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Shaun Tan's Rules of Summer - Spare Parts Puppet Theatre

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by Marisa Quinn-Haisu (subscribe)
My name is Marisa. I am a fiction writer, a blogger, and a freelance journalist.
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The Rules of Summer is a magical exploration of childhood


The Spare Parts Puppet Theatre has been performing puppet shows across Australia for over 35 years. They are experts at putting on immersive, interactive and entertaining puppet shows.

The Rules of Summer is an adaption of Shaun Tan's award-winning picture book of the same name. It will be playing at the Dolphin Theatre at the University of Western Australia from the 23rd of September to the 8th of October.

Shaun Tan's book The Rules of Summer was published in 2013 by Hachette Australia. It tells a short story through oil paintings and fragments of narrative about two boys and the rules that govern the relationship that exists between them. Shaun Tan used his own childhood experiences as inspiration for the book.



Shaun Tan was born in Fremantle, Western Australia, in 1974. He is a successful writer, artist and filmmaker. He has been the recipient of several prestigious awards during his career. In 2014, the Rules of Summer won the Ditmar Award for Artwork and was also awarded the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award as well.

The Rules of Summer uses illustrations to bring to life a strange and often bizarre landscape that crackles with imagination and childhood wonder. The rules that exist between the two boys in the book are often strange and hard to understand.



When I went to see the stage production of the Rules of Summer, I had no idea what the show was going to be about. I didn't even know that the show was based on a book. The performance goes for 50 minutes and is suitable for children aged 5 years and up. If you're bringing young kids, make them sit in the first few rows.

When we entered the theatre, the stage was set up like a scene out of an old painting of the Australian bush. There was an old shack and a washing line on the stage. The puppeteers came prancing out dressed in black and holding torches and blowing kazoos. They directed people to their seats and then the show began.

The Spare Parts Puppet Theatre did an amazing job bringing the Rules of Summer to life on the stage. What they've created is an immersive and interactive experience that will mesmerise people both young and old. I was really impressed with the wide range of puppets that they used. They used everything from giant marionettes to shadow puppets barely bigger than a human hand.

The people at the Spare Parts Puppet Theatre really know how to entertain people. They've created something truly special with this show. The level of audience interaction was great. People were laughing and pointing to the stage and kids were asking questions and commenting loudly about what was happening. They even pulled a couple of people up onto the stage to take part in all the fun.

If you want to share a new experience with your kids I highly recommend this show.
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*Marisa Quinn-Haisu was invited as a guest
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Why? The Spare Parts Puppet Theatre has brought Shaun Tanís award winning picture book The Rules of Summer to the stage as an interactive and magical theatre experience that will appeal to both people young and old.
When: 23 September to the 8th of October
Phone: Spare Parts Puppet Theatre 9335 5044
Where: Dolphin Theatre, University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Hwy, Nedlands WA 6009
Cost: Tickets start from $23
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