HISTORY & PAST SHOWS

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, Greg Methé and Noriko Nishimoto.

 

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 Between – The 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

2017

The Riddle of Washpool Gully

Infinite Corpse

All this Coming and Going (Denmark)

You and Me and the Space Between (Sydney Festival, Ten Days on the Island, Edinburgh International Children’s Festival)

I Think I Can (Royal Shakespeare Company at Stratford-upon-Avon)

 

2016

You and Me and the Space Between (Darwin Festival, Brisbane Festival, Melbourne Festival, Tasmanian school tour – above)

 

Egg (Melbourne and Tasmania – above)

I Think I Can (Belfast, Birmingham, Taipei)

2015

Red Racing Hood (above)

Shadow Photo Booth

I Think I Can (Sydney, Hobart, Burnie, Adelaide, The Hague, Vancouver, Calgary, Fayetteville)

Boats (Spiegeltent Hobart)

2014 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 – above)

Boats (Tasmanian school tour)

2013 Pip & Pooch (above) Shadow Dreams (Ten Days on the Island – above)

Boats (2nd USA Tour, WA Tour)

Chuan Yuan Pai (Chinese language version of Boats, China tour)

2012 Sleeping Horses Lie (above)

Love (Australian Performing Arts Market)

Boats (Tasmanian tour)

2011 Love (above) The Waltzing Tree (above)

When the Pictures Came (Come Out Festival Adelaide and Ten Days on the Island Hobart)

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)

2010 The Gatekeeper (above)

ding_hyena When the Pictures Came (Shanghai premiere – above)

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 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 (above)

Explosion Therapy (tour to Perth and Shanghai)

2007 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)

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