Spare Parts Puppet Theatre

Category: Call Me

Show Status | In Development

Email Address:

Company Website:

Producer Name: Spare Parts Puppet Theatre


The Twits, first published in 1980, is a comedy of rebellion and justice in which Muggle-Wump the monkey races to outwit Mr and Mrs Twit, two of most terrible and disgusting people ever to have lived. Playfulness and tricks are more successful than following the rules in this classic Roald Dahl story, making it fantastically well suited to the grotesque world of puppet theatre.

The adaptation has been co-created by leading West Australian theatre maker Humphrey Bower and Spare Parts Associate Director Michael Barlow, with Barlow directing and renowned comedian Sam Longley as Assistant Director. Performed by Jessica Harlond-Kenny (Hachiko, Hare Brain, The Velveteen Rabbit) and Geordie Crawley (Martin Sims award winner 2017 FringeWorld), this production will be available as an in-theatre work but has been created in a low-tech form that can also be presented without theatrical lighting. 

The performers bring characters to life in the blink of an eye, using hand held puppets in a simple stage setting, highlighting the playfulness of live performance. The Cubist art movement of the 20th century has inspired Leon Hendroffs’ design, which brings together the monstrous features of the Twits with ingenious aural elements by Sound Consultant Lee Buddle.

Despite the fact that Mr. and Mrs. Twit like to play nasty tricks on each other, the book features one of Roald Dahl's best-known quotes;

“...if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.” - Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl has been referred to as "one of the greatest storytellers for children of the 20th century." He remains a relevant and thrilling author for generations of children, as his works are usually told from the point of view of the child. This perspective, and his encouragement of ‘letting your imagination run free,’ inventiveness (in both style and language), playfulness and fantasy are values which Spare Parts celebrates and aligns strongly with. 

Appealing to children and families with its promise of fun and ‘silliness’, this story also champions the kind-hearted and features and underlying warm sentiment. The work encourages exploration of language and character, builds emotional intelligence and encourages critical thinking. 

Spare Parts new production of Roald Dahl's The Twits will translate well in a variety of venues and settings, whether it be in a school, community hall or small theatre; and will tour compactly. With numerous books, teacher resources, well-developed lesson plans, games and online resources, Spare Parts can support our venues and presenters with a package of content which further develops key messages and learnings.

Spare Parts is confident that the demand for this show will be strong, after a recent call-out for applicants for our Schools Access & Inclusion Program saw more than 50% of applicants requesting The Twits to come to their school.


Spare Parts Puppet Theatre is Australia’s flagship puppetry company and a driving force in the puppetry landscape in Australia since 1981. Through puppetry we share stories that celebrate what it is to be human; connecting audiences across generations.

Over the course of our 36-year history we have entertained and enriched the lives of tens of thousands of audiences members both in Australia and abroad. 

The company is lead by Artistic Director Philip Mitchell and Associate Director Michael Barlow; they work with artists from our well-established and ever-growing pool of Company Associates, offering skills in writing, design, and performance for puppetry. 

Each year our annual program includes performances at our home theatre in Fremantle, touring to schools, theatres and festivals across Australia and abroad, puppetry workshops for children and adults, and artists training and development programs including the delivery of a puppetry unit as part of the Bachelor of Performing Arts at WAAPA (Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts).

Our artistic vision and choices are guided by a desire to tell stories that nourish the emotional development of our audience, our artists and our communities. We celebrate what it is to be human while exploring life-long themes that address the complexity of contemporary life.

In 2016, through our various programs we had an audience and participant reach of more than 100,000 people locally, nationally and internationally. In 2015 we were awarded the Fremantle Business Awards ‘Business of the Year’ and in both 2015 and 2016 awarded the ‘Outstanding Cultural Enterprise’ Award, recognising our contribution, to the business community of, and to the cultural vibrancy of Fremantle and surrounds.

We aspire to be internationally recognised as a centre for excellence in puppetry, inspiring audiences and artists throughout the world, including in our own backyard.