Three performers use a wide range of puppetry forms (and a chicken) to tell a dark, moving, and sometimes humourous tale about shifting forces between a father and two children. An old man, sinking into dementia, lives in a chicken coop with his favourite hen and thinks he’s God. His daughter looks after him, and when his son returns after a long time away, old loves and wounds re-ignite. The children want love, and when they cannot have that, revenge. The father wants forgiveness, but what did he do wrong? He can’t remember. The chicken wants to fly! Biblical references abound as the fragmented story swings from tenderness to violence, from certainty to confusion, from love to lust. Families! Are they ever easy?

Coop’s earlier development – In the Beginning….uhm – received a Green Room Award nomination for Nancy Black as Best Director of a New Form in 2007.

The 2008 production won 3 Green Room Awards in the Alternative Theatre category: Best Production, Best Lighting and Best Sound.

It has been invited to Dublin, the US, and South Africa. We will get there!

DIRECTOR: Nancy Black
SET & LIGHTING DESIGNER: Ben Cobham
SOUND DESIGNER: Kelly Ryall
CHOREOGRAPHER: Michelle Heaven
DIRECTOR OF PUPPETRY: Rod Primrose
PUPPETEERS: Conor Fox, Rod Primrose, Tamara Rewse
DRAMATURG: John Paul Hussey

REVIEWS:

The Age
Real Time
The Sunday Age

This production of Coop premiered in Melbourne at 45 Downstairs in February 2008 and was shown at UNIMA (Union Internationale de la Marionnette) Puppetry Festival in Perth in April 2008. It was supported by Arts Victoria and the Myer Foundation.

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Photography by Jeff Busby
All images and text © Black Hole Theatre