littleredhen2
Little Red Hen (1983) with Jennifer Davidson
soldierstale3
The Soldier’s Tale (1981) with Ilonka Craig, Anthony Ackroyd and David O’Halloran

princesswiththeecho
Princess with the Echo (1985)
silentmovie
Silent Movie – Changing Places (1985)

curiosityshop
The Curiosity Shop (1986)
heartburnhotel
Heartburn Hotel (1988 & 2006)
flyingflopps2
The Flying Flopps (1990) with Philip Mitchell

anotherplace
Another Place, Another Space (1992) with Kirsty Grierson
gammer
Gammer (1991)

 

Terrapin Puppet Theatre was founded on 22 April 1981 by the late Jennifer Davidson.

Jennifer, a designer from the defunct Tasmanian Puppet Theatre, began with a concerted campaign to establish a Tasmanian schools touring circuit, and the company had a particularly strong design reputation. The company had a large full time staff including puppeteers, designers and makers. Some of the artists involved with the company during this time were Sandy McCutcheon, Tom Samek, Jindra Rosendorf and Noriko Nishimoto. Greg Methé, who is still working with the company today, designed his first show for Terrapin 1985.

Jennifer retired in 1992 and Annette Downs was appointed Artistic Director. Annette continued Terrapin’s tradition of school touring, but also created shows with higher production values for theatres; that resulted in Terrapin playing in Hobart’s historic Theatre Royal for the first time. Terrapin also toured internationally for the first time, staging Desires in Budapest, and Little Red in Korea and Taiwan. Artists involved with the company during this time included Philip Mitchell (now Artistic Director of Spare Parts Puppet Theatre), Lian Tanner and Kirsty Grierson. One of the most successful productions created during this period was The BFG: Big Friendly Giant, which enjoyed success in Hobart then toured Australia over the subsequent three years.

In 1999, Jessica Wilson took over as Artistic Director. In addition to making work for children, Jessica also created productions for adult audiences, resulting in Frankenstein and The Dark at the Top of the Stairs, and was a pioneer in the incorporation of projection in live performance. Working with Jessica during this period were artists such as Ben Sibson, Phil Lethlean and Colin Sneesby.

In 2004, Annie Forbes was appointed Artistic Director.  Annie created The Storyteller’s Shadow: A Celebration of Hans Christian Andersen, which toured Tasmanian schools then went on to be presented in Denmark, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. Artists involved with the company during this time included Sam Routledge (who went on to become Artistic Director in 2013), Richard Jeziorny and Laura Purcell.

Frank Newman was Terrapin’s fifth Artistic Director from 2007 to 2012, when he introduced the concept of Digital Puppetry. Frank’s productions were seen at the Sydney Opera House and the Arts Centre Melbourne, in China, the USA, New Zealand and Ireland, and included the collaboration with the Children’s Art Theatre of China, When the Pictures Came, seen in Shanghai, Adelaide and Hobart.  He directed the Helpmann Award-winning Boats, seen in over 400 performances across Australia, on two tours to the USA, and in China. Frank’s final production with Terrapin, Shadow Dreams, a collaboration with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, linked venues in two cities in interactive, simultaneous performance.

Sam Routledge commenced at Terrapin’s sixth Artistic Director in January 2013.

Terrapin acknowledges the publication The Space BetweenThe Art of Puppetry and Visual Theatre in Australia by Peter J Wilson and Geoffrey Milne (Currency Press), from which some of the information in this history is sourced.

 

PAST SHOWS

2016
You and Me and the Space Between (Darwin, Brisbane, Melbourne, Tasmania)
Egg (Melbourne and Tasmania)
I Think I Can (Belfast, Birmingham, Taipei)

2015
RHH_hero_web

Red Racing Hood (above)
Shadow Photo Booth
I Think I Can (Sydney, Hobart, Burnie, Adelaide, The Hague, Vancouver, Calgary, Fayetteville)
Boats (Spiegeltent Hobart)

2014
Terrapin Puppet Theatre - Big Baby sat 5th July 2014 picture byPeter Mathew
Big Baby (above)
Love (USA tour)
Sleeping Horses Lie (Hong Kong tour, Victorian tour)
I Think I Can (Pittsburgh, Brisbane, Perth, Albany, Melbourne, Launceston, Queenstown)
Boats (Tasmanian school tour)

2013
4X8A2331
Pip & Pooch (above)
Shadow Dreams (Ten Days on the Island)
Boats (2nd USA Tour, WA Tour)
Chuan Yuan Pai (Chinese language version of Boats, China tour)

2012
shl
Sleeping Horses Lie (above)
Love (Australian Performing Arts Market)
Boats (Tasmanian tour)

2011
ding_hyena
When the Pictures Came (Come Out Festival Adelaide and Ten Days on the Island Hobart) (above)
The Waltzing Tree
Boats (USA, Ireland and New Zealand tour, and Australian tour)
The Falling Room and the Flying Room
(Victorian school tour)
Helena and the Journey of the Hello (Arts Centre Melbourne)
Love

2010
Terrapin - The Gate Keeper 15092010 Picture by Peter Mathew.
The Gatekeeper (above)
When the Pictures Came (Shanghai premiere)
Helena and the Journey of the Hello (Sydney Opera House and Australian Performing Arts Market, Adelaide)
Boats (Arts Centre, Melbourne and regional Victoria tour)

2009
Frooms57
The Falling Room and the Flying Room (above)
Boats (Hobart season and tour to Adelaide)
Explosion Therapy (tour to Melbourne and Adelaide)
Helena and the Journey of the Hello
(Tasmanian tour)

2008

Helena and the Journey of the Hello (above)
Boats
Explosion Therapy (tour to Perth and Shanghai)

2007
ET-cupcake
Explosion Therapy (above)
Con Artists

2006
Legend of Ned Kelly 2006
The Legend of Ned Kelly (above)
The Storyteller’s Shadow (tour to Singapore and Kuala Lumpur)
Heartburn Hotel (restaged)

2005
Stoytellers Shadow tour 2006
The Storyteller’s Shadow: a celebration of Hans Christian Andersen (above – Premiere season and tour to Denmark)
The Garden of Paradise (puppetry direction and project management)
Frankenstein (tour to Melbourne)
Boxes
My Sister’s an Alien (tour to Victoria)

2004
Frankenstein-2005
Frankenstein (above)
The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip

2003
The Dark at the Top of the Stairs (Ten Days on the Island)
My Sister’s an Alien

2002
Stormy Night
Touch the Air
The BFG (Australian tour 2)

2001
The Mighty How
Insatiable

2000
Dark at Top of Stairs 2000
The Dark at the Top of the Stairs (above)
Alice
Unearthed
Little Red (tour to Singapore)
Blueback (tour to NSW)

1999
Blueback
Alice
The BFG (Australian tour 1)

1998
Little Red (tour to Brisbane, Victoria, Korea, Taiwan, Sri Lanka and Malaysia)
The BFG
Wannabe

1997
The-Fork-1997
The Fork (above)
Cool Magic
Filth

1996
The Hunt
Desires (tour to Queensland and Budapest)
Jump into the Picture

1995
Jump into the Picture
Freedom of the Heart
Desires

1994
Cold Feet
Freedom of the Heart
Heroes
Yolla

1993
Cold Feet
Heroes
Up the Down Escalator
Another Place, Another Space
Then it Starts to Happen

1992
Another Place, Another Space
Then it Starts to Happen
Up the Down Escalator
Gammer

1991
Bad News Clancy
Gammer
It’s Not the Fool’s Squid
Tell us a Story

1990
Kaguyahime
The Flying Flopps
It’s Not the Fool’s Squid
The Great Gooble Strak
Tell us a Story

1989
Bombast and Hearsay
Heartburn Hotel
The Great Gooble Strak
Ice Palais
Little Red Riding Hood

1988
Paper Plays
Bombast and Hearsay
Heartburn Hotel
Little Red Riding Hood
Small Stories

1987
Home is Where the House is
Down Under
Small Stories
Little Red Riding Hood

1986
Changing Places
Bushy Tales
The Curiosity Shop

1985
Princess with the Echo
Little Red Riding Hood and Budlinek
Changing Places
Bushy Tales
The Sit Down Pig

1984
Intergalactic Twanglers
The Curse of Kings
Little Red Riding Hood and Budlinek

1983
Thunder and Lightning
Little Red Hen

1982
Tanglefoot
Billy Goats Gruff

1981
The Soldier’s Tale
The Three Little Pigs