• Chris Isaacs, Tim Watts and Arielle Gray with Hal and Snowy

    Chris Isaacs, Tim Watts and Arielle Gray with Hal and Snowy

  • Imogen Hughes and Caitlin McEwen

    Imogen Hughes and Caitlin McEwen

  • Guy Sandstrom and Shayne Tamer

    Guy Sandstrom and Shayne Tamer

  • David Bissell, Peter Thomas and Jamie Hladky

    David Bissell, Peter Thomas and Jamie Hladky

  • Melissa Wicks and Jessica Carbert

    Melissa Wicks and Jessica Carbert

  • Louise Doyle and Carol Cartwright

    Louise Doyle and Carol Cartwright

  • Anna and James Riddell

    Anna and James Riddell

  • Rob Fuller, Annike Harding and Carrie Moss

    Rob Fuller, Annike Harding and Carrie Moss

  • Michelle Frew and Sue Chapman

    Michelle Frew and Sue Chapman

It's Dark Outside @ The Street Theatre

4 June 2014

I fell in love with a little old man puppet called Hal with big ‘Tony’ ears on a large head, blue eyes that hid so much and the cutest pair of sneakers. Stripped bare his performance in the inspired production of It’s Dark Outside is in the hands of puppeteers/actors/creators Tim Watts, Chris Isaacs and Arielle Gray and he’s integral to a story that was inspired by Tim Watts grandfather’s dementia and particularly his wanderings.

As subject matter for a production with this magic mix of film, live action, cartoon characters, shadow play and an exceptional music score by Rachael Dease, It’s Dark Outside is a breath of fresh ingenuity presenting a perspective that explains so much of the loss, the confusion, the frustration, the emotions and ultimately the acceptance of a condition destined to affect a growing number of our seniors as they live longer.

Watts found the story evolved during rehearsals when the stuffing was literally falling out of Hal the puppet and creating imagery for the production that was a fit for puffs of memory falling away, or floating along as clouds, with efforts to get it back a painful example of what it must be like. We have, to tie this short but poignant story together, an epic Wild West wandering of an old man who has obviously been in the saddle for a mighty long time, his alto ego Hal, Snowy the dog, a needy tent with attitude and a ride ‘em cowboy ability, a bounty hunter with a butterfly net to catch puffs of memory while chasing his ultimate goal and your interpretation.

Put it all together at The Street Theatre for barely an hour of your time and you will be rewarded with an exceptional and emotional take on dementia. After the show, talk to the team and tell them your experiences, they are good listeners, and you will find many familiar aspects that will bring a tear to your eye. It’s Dark Outside continues at The Street Theatre until Sunday 8 June.