One of the greatest joys of watching a show at Spare Parts is witnessing children’s delight as the onstage magic unfolds, and certainly Miss Lily’s Fabulous Feather Boa draws out such enthusiasm from youngsters that it’s nearly impossible not to get swept up in the magic as an adult. Adapted and directed by Michael Barlow, based on the book by Margaret Wild and starring Shane Adamczak, Rebecca Bradley and Nick Pages-Oliver, this holiday-making menagerie of marsupials (and one crocodile) will light up any kid’s summer.
A family of cricket-loving koalas and a family of footy-kicking wombats descend upon Miss Lily (Rebecca Bradley) the crocodile’s holiday house along with a lonely Last Potoroo (Shane Adamczak). The koalas and the wombats each want to prove themselves the best at their favourite sport, but when it comes to playing each other, the wombats don’t want to play cricket and the koalas don’t want to play football, so instead they decide to try their hands at badminton. Pretty soon, the shuttlecock starts to have a mind of its own as the koala and the wombat try to keep up with its tricky moves.
Later on, the solitary potoroo, who has no family to speak of, decides to go to Miss Lily’s dance class. Miss Lily enters the room with a bright pink feather boa, and begins to tango. She lends the boa to the potoroo and soon it too begins to have a mind of its own. The boa dances and floats around by itself, entrancing the Last Potoroo, making her feel empowered to the point that she has to have the boa for herself. And this is when she gets into trouble, setting herself up for a moral dilemma and a guilty conscience. Will the potoroo be able to make things right again?
Adamczak, Bradley and Pages-Oliver run their behinds off in this show, making tracks around the set, trading koala heads with wombat heads offstage, chasing wayward shuttlecocks, suiting up in all blacks in order to disappear before our eyes, spinning set pieces around like rectangular merry-go-rounds, and stepping into full-length crocodile gear. Good thing they have energy in abundance; they’re also nimble and silly, making all of us giggle and marvel at their fabulous skills with the range of puppets designed by Iona McAuley.
What’s more, there’s a lesson to be learned about covetousness and a feel-good ending to boot. Take the kiddos down for a summer holiday with the marsupials and a tango with Miss Lily and her pink feather boa this coming January. They’ll have a fabulous time.