Our History

Australia’s most renown Puppetry Company since 1981

Spare Parts Puppet Theatre was formed in 1981 by Artistic Director Lyndon Peter Wilson, together with writer Cathryn Robinson and designer Beverly Campbell Jackson, to share the magic of puppetry in Western Australia.

The company’s first production Faust was presented as part of the 1981 Festival of Perth and was billed as a “total visual experience”. The work was directed by L. Peter Wilson and developed with Japanese artists Noriko Nishimoto and Takeshi Hoshino.

The significance of bringing Noriko to Australia for Faust in 1981 cannot be understated. Noriko saw something special in Spare Parts and chose to remain with the company to share her expertise. Noriko was with the company until her death in 2016 and was instrumental in the nurturing and development of Western Australia’s puppetry artists.

In 1987 Spare Parts built its current venue in Short Street, Fremantle. The venue has a 190-seat theatre, a rehearsal studio, creative learning space, workshops, office, and storage space.

From 1997 – 2001 Spare Parts was under the artistic direction of Noriko Nishimoto.

The company is now led by an outstanding artistic team in our award-winning Artistic Director Philip Mitchell and Associate Director Michael Barlow.

Philip possesses a diverse skill base in performance making, puppetry, movement, physical theatre, and design. He is considered to be one of Australia’s leading makers of puppetry. For Spare Parts, Philip has devised and directed over twenty new works including the award winning The One Who Planted Trees, Beanstalk, The Arrival, and On Our Beach. 

Having worked with Spare Parts for over 25 years, Michael Barlow is one of Australia’s leading writers and performers for puppetry.

In 2008 Spare Parts hosted the Olympics of Puppetry – The 20th UNIMA World Puppetry Festival and Congress. Hosting the event offered Spare Parts great exposure internationally, building upon an international touring reputation that included China, USA, Korea, Singapore, Japan, Czech Republic and most recently in France and south east Asia.

In 2015 Spare Parts were awarded the Fremantle Business Awards ‘Business of the Year’ and in 2015 and 2016 won ‘Outstanding Cultural Enterprise’ Awards.