Captain Koala

Premiere September 1987
Venue Exhibition Hall, Royal Melbourne Show, Flemington

firemen kangaroo and koala, girl and bird puppets with 4 puppeteers on set of a rural Australian house verandah

Captain Koala
Puppeteers (Fr L) Maeve Vella, Mary Coustas, Michael Blair and Paul Eperjesi

Photograph: © David Herd, 1987

CAPTAIN KOALA was a commission from the Country Fire Authority, Victoria, to produce two plays about fire safety for its exhibition area at the Royal Melbourne Show. The work was brought to Handspan by its writer/director, Jon Stephens, at the time, Company Chair.

The plays were performed in a static set representing a rural Australian home. Puppeteer/actors were dressed in yellow firefighter overalls operating bunraku style puppet characters.

The work was devised and constructed to impart CFA information to children attending the Show in and its half-hour performances played 6 shows daily during its season.

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Creative team
Writer Jon Stephens
Director Jon Stephens
Designer Michael Salmon
Composer John Phillips
Manipulation Director Jenni Fogarty
Captain Kangaroo Paul Eperjesi
Girl & Boy Mary Coustas
Bird & Fire & Fireman Michael Blair
Captain Koala Maeve Vella
Production teams
Set construction & painting Cliff Dolliver & Paul Newcombe
Puppet maker Michele Spooner
September 1987 10 days
Total performances 60
Total audience 9000

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For Young People: