Performing at much-loved Spare Parts Puppet Theatre this April school holidays is Blueback, adapted by Peta Murray from the book by Tim Winton’s story about family, belonging, and living a life in tune with the environment.

Blueback tells the story of Abel Jackson and his mother and their life through the years in Longboat Bay. On one of their many snorkelling trips in the bay, they befriend a huge Blue Groper which they name Blueback.

The story follows Abel from boyhood to fatherhood and his deep connection to the ocean. Much of the story is told poetically through a series of letters between Abel and his mother and also his father who we learn has passed away as a result of an encounter with a Tiger Shark.  Eventually, he leaves Longboat Bay goes to university and becomes a Marine Biologist, travelling the world to study its oceans. His mother remains in the bay fending off greedy land developers, worrying about the overfishing of the Abalone by new fisherman and noticing the subtle changes to the water’s ecology. By the end of the tale, she has succeded in persuading the government to make Longboat Bay a protected area.

The play, I feel, is more suited to an older audience. Younger children may not follow the play’s deeper themes. Whilst my 1o-year-old found the performance engaging the two eight-year-olds accompanying us lost focus. I felt that the dialogue took centre stage and the visuals were not captivating enough to fully immerse the younger audience into Blueback’s underwater world.

Blueback, whilst entertaining raises our awareness of the environmental issues that we face in the 21st century. It is particularly apt with our current awareness of our use of plastics and the impact that it is having on our marine life. It serves as a warning to us to take care of our coastline and the world that inhabits it.

If you haven’t been to the Spare Parts Puppet Theatre, seating is not reserved so if you are visiting in a group it is advisable to get there early if you wish to be seated together. Also make sure you check out all the amazing puppets from previous productions in the foyer area.

Blueback by Spare Parts Puppet Theatre

Duration: 50 mins
Perfect for ages 5 and above

April 13 – 27
10am & 1pm daily
Special 6.30pm performance April 18 & 24
No performances Sundays or public holidays.

Booking Essential
Please visit or telephone 9335 5044

Ticket Prices
General Admission: $25.00 (per ticket)
Groups of 4 or more: $24.00 (per ticket)
Groups of 10 or more: $23.00 (per ticket)
$3.95 booking fee applies

Spare Parts Puppet Theatre
1 Short Street, Fremantle
(opposite Fremantle Train Station)


About Jennie McNichol

Jennie McNichol is the Co-Founder and Editor of Buggybuddys. She moved to Perth in 2010 after 11 years of living in London, working in the television industry for the BBC. She is the mother of two daughters aged 12 and 9 and loves the family-friendly lifestyle that Perth has to offer.

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