8 August, 2022

With heavy hearts, we must cancel The Secret Garden and our summer season of Hare Brain.

To our dear friends, patrons, supporters, artists and community members, 

The last few days have been unexpectedly eventful at Spare Parts, and we wanted to update you as soon as possible. We were advised without notice last week by the Department of Local Government, Sport, and Cultural Industries that due to building remediation issues, performances cannot proceed in the theatre auditorium, meaning cancellation of upcoming seasons until alternative arrangements can be put in place.  

So, with heavy hearts, we must cancel The Secret Garden and our summer season of Hare Brain. This is extremely disappointing for us, our artists and our loyal audiences. 

At this stage, our priority is to ensure the wellbeing of everyone who works with us and to create the best possible conditions for our artistic work to continue. We are working with the Department on a temporary solution to resume our performance program as soon as possible. 

We are absolutely committed to delivering all our other programs including our remote and regional tour of schools throughout the state; our artist training programs (including our annual partnership with WAAPA); and the significant support we provide to the independent theatre sector. We will continue to run our workshops for school children and senior engagement program; perform our international and national festival and event program; and develop new programs such as an early years Puppet Play with the Telethon Kids Institute.  

We are resilient and determined to turn this development into a positive outcome for our future. In the coming week we will be asking you and all our friends, artists and the community to write to their local member and to the Minister for the Arts, the Hon. David Templeman MLA, for a commitment to rebuilding the theatre. This would be the best possible outcome for both us and the WA Government and would allow us to continue at our home in Fremantle to share the art of puppetry for many generations to come.  

We have drafted a suggested letter to the minister – please consider sending this letter to show your support and remind the minister of the important role that he could play in the future of our organisation and the cultural sector in Western Australia. I encourage you to personalise this letter, make it your own, sharing the impact and value Spare Parts has had to you and the community.

The Minister’s email address is Please also send a copy to us ( for our information.  

Many thanks as always for your continued support of Spare Parts Puppet Theatre. We are determined to use this as an opportunity for both the organisation and the Western Australian government to make a lasting impact to the cultural fabric of Western Australia, with a commitment to a permanent home for us. 

Warm wishes,

Philip Mitchell
Artistic Director, Spare Parts Puppet Theatre

NOTE: An update to this story was published August 23, 2022.

Acknowledgement of Country

Spare Parts Puppet Theatre respectfully acknowledges the Whadjuk Noongar people as the traditional owners and custodians of the unceded land on which we work. As we tour our work across these vast lands, we pay our respect to all First Nations elders, past and present. We celebrate their continuing connection and contribution to culture, country and community, and thank all First Nations peoples for their wisdom in caring for the land, the sky, the rivers and the sea.