Updated: Apr 27, 2020
Lemony S Puppet Theatre with Australian singer-songwriter Suzannah Espie brings its magical new show Taking the Waters to Melbourne Recital Centre this April.
A spellbinding story about the absurdity of life and death, Taking the Waters has been acclaimed by critics and audiences alike since its premiere in November last year.
The story tells of three sisters who are reunited when Duck, the youngest, learns she is dying, and her older sisters, Maggie and Chook, return to care for her. Old patterns of behavior play out, old wounds are re-opened and ultimately, a new reality where three must become two has to be found.
At the heart of Taking the Waters’ poignant emotional journey is its beautiful musical score. Espie, lauded by The Age for ‘giving voice to unspoken emotion, breaking into songs of lament with mournful clarity’, expresses through her original songs all that the sister can’t.
Taking the Waters delicately weaves together intricate shadow puppetry, live sung voice, bunraku puppets (small, human figures) and acting in a work of breathtaking power.
Writer, director and co-creator Sarah Kriegler explains: ‘Puppetry, an image-based artform, works best when accompanied by equally strong, resonant music. Taking the Waters was the first time we worked with live sung voice. We also wanted a shadow puppetry element to the show. Shadow puppetry is a fabulous way of portraying a complex story simply. In 2017 we had the good fortune of meeting Kyoko Imazu and seeing her paper cut work. We fell in love with Kyoko’s work instantly and asked her to collaborate with us on Taking the Waters. It’s been a match made in heaven as Kyoko’s sensibilities and responses to the stimuli, the story and Suzannah’s voice, were spot on.’
Lemony S Puppet Theatre has been making puppet works for adults and family audiences for 15 years.
Sarah adds: ‘Sometimes it feels a little simplified to call them puppet works as they always include live performance, music, song, objects and some puppetry. It was always our intention to fuse these wonderfully diverse elements together again for Taking the Waters.’
Giving Sarah the last word, she says: ‘What we have made is like a visual piece of music or perhaps a visual poem and that is something out of the ordinary. It is very beautiful, meditative, moving, sad and often, surprisingly, quite funny.’
‘A moving, resonant and beautifully crafted show.’ The Age
‘A meditation on forgiveness and farewells, Taking the Waters is a beautiful show that shouldn’t be missed.’ Arts Review
Taking the Waters Wed 1 – Fri 3 April 7pm & Sat 4 April 2pm & 7pm Primrose Potter Salon Tickets $45 ($35 conc) Presented by Melbourne Recital Centre & Lemony S Puppet Theatre