Using the language and rhyme, culture and stories of the Tiwi Islands, playwright and performer Jason De Santis brings to life this classic tale of good, evil and magical redemption. Wulamanayuwi and the Seven Pamanui is a visually layered production using puppets, song, dance and projections to bring to life a modern adventure story, inspired by Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
Playwright Jason De Santis explains his inspiration for the work: “Growing up I had always loved hearing stories! Especially from my Nanna Martha and my Poppy Vince in Darwin.”
“Then in the school holidays, I would go home to Tiwi Islands, and hear stories about “little men” like the Pamanui in this story and “mapurtiti” spirits, bush people and creation beings.”
Five actors play a host of characters, operate puppets and perform live music. The narrator Jarparra, the Moon Man, introduces us to Wulamanayuwi, the daughter of a Tiwi Warrior, who has run away from her evil stepmother. Guided by a white cockatoo, Wulamanayuwi encounters creatures of magical significance – the seven Pamanui – who lead her on a joyful and surprising journey.
Wulamanayuwi inhabits a visually stunning world of fantasy, full of spirit-beings, bush creatures and mischievous water spirits. The Jilimara Arts and Craft Association in Milikapiti and the students of the Milikapiti Primary School of Melville Island made the puppets and set.
Packed with spirit and humour, Wulamanayuwi and the Seven Pamanui will delight audiences young and old. De Santis believes audiences will love the show. “It’s mischievous, hilarious and magical. There’s a lot in there for everybody. I think people will leave learning a lot about Tiwi culture but also, about their own culture as well.”
Director: Eamon Flack Featuring: Kamahi King, Jason De Santis, Jaxon De Santis, Natasha Wanganeen, Dalara Williams Designer: Bryan Woltjen Puppetry Director and AV Imagery: Sam Routledge Lighting Designer: Richard Vabre Composer: Jeffrey “Yellow” Simon Scenic Painting – set: Raelene Kerinauia Scenic Painting – puppets: Pedro Wonaeamirri, John Peter Pilakui and Linus Warlapinni
Wulamanayuwi and the Seven Pamanui is currently on a national tour through to 29 June 2014. For more information and performance dates, visit: www.performinglines.org.au/productions/wulamanayuwi for details.
Image: courtesy of Performing Lines