Blueback presented by Spare Parts Puppet Theatre,adapted by Peta Murray from the book by Tim Winton, isan ecological fable about the Jackson family’s connection to the ocean.

The story centres around the life of Abel Jackson, from being born from a watery womb, then living next to the ocean in Longboat Bay, and growing into a man. Abel and his mother live at Longboat Bay and regularly go snorkelling in the ocean, becoming familiar with the underwater world and its inhabitants, particularly Blueback, a groper fish that Abel looks for at every dive.

The perceptive and humble adaptation by Peta Murray is mostly written as a series of letters that Abel writes to his father and mother. This story is about memories of childhood, of loss and hope, but mostly it is about learning to live in harmony with your surroundings and having the courage of your convictions. In this instance, Abel’s mother Dora is continuously hassled by developers to buy her home which would change the face of Longboat Bay forever.

As the story unfolds we learn about the long history and connection of the Jackson family with the ocean: the perils and losses they have faced and accepted.

Performers Jessica Harlond Kenny and Daniel Dosekskilfully operate the puppets (imaginatively constructed by Greg Methe); and provide voice-overs to tell the story with sensitivity, blending with the simple and functional design by Hanna Parssinen. The story is thoughtfully directed by Philip Mitchell to suit a children’s audience but adults will equally be delighted by this story and the way it is told.

Suitable for children from 5 years old, “Blueback” runs until 27 April with shows at 10am and 1pm daily (except Sundays and public holidays). There is a special 6.30pm performance on 18 and 24 April. Duration is 50 minutes.

Bookings are essential at www.sppt.asn.au or telephone 9335 5044.

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