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Peta and the Whale

Home > Melbourne > Family | Rainy Day | School Holiday Activities | School Holidays | Theatre
by Nadine Cresswell-Myatt (subscribe)
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Holiday entertainment your kids will love

Tired of taking your kids to the movies during the school holidays? Want to instill in them an early love for the environment as well as the arts, but in a way that will ensure that they are both enthralled and entertained?

Peta and the Whale might well be the answer. This is the touching story of a little girl who imagines what it would be like to swim with the most incredible and enormous creatures in the ocean.

It blends old and new puppet techniques with established and recent storytelling techniques and music.


The environmental message is a strong undercurrent, but it also works subtly by encouraging both an awe and a respect for the creatures of the deep. And children and their families, who enter this creation, will really feel as if they are under the sea. It is all about the special lighting effects and the multitude of sea creatures.

In the wonderful creative story telling the ocean is viewed through the eyes of a child; an old whaling sailor; and the sea creatures themselves.

This is no simple Punch and Judy as the production features over 20 puppets, from elaborate marionettes to a menagerie of shadow puppet sea creatures.

We are not talking about stony lifeless puppets either. Peta, for example, is a detailed marionette featuring novel 3D printed aspects to allow for expression changes, something conventional puppets cannot achieve.

This production is from the innovative and quirky Melbourne-based production outfit Puppetvision and the show is a collaboration of a a number of Melbourne's creatives.

But one of the main instigators was Phillip Millar, Associate Creative Director at The Creature Technology Company who has been creating puppets for over thirty years.

Phillip has also been the Artistic Director of Polyglot Puppet Theatre as well as the creator behind some of those amazing creatures on stage productions such as 'The Hobbit' and 'The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe'. Gosh he even created that mutant sea monster for the Korean cult hit 'The Host'.


Another member of the team is Victoria Osborne, a performer/writer/filmmaker who writes books, often with an environmental message, for adults and young people. Her excellent blog on the our relationship with nature can be found here and it includes some great novels that young people can download for free. So holiday reading solved as well.

The production features Peta (Jhess Knight), a girl listening to her sailor Grandfather's (Franciscus Henri) songs of the sea and imagining happier stories for the future. Puppeteers include Danny Miller (King Kong, Walking with Dinosaurs) and Jhess Knight (Trash Puppets) as well as Victoria Osborne.

The premier season is on at the North Melbourne Town Hall Rehearsal Room as part of the Fringe Family Season at the Arts House Hub from Tuesday September 22, 2015.

As Puppetvision Director, Phillip Millar says, "We've created an uplifting puppet adventure to thrill and inspire your whole family."

And it looks like they had a whole of fun in the process. Below is a short clip just on the making of some of the puppets. Imagine how much fun the final creation will be.

'Making of' Development Showing 'Peta & the Whale' Before La Mama July 2015 from Victoria Osborne on Vimeo.



For tickets book here.
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Why? Kids will love this
When: 22nd of Oct to 3rd of October
Where: North Melbourne Town Hall Rehearsal Room at 521 Queensberry St North Melbourne
Cost: $20 full and $15 concession
Your Comment
I have been surpirsed as I read the Weekend Notes articles that there are so many quality programs for children in the school holidays. I think some of us big kids will like this one as well.
by Gayle Beveridge (score: 3|7000) 1465 days ago
Hi all, I took my 29 year old daughter and my 6 year old nephew to see this today, the puppetry was magnificent, although the storyline left us a bit bewildered, there is limited seating so recommend booking online, I did, it's upstairs, I don't know if there is an elevator, it's an old townhall building.
Overall a great experience.
by Mooz (score: 0|8) 1460 days ago
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