Spare Parts Puppet Theatre

The Spare Parts Puppet Theatre is located at 1–9 Short Street, Fremantle, Western Australia, in Pioneer Park, opposite the Fremantle railway station.

Spare Parts Puppet Theatre
Former namesState Shipping Service Office
Fremantle Art Gallery
General information
Address1–9 Short Street
Town or cityFremantle, Western Australia
Current tenantsSpare Parts Puppet Theatre
LandlordDepartment of Culture and the Arts


The building was constructed as a commercial building in 1921. It is a two-storey limestone building with a corrugated iron roof, constructed in the Federation Free Classical style of architecture. The building was used as the State Shipping Service Office. In 1975 it was vested in the City of Fremantle and in September 1978 it was officially opened as the Fremantle Art Gallery.[1] In 1988 it was refurbished to specifically accommodate the Spare Parts Puppet Theatre.

Heritage value

The building is listed on the City of Fremantle's Municipal Heritage List.[2]

Current use

Spare Parts Puppet Theatre was founded by Peter Wilson,[3] Cathryn Robinson and Beverley Campbell-Jackson in 1981,[4] as part of an artist-in-residency program initiated by the WA Institute of Technology (now Curtin University of Technology). The company's first project was a puppet adaptation of Christopher Marlowe's Doctor Faustus for the 1981 Festival of Perth.[4] For the first seven years, the company was a touring company, but in 1998 it acquired the Fremantle Art Gallery as a permanent home.[4] From 1997 through to 2001, the company was under the artistic direction of Noriko Nishimoto.[4] In 2001 Philip Mitchell was appointed the company's new artistic director.

In April 2008 the Spare Parts Puppet Theatre hosted the 20th UNIMA (Union Internationals de la Marlonette) World Puppetry Festival and Congress.


  1. Fremantle Art Gallery (1978). "Selection from the City of Fremantle collection, official opening exhibition, September 10 – October 9, 1978". The Gallery. Retrieved 28 December 2011.
  2. "City of Fremantle Heritage List" (PDF). City of Fremantle. Archived from the original (pdf) on 19 March 2012. Retrieved 28 December 2011.
  3. Rubin, Don (1998). The World Encyclopedia of Contemporary Theatre: Asia. 5. Taylor & Francis. p. 84. ISBN 978-0-415-05933-6.
  4. Milne, Geoffery (2004). Theatre Australia (un)limited: Australian theatre since the 1950s. Rodopi. p. 358. ISBN 90-420-0930-6.

Further reading

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