Puppetry, Performance, Projections – Permutations

In October the creative team of The Spookmaster, which is a new play for children, spent a weekend in ICU experimenting with combinations of narration, physical portrayal, puppetry, sound and video projections.

One of the common questions I’m asked by children is, ‘Is that story real?’ The Spookmaster is a play where the answer isn’t yes or no. Things are real and make-believe. The story is told as a memory, a thing that no longer physically exists but is nevertheless ‘real’. Similarly, the central character isn’t defined in one medium, he’s physically enacted, he’s a puppet, he’s a projection, he’s a puppet seeing himself in his own nightmare. Even the videos are reality shifting – they combine actual Super 8 footage from the performer’s true childhood in combination with invented material. But which is which?

So next time a kid asks me, ‘Is that story real?’, I’m going to reply, ‘You tell me?’

There’s a short video of us working at

The Spookmaster opens at Castlemaine State Festival. Written and performed by Mark Penzak, Lynne Kent directing, Jim Coad video, Andrée Cozens sound and Eliza-Jane Gilchrist set/puppet design.


More Posts.

Additional musings from Punctum