Joy and magic in Spare Parts Puppet Theatre’s The Night Zoo

Performers Kylie Bywaters and Isaac Diamond. Picture: Andrew Ritchie d486744
Performers Kylie Bywaters and Isaac Diamond. Picture: Andrew Ritchie d486744

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’t 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 kids.”

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 so we are strengthening our wrists, backs and legs.”

With a background in working with special needs kids, Bywaters praises Spare Parts for including a ‘relaxed’ twilight show, with less intensity, ideal for children with conditions like autism.

THE ESSENTIALS

What:The Night Zoo

When: September 22 to October 6

Where: Spare Parts Puppet Theatre, Fremantle

Tickets: sppt.asn.au