Who could imagine all the sights, sounds and physical sensations of a summers evening on Cottesloe Beach inside the Spare Parts Puppet Theatre in Short Street, Fremantle? Certainly not me.
In spite of seeing the Spare Parts creative team pull off many miracles over the twenty or so years I have been associated with them, I really struggled to visualise just how they could simulate an interactive beach experience for audiences, ranging in age from 5-95, in their latest show, On Our Beach. Having read the pre-publicity and noted that the audience would not be seated, and that I would be asked to take off my shoes and socks, I was driving down the coast towards Fremantle with no idea how this would work. The wind was coming straight off the frozen wastes of Antarctica. Showers of squally rain were beating against my windscreen and the heating inside my car was turned up high. For the first time ever, I wasn’t looking forward to going to the Spare Parts Theatre. ‘What were they thinking?’ I was asking myself ‘Proposing a day at the beach in September when there is at least a 50/50 chance that the weather will be foul.’
An hour later I had watched the sun set over the water while resting on my beach towel, played beach volleyball, had a barbecue (inedible) and been ‘swimming’ along with about fifty other people, young and old, all totally engrossed in the shared experience. The Spare Parts team has done it again!
On Our Beach, at 1 Short Street, Fremantle until October 12th, has to be seen to be believed.