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WAM’s prehistoric puppets

Catherine McNamara (The Marine Biologist) with Rio Nastasi (7) and Bon Nastasi (10) from Dianella at the State Theatre Centre where Erth’s Prehistoric Aquarium is showing. Picture: Andrew Ritchie.

Julian Wright, Erth’s Prehistoric Aquarium a puppet show for all ages, Guardian Express, 11 January 2017

Sesame Street was not just a part of Scott Wright’s childhood – it inspired his career.

The puppeteer of 15 years, who debuted his show Erth’s Prehistoric Aquarium at the State Theatre this month ahead of a national tour, said characters like Bert, Ernie, Cookie Monster and Grover had a huge impact on him.

“At the time I never thought I would be a puppeteer but I discovered a love for puppets,” he said.

“I think puppetry is experiencing a renaissance with productions of The Lion King and War Horse – it has come into the mainstream and there is a greater appreciation for puppetry.”

An extension of last year’s Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo, the interactive Erth’s Prehistoric Aquarium brings to life and to the stage forgotten prehistoric aquatic critters including Kronosaurus and Plesiosaur.

The show, which was three years in the making, will feature the fourth generation of brand new puppets.

“They have been unveiled in Perth,” Mr Wright said.

“The process consists of building them and finding their weaknesses and fixing them, so from the initial making of the puppets, these are fourth generation.”

After the show concludes in Perth on January 22, it will travel throughout Australia, with conversations already underway to take it to three other countries.

Perth Theatre Trust general manager Duncan Ord said it was a show for the whole family.

Western Australian Museum chief executive Alec Coles said ensuring the museum had a continuing presence in the Perth Cultural Centre was vital.

“The work of the Museum continues through its Fremantle and regional museum sites, but while the doors are temporarily closed at our site in Perth it is a real win for audiences to be able come to the Cultural Centre to see the Plesiosaurs and other incredible prehistoric creatures,” he said.

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