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20 January 2021



2008 - 2015


Terrapin Puppet Theatre


Boats is a story about a man called Jof, told by his friend Nic. The two of them are life-long friends and sailors. They met through bizarre circumstances involving a chicken, a deserted island and a sombrero. It is a story of two mariners fleeing their past and embracing adventure.


When a children’s show like this comes along you have to grab it with both hands.”
The Sun-Herald Sydney

“This is an entrancing hour in the theatre for five and ups and a pleasure for adults, too.”
Sydney Morning Herald

“Exquisite. See it if you can… where ever it may roam.”

“A zephyr of pure originality and lyricism flows through this work….The performers add acrobatic skills to acting and the puppetry of ingenuity….The rest lies in the calibre of performance, pure focus and physical disciplines, which simply carry one into a vivid and fantastical world.”
Samela Harris, The Adelaide Advertiser

“Fantastic – the best Terrapin performance we have had (in nearly 30 years of teaching)”.
Rosetta Primary School

“Fabulous show, engaging and creatively inspiring.  Very cleverly designed and perfect for all primary ages children”.
Claremont Primary School

“Superb storyline, wonderful production.  We were left speechless.”
Cygnet Primary School

The play is enacted with puppets, acrobatics and sound effects created on stage with two microphones, one of which goes in water. Nic begins the story by blowing up a balloon and squeaking it into a microphone. He records this and the audience hear this sound played back as a ‘loop’. He then blows into the microphone and loops that too. These two sounds are heard together, creating a strange but alluring effect. Throughout this Nic has been telling us about Jof, who is silently sitting on a chair working with a rope. When Jof stands up he reveals a bird which he has made by tying knots in the rope as Nic talks. The audience then see a bird and realise the sounds that they hear are the sounds of birds and the wind and sea. The play begins as the elements come together when the puppeteers lift the bird and fly it through the space. The bird is a gull that flies over Jof throughout his life.

Boats is a poetic show where you watch the magic created in front of you. It is classic story-telling done up close. Jof and Nic transform the world in front of you using everyday objects that would be found on a boat’s galley. Each scene is a unique and highly inventive use of space and puppetry. A boat is made from a piece of bread, and ropes. An island is made from a hat. A circus is made from a jacket. And a storm is made in a teacup.

Boats is a moving story which ultimately tells the story and adventures of Nic and Jof with a twist at the end which will leave a lump in your throat and a smile on your face.

Boats has physical theatre, object manipulation, story telling, and of course the wonderful puppetry that has made Terrapin famous locally, nationally and internationally.




2015, March 8-9, Spiegeltent, Hobart


2014 2nd Tasmanian School Tour
2013 Western Australia Regional Tour & Awesome Arts Festival
2013 Shanghai International Children’s Festival, Nanjing and Hangzhou, China
2013 2nd USA Tour
2013 Australian Wooden Boat Festival, Hobart
2012 Tasmanian Tour
2011 Australian Tour
2011 USA Tour
2011 Spreacha Festival, Fingal, Ireland
2011 Capital E National Arts Festival Wellington NZ
2010 The Arts Centre Melbourne and Regional Victoria
2009 Come Out Festival, and Adelaide Festival Centre
2008 Tasmanian School Tour


Director: Frank Newman
Writer: Finegan Kruckemeyer
Composer: Matthew Fargher
Set and Puppet Design: Greg Methé
Costume Design: Roz Wren

English Language Version:
Cast: Quinn Griggs, and Jeff Michel/Brett Rogers
Tour Production Manager: Andrew MacDonald

Chinese Language Version:
Rehearsal Direction: Barry Plews
Translation: Hu He
Cast: Zheng Zheng and Zheng Tian Qi
Stage Manager: Wang Xi Lei

The international tours are supported by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.

The Chinese language version of Boats is supported by the Australian Government through the Australia-China Council, an initiative of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and developed in partnership with Reckless Moments.


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