Puppetry premiere uncovers and celebrates friendship between the young and old

6 March, 2024

SPARE PARTS PUPPET THEATRE presents Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge
Adapted from the book by Mem Fox and Julie Vivas

Embark on an enchanting journey of friendship and remembering, during the April school holidays, as the heart-warming tale of Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge takes centre stage in Spare Parts Puppet Theatre’s innovative and interactive puppetry adaptation of the beloved book penned by Mem Fox and Julie Vivas.

Set in an old people’s home, this joyful tale unveils the special bond between a young boy, Wilfrid, and his cherished companion, the sprightly 96-year-old Miss Nancy, brought to life through superb, hand-crafted life-sized puppets.

Making her debut as a director, acclaimed Spare Parts puppeteer, Bec Bradley (The One Who Planted Trees, On Our Beach) said that at the heart of the narrative of Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge lies the curious and surprising connections that bind us together at any age, and the profound significance of objects as vessels of memory.

“The friendship of Wilfrid and Miss Nancy is enchanting to all ages,” she said. “Wilfrid’s earnest questions and quest for memories will bring warmth, laughter, possibly tears, and inspire joy. The performance will leave ripples of connectedness in the audience long after the performance.”

Join talented performers Tamara Creasey (Carnival of the Animals, String Symphony) and Michael Barlow (Show Day, The Deep) in this unforgettable experience that celebrates life as the young and old share a journey of discovery and delight in each other’s company.

For this very special interactive production, Spare Parts’ reaches beyond the footlights and invites local seniors and grandparents to step into the limelight and become an integral part of the story. Making every performance unique, children will treasure the experience of seeing their own family or community members on stage.

“By incorporating family members from the community into the story, each performance weaves a unique tapestry of intergenerational camaraderie, bridging the gap between young and old in a celebration of shared experiences and special memories,” said Ms Bradley. “The best memories are the ones that are shared.”

Twenty senior attendees are invited to participate in a 30-minute pre-show activity, Take a Seat, when they will meet the cast and puppets, and participate in a memory sharing activity, after which five lucky participants will have the chance to join the cast on stage and become the fellow residents at Miss Nancy’s home. The Take a Seat experience is included in the purchase of any ticket for Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge, but participants need to register in advance. Eligible attendees can reserve their place via the website at the time of booking.

Spare Parts Puppet Theatre has been delighting audiences of all ages with its magical puppetry performances since 1981. Wilfrid McDonald Gordon Partridge is the latest addition to the company’s remarkable 40+ year repertoire and headlines the 2024 annual program – Experience the Joy – presented at the company’s home away from home, the Ellie Eaton Theatre at the Claremont Showground.

The season runs from March 30 until April 12 at the Ellie Eaton Theatre, Gate 1 at Claremont Showground. Wilfrid McDonald Gordon Partridge is a story for all ages, but perfect for ages 5+. The 50-minute shows are scheduled daily at 10am and 1pm excluding the Easter public holidays.

Tickets for Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge are available here

Production Credits:
Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge is brought to life under Bec Bradley’s leadership with a powerhouse team of artists, bringing together their outstanding talents to create an unmissable magical experience.

Performers: Tamara Creasey, Michael Barlow
Director: Bec Bradley
Co-Creators: Bec Bradley, Michael Barlow
Designer: Sandy McKendrick
Composer: Melanie Robinson
Lighting Designer: Lucy Birkinshaw
Consultant: Alex Desebrock
Puppet & Prop Makers: Sandy McKendrick, Sanjiva Margio, Leon Hendroff, Jirka Zmitko, Rosalie Schneider, Ben Nelson
Stage Manager & Production Assistants: Catherine O’Donoghue and Riley Billyeald
Contributing Devisors: Sanjiva Margio, Kylie Bywaters, Sandy McKendrick, Alex Desebrock, Melanie Robinson


All media enquiries to:
John Michael Swinbank
0414 743 418


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.