Spike the Echidna – Online Watch Party & Workshop

Riverside Archives

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Spike the Echidna – Online Watch Party & Workshop

Venue Online
Dates 23 September 2021
Category Spot On Children's Festival - Online Watch Party

Riverside Theatres Digital presents
Little Wing Puppets
Performed by Jenny Ellis
Written By Jenny Ellis & Anne Brooksbank
Music Composed By Mal Webb
Directed By Jacob Williams & Clare Batholomew
Designed By Jenny Ellis, with design concepts by Richard Bradshaw and Fabrizio Montecchi
Puppets, Sets and Lights By Jenny Ellis, Jeremy Lavender, Lauren Redpath, Freya Pitt and Nick Wollan

Be part of the exclusive Online Watch Party of this wonderful show on our Riverside Theatres Digital platform. You and the kids will be able to stream the show and take part in the live chat function. After the show, participate in a Q&A with members of the cast and creative team, hosted by Riverside Theatres Program Coordinator – Education, Youth and Families, Amy Matthews. This is a fantastic opportunity to gain behind-the-scenes insight into the show and a chance to have your kids questions answered. This is a one time only event, you will not have access to the show on demand afterwards.

Chat live after the show with:
Amy Matthews – Q&A Host and Riverside Theatres Program Coordinator (Education, Youth and Families)
Jenny Ellis – Co-writer, Performer of Spike the Echidna, and Artistic Director of Little Wing Puppets

Spike is the story of an echidna who is stolen from his nest by a greedy rat. He hatches from his egg far away from home. A young girl finds him. She is playing alone in the bush because she is being bullied by other children. He has no spikes yet and she doesn’t know what kind of creature he is. She tries to work out where he comes from, but accidently puts him in dangerous situations – in the nest of a crocodile, an emu and a turtle. He feels frightened, rejected, alone. As the story unfolds, she helps him to discover where he belongs, and he helps her to find her own “spikes” and stand up to the bullies.

Told through the artform of contemporary shadow theatre, Spike is an interactive experience for the audience, with lively original music by Mal Webb. It is entertaining and fun, as well as a catalyst for a discussion about difference and belonging. It also about the unique biology of Australian animals, especially the egg-laying echidna.

After the performance there is a demonstration of shadow puppetry techniques, introducing children to an expressive hands-on story-telling medium that is highly accessible to young people.

Recommended for ages 4 – 10 and their families
Workshop recommended age is 6+ 


Watch as your drawings leap to life, off the page and onto the stage!

Join in and explore the world of shadow puppetry with an experienced puppeteer, Jenny Ellis. This hands-on workshop will give children a range of skills to make their own shows and as well as a puppet they can use at home. Participants will imagine and design their own unique puppet characters, then they’re guided through the process of making their puppets and bringing them to life.

Children will work at home to create their own shows. With a few tricks of the trade, they will finish with a performance of their own stories with the puppets they’ve created.


Materials for Shadow Puppets:
– Thin cardboard or paper (220 gsm black recommended but cereal boxes are great too)
– Bamboo kebab sticks or paddle pop sticks
– Sticky tape or masking tape
– Scissors
– Pencil

Optional extras:
– Split pins (also known as paper fasteners)
– Cellophane
– Cardboard box
– Baking Paper
– Torch

Adults assisting (not for kids!):
– Box cutter (Stanley knife)
– Cutting mat

Ages: 6+ all children must be accompanied by an adult.

This workshop will be available live via Zoom on Thursday 23 September 2021 at 12:30pm only and will not be available to do after this time.
Please Note, workshop is not available to Vacation Care Groups.

Book tickets on this page for the Online Watch Party on Youtube and Shadow Puppetry Workshop on Zoom. If you’re looking for the On Demand offering click here.

How You Can Access
We are holding an Online Watch Party on Youtube for this show on Thursday 23 September 2021 at 11am and a Shadow Puppetry Workshop at 12:30pm on Zoom into your home. The links will be available on this date only and will not be available to view online after the event.
You are welcome to share and watch the show and participate in the workshop as a household group.

Vacation Care Group pricing is only for ‘In Centre Viewing’. We encourage centres to pass on the festival’s information to ‘at home families’.

There is no transaction fee for this show.

About the All Access Pass
Our ALL ACCESS PASS is the perfect option if you want to keep the kids entertained for the whole school holidays!
Including 6 events – you can see it your way with some shows having your choice of On Demand or a Live Online Watch Party available. Just mix and match your viewing method for each show when purchasing your pass. Workshops are available as an add on to your ALL ACCESS PASS at a heavily discounted rate, so you can cater your pass to your kids’ interests and ages, to get it SPOT ON!

Need Help?
If you’re having issues connecting to our stream, click here to download our Streaming FAQ’s to help you.

Performed by Jenny Ellis
Written By Jenny Ellis & Anne Brooksbank
Music Composed By Mal Webb
Directed By Jacob Williams & Clare Batholomew
Designed By Jenny Ellis, with design concepts by Richard Bradshaw and Fabrizio Montecchi
Puppets, Sets and Lights By Jenny Ellis, Jeremy Lavender, Lauren Redpath, Freya Pitt and Nick Wollan

Little Wing Puppets
Since 2006, Little Wing Puppets have performed their shows to thousands of children in every state and territory of Australia, as well as overseas. They’re driven by the love of telling stories that speak to children, make them laugh, and passing on skills so kids can create their own worlds through puppetry.

Jenny Ellis – Artistic Director and Performer
Jenny has been making and performing with puppets for over twenty years. She has a Post-Graduate Diploma in Puppetry from the Victorian College of the Arts and a Bachelor’s degree majoring in Environmental Education. Jenny trained with Master Puppeteer Richard Bradshaw through the national Jump mentoring program in 2011. She also received a Major Fellowship in 2012 from the Mike Walsh Foundation to research puppetry in Europe and graduated from the Heilkos School of International Theatre Creation in Florence, Italy in 2014. Little Wing continues to work with a vibrant team of independent artists; writers, directors, designers and composers, to make exceptional that speaks to young people and is ready to travel.

Richard Bradshaw – Puppetry Mentor
Richard has performed with his shadow puppets for audiences of children and adults in Europe, North America and Asia, making some 40 overseas tours. His puppets have featured on The Muppet Show and were the basis of a one-hour documentary made by Jim Henson in Sydney in 1984. He has given shadow-puppet workshops for puppeteers in Spain, Portugal, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Poland, U.S.A., Canada, Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan. He has contributed a chapter on making shadow puppets to a book published in Germany in 2001. From 1976-83 Richard was Artistic Director of the Marionette Theatre of Australia based in Sydney. In 1986 Richard received the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) “for services to the arts as a puppeteer” and in 1987 he shared the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Award“ for sustained excellence in the field of puppetry”.

Fabrizio Montecchi – Puppetry Mentor
Fabrizio Montecchi is an Italian stage director and set designer. In 1977, he started collaborating with the Teatro Gioco Vita Company, a collaboration which consisted in increasing and developing shadow theatre. He has contributed to almost every production of the company, and organized collaborations with lyrical and theatrical institutions like La Scala Theatre in Milan, the Fenice de Venice, the Verona Arena, Rome Opera and the Piccolo Teatro in Milan. Since 1985, he has directed more than 25 shows of the company. He has conducted workshops and seminars in Germany, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Cuba, Scotland, Finland, France, Greece, Italy, Norway, Poland, Portugal and Sweden.

Anne Brooksbank – Script Editor
Anne Brooksbank has written a number of scripts for children and has won two AWGIE Awards for children’s screenwriting. In 1985 her script entitled On Loan was produced for the Winners television series by the Children’s Film and Television Corporation. The produced film won a Media Peace Award, and she subsequently adapted the script into a novel which was reprinted eleven times by Penguin and is still widely borrowed from school libraries. Since then, she has gone on to write five more books for children and young adults. Her book Mother’s Day was listed as Highly Recommended in the Family Therapists’ Association Awards in 2006. Sir Katherine was listed as a Notable Australian Book in the Children’s Council Book Awards in 2008. Father’s Day was shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards for Children’s Literature in 2012.

Jacob Williams – Puppetry Director
Jacob Williams is the co-director of Lemony S and is an award winning puppeteer, maker and actor with over twenty years experience in the arts. He has toured nationally and internationally with many companies such as Terrapin Puppet Theatre, Polyglot Puppet Theatre, Black Hole Inc. and Walking with Dinosaurs were he starred as the T Rex. Jacob is a graduate of Victoria College of the Arts Drama School in Animateuring (theatre making). He was Assistant Puppetry Director for the Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony as well as puppeteered on the children’s television show New McDonald’s Farm for Channel 9. During 2009, he was part of the creative team behind The Flying Fruit Fly Circus’s The Promise which won a Helpman award for the Best Presentation for Children. Jacob was ‘Kong Captain’ for King Kong – Live on Stage and was recently awarded a Helpman Award with the team for the operation of Kong.

Mal Webb –Composer
Around the world vocal adventurer, multi-instrumentist and looping beatboxing songwriter MalWebb uses all sorts of vocal techniques, guitar, mbira, slide trumpet, trombone, chromatic harmonica and a loop recording pedal. A founding member of the Oxo Cubans, Sock and Totally Gourdgeous, Mal did all the music for the Lano and Woodley TV show and Wogs Out of Work, played mbira and sang “Eagle Rock” with Ross Wilson on John Safran’s Music Jamboree on SBS and has done a few spots on Spicks and Specks (ABCTV). Mal was also the composer for the recent ABC TV series Woodley.

Lauren Redpath – Puppet Maker
Lauren is a puppet designer and fabricator working in theatre and film. Lauren completed a Bachelors Degree in Production at the Victorian College of the Arts in 2007. Lauren has worked with the Creature Technology Company on the internationally successful Arena Spectacular shows Walking with Dinosaurs and How to Train your Dragon.

Freya Pitt – Puppet Maker
Freya completed a Visual Arts Degree at Edith Cowan University, WA in 2006, and combines the creative areas of textiles, papercut and installation, shadow puppetry and animation. She now lives in Melbourne and is currently completing a Master of Art in Public Space at RMIT University.

Jeremy Lavendar – Production Manager – Little Wing Puppets
Jeremy Lavender is a photographer, performer and puppet maker, and joined Little Wing Puppets in 2015. He has worked as an artist on many residencies with Little Wing including Birds Without Borders (2015) and The Song of the Eels (2016) major art projects for the Upwelling Festival, involving 18 schools in the Glenelg Region of Western Victoria. Jeremy co-facilitated Creative Learning Partnership Residencies with Jenny making masks with the students of Langley Primary and Redesdale Mia Mia Primary Schools in 2016, and Bunraku-style Puppets with Mother of God Primary in 2018. He also assisted the development a shadow puppet show Too Much Bats with children at the Wugularr Aboriginal community in the Northern Territory for the Walking with Spirits Festival 2016. Jeremy co-developed and performed Trinket the Robot in 2017 and built puppets and sets for The Fish That Wanted To Fly and has production managed and documented Little Wing Puppets tours around Victoria, Tasmania, New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia.


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40 minutes + livestreamed Q&A after the show

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Ticket Prices

RIVERSIDE MEMBERS Household $10.50
Show and Workshop Package $18
All Access Pass Price (access to 6 shows - via Online Watch Party or On Demand) $39
All Access Pass Workshop Add On $3
NON-MEMBERS Household $12.50
Show and Workshop Package $20
All Access Pass Price (access to 6 shows - via Online Watch Party or On Demand) $42
All Access Pass Workshop Add On $5
Vacation Care Groups (Workshop unavailable | In centre viewing only) $100