Supported by the Royal Agricultural Society of Western Australia, the new production is an exuberant celebration of Australian rural life as an energetic community prepares for the most anticipated event of the year—the annual agricultural show.
Based on real life people, their stories and their experiences, Show Day is a fun-filled puppet-caper of ‘ag-show’ antics, rivalries and shenanigans, featuring a rollercoaster-carnival of puppets from dizzy sheep and wily muster dogs to rowdy, fed-up hens . The show was developed over two years in partnership with the Albany community and artists from WA’s Great Southern region.
Artistic Director of Spare Parts Puppet Theatre, Philip Mitchell (The One Who Planted Trees, Beanstalk) said that the new show, Show Day directed by Michael Barlow (Carnival of the Animals, The Little Prince) aligns brilliantly with the long rich connection to country life of the Claremont Showground and the Perth Royal Show, the state’s biggest event of the year.
“We are thrilled to be presenting our new work, Show Day at the Claremont Showground in partnership with the Royal Agricultural Society of WA,” he said. “The Ag Society has been bringing ‘the country to the city’ since 1834 and we are thrilled to be bringing our own special celebration of what it means to be ‘connected’ to the land to this iconic location.
The April school holidays presentation of Show Day is the first of two seasons to be presented at the Ellie Eaton Theatre at Gate 1 in the Claremont Showground, while the company’s Fremantle theatre remains unavailable for performances. For the Winter school holidays from July 2, the company will present Blueback directed by Philip Mitchell based on Tim Winton’s much-loved book, and now a major motion picture starring Eric Bana.
CEO of the Royal Agricultural Society, Robyn Sermon said it was a great pleasure to welcome Spare Parts Puppet Theatre to the Claremont Showground for the forthcoming seasons.
“As the home of the Perth Royal Show, RASWA welcomes all creatures great and small – and soon, that will include animal puppets as part of Spare Parts’ new “ag show” production Show Day,” she said. ” “We are thrilled to have this leading Western Australian theatre company here at the Showground. Capturing the essence of ag shows through puppetry will add to magical memories for many Western Australians of their childhood ag show experiences. We applaud Spare Parts’ long track record of touring and entertaining families and we are thrilled that audiences are going to discover new ways to enjoy the unique spaces of the Showground.”
The seasons of Show Day and Blueback will be presented at the Ellie Eaton Theatre, accessed via Gate 1 at the Claremont Showground. Details of the season and venue are available on the company’s website. The company’s box office, administration and puppet training and workshops continue at the Short Street premises, as does Puppet Playtime, the company’s inaugural ‘early years’ puppetry program specifically designed for children aged 3-5 years. The company looks forward to announcing interim arrangements for a performance space soon.
Tickets for Show Day are available here.
Show Day was co-commissioned by the Albany Entertainment Centre and is supported by the State Government of Western Australia through its Made in WA initiative.