I created a stage adaptation of the novel ‘Death at Intervals’ by Portuguese author José Saramago.  For the first production at La Mama Carlton Courthouse Theatre,  I took on the roles of writer, director, puppet maker, puppeteer and actor.  The work explores a mythical country where death ceases to exist.  Puppetry elevated the magic realism of Saramago’s vision and explored a work not unlike our own.  The genre is difficult to describe: there are elements of black comedy relating to the aged care and death industries, there are poignant moments when death is no longer providing a merciful end to suffering and a touching love story involving the character of death.  The work is ultimately a celebration of life and humanity.

I intend to develop the work for touring to International Puppetry festivals.  I was encouraged by the overwhelming positive response from audiences in this first showing.  The puppets were described as exquisite and the subject matter was deeply relevant to everyone.

Saramago was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature and an English-language film adaptation of one of Saramago’s most famous novels, ‘Blindness’  opened the 2008 Cannes Film Festival.  Although Saramago’s language is very poetic, I believe that  the visual poetry of puppetry will convey the themes within  ‘Death at Intervals’ to audiences around the world.

My thanks to La Mama for providing the venue and their generous support to all in their Explorations season. They are invaluable for creating new and original theatre in Melbourne and they do it with grace and warmth.  I am also indebted to the cast and composers for this production: Susan-Bamford Caleo, Dani Cresp, Robert Stephens and Gonzalo Varela. Robert Stephens and Rose Turtle-Ertler created highly original live music for the show. All images in the slideshow by Mr Amazing Stephen Mushin. Filming by Lindesay Dresdon and Editing by Sara Franzoni for the wonderful YouTube clip

One Response to ‘Death at Intervals’ at La Mama Explorations Season

  1. [...] in a dance hall and Lachlan becomes the puppet’s younger self. I made this puppet for my show ‘Death at Intervals’ and he was so popular I wanted to give him another life. I think both works utilise puppets’ [...]