Skip to main content

Your free what's on guide to the NT

Trash Magic

RUBY IS A YOUNG girl who is deaf, and she and her family have embarked on a camping trip to the Northern Territory. Trash Magic is presented in black light theatre – a magical, comedic form of theatre where glowing, ultra violet-lit objects appear to float through the air.

By Kate Conway

This exciting theatre experience is a collaboration between Luminous Productions and Artback NT, born from an initiative to create employment pathways for people with disabilities in the arts.

While Ruby loves camping and nature, her family is very messy and disrespectful of the land. During the show, the family’s trash comes to life as bush animals, and they begin to wreak havoc on the campsite.

With minimal dialogue and signing during voice over moments, the show is inclusive, designed to cater all audiences.

“Visual theatre is a great way to translate a story. We wanted a performance that catered to people in the community who might not have good hearing, and a visual show where language isn’t a barrier,” says show creator and director, Tania Lieman.

A combination of physical theatre and dance, the production is choreographed to music designed by Matt Cunliffe, performed with military precision. Under the cover of darkness, six performers expertly manoeuvre the puppets.

“One puppet might need to be operated by three people – someone on the head, someone on the feet, and someone on the arms. It’s all puppeteers on the stage most of the time, moving around like crazy, we are puppeteering for our lives! With black light, it’s all about coordination,” says Lieman.

From recycled Mountain Dew bottles, to take away containers and a fly swat, components to make up the puppets were all sourced entirely from found materials, and the cast had a whale of a time putting them together.

“I’ve been dumpster diving for a long time but it has been lots of fun. We’ve tried different things, and through the experimentation process, we found that often the solution is the simplest one and that’s been really fun to discover.”

Premiering the first week of the school holidays, it’s the perfect excuse for a fun-filled, family outing. Trash Magic is a wonder-filled performance about taking care of our beautiful country, and sharing it with family and friends.


Brown’s Mart Theatre
WHEN THU 30 JUN – SAT JUL 2, 10AM | FRI 1 JUL, 7PM
COST $35 | $10 CHILD
INFO brownsmart.com.au

Godinymayin Yijard Rivers Arts & Culture Centre
WHEN WED 6 & THU 7 JUL, 10AM
COST $20 | $10 CHILD
INFO gyracc.org.au

Gove Arts Theatre
WHEN WED 20 JUL, 6.30PM THU 21 JUL, 10AM
COST $25 | $13 CHILD
INFO facebook.com/goveartstheatre

Araluen Arts Centre
WHEN TUE 26 JUL, 6PM WED 27 JUL, 10AM & 1PM
COST $30 | $10 CHILD
INFO araluenartscentre.nt.gov.au

Photo: Duane Preston

More reads

Advertisement: Darwin Fringe 2024