A magical task to design set and puppets for April Underhill: Tooth Fairy an adaptation of the children’s book by Bob Graham. The production was awarded best Children’s Show Melbourne Fringe 2014. It was fun playing with scale and working from Bob’s illustrations.

I created a tiny Fairy house and a giant puppet of a sleeping boy with blinking eyes tucked up in bed. His sheet became a shadow screen for which I drew a shadow projections backdrop of the suburbs for the fairies to fly over. I also made ginormous paper mache flowers over recycled standing lamps (thanks hard rubbish collections) and a huge cardboard $1 dollar coin. I constructed human size stools from logs and branches and broken bits of chairs that looked a little like they came from a doll’s house and converted a wooden cable drum into a giant cotton bobbin table for the Fairies house. I also sculpted massive teeth which were hung around the set recreating Bob Graham’s endearing fairy world.











It was gratifying to speak to the audience of children well exposed to the wonders of CGI when most of their questions related to how did the puppet boy’s eyes blink. There is nothing like live theatre for creating wonder and amazement.

Three very talented people assisted with the build: Laila Shouha, Astrid Mendez and Amory Panné.









The show was the brainchild of Alexandra Sangster who wrote the adaptation and produced. The play was directed by Vanessa Chapple who had a delightful vision for the staging of this story and embraced my ideas and creations. Mike McEvoy, Michelle Nussy and Rachel Dyson McGregor played the Underhill Tooth Fairies. The two little Tooth Fairy puppets were made by Sarah Kriegler. Lighting design by Richard Vabre

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