously” translated to stage in a series of events, almost like a variety show, with each section having a seasonal flavour.

A few hurdles were met along the way, such as creating a river, snowstorm, big dark forest and a field of swishy grass – not to mention the mud.

“The changes of environment are huge and happen quickly but we tackled it all in an inventive way, often using materials you might find at home,” Parrett said.

“We love that children and grown-ups can possibly recreate those scenes when they get back after watching the show.

“So much of the devising process was fun – feeling like a kid again, messing about with water and hiding under duvets was a real laugh.”

Hurdles weren’t just a problem for producers – the central character met an obstacle of his own.

“The bear (big, furry and cuddly) got confiscated at customs when I brought him from the UK to Australia,” Parrett said.

“It’s OK, we got him out again.”

THE ESSENTIALS

What: We’re Going On a Bear Hunt

Where: Subiaco Arts Centre

When: February 1-3

Tickets: www.ticketek.com