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Boats single work   drama   musical theatre   children's   adventure  
Note: Devised by Terrapin Puppet Theatre.
Issue Details: First known date: 2008... 2008 Boats
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Boats is a story about a man called Jof, told by his friend Nic. The two of them are life-long friends and sailors. They met through bizarre circumstances involving a chicken, a deserted island and a sombrero. It is a story of two mariners fleeing their past and embracing adventure. The play is enacted with puppets, acrobatics and sound effects created on stage with two microphones, one of which goes in water. Nic begins the story by blowing up a balloon and squeaking it into a microphone. He records this and the audience hear this sound played back as a "loop". He then blows into the microphone and loops that too. These two sounds are heard together, creating a strange but alluring effect. Throughout this Nic has been telling us about Jof, who is silently sitting on a chair working with a rope. When Jof stands up he reveals a bird which he has made by tying knots in the rope as Nic talks. The audience then see a bird and realise the sounds that they hear are the sounds of birds and the wind and sea.

'The play begins as the elements come together when the puppeteers lift the bird and fly it through the space. The bird is a gull that flies over Jof throughout his life.

'Boats is a poetic show where you watch the magic created in front of you. It is classic story-telling done up close. Jof and Nic transform the world in front of you using everyday objects that would be found on a boat's galley. Each scene is a unique and highly inventive use of space and puppetry. A boat is made from a piece of bread, and ropes. An island is made from a hat. A circus is made from a jacket. And a storm is made in a teacup.

'Boats is a moving story which ultimately tells the story and adventures of Nic and Jof with a twist at the end which will leave a lump in your throat and a smile on your face.

'Boats has physical theatre, object manipulation, story telling, and of course the wonderful puppetry that has made Terrapin famous locally, nationally and internationally.'

Source: Terrapin website,
Sighted: 25/09/2012

Production Details

  • First produced in a touring season in Tasmanian schools, July-September 2008. Tours to other Australian states followed.

    Tours to New Zealand, Ireland and the USA were 'supported by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body'.

    Director: Frank Newman.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Last amended 25 Sep 2012 05:40:26
  • Coast,
  • At sea,
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