Puppet in Stanley Park Mauling Horror

Andrew Templeton
Sara in happier days (Left, with Emma Slipp), seen with Mameh (Lisa Bunting); photo: Tim Matheson

Plank Magazine has learned that the opening night performance of Letters from Lithuania hit an unexpected glitch when one of the show’s cast members was attacked by raccoons in Stanley Park.

The site-specific play, produced by Mortal Coil Performance Society in association with Twin Fish Theatre, features a mixture of human and puppet actors. At one point in the show, a puppet representing the character Sara crosses a body of water in a boat. But the effect was marred last night when raccoons got to the Sara puppet before her big scene. The puppet was found face-down in the small lagoon on Stanley Park’s Miniature Railway site with her costume torn to shreds, her toes chewed away, and half her hair ripped off. The perpetrators have not yet been apprehended.

The puppet, designed by Tamara Unroe and Frank Rader, is reported to be in serious but stable condition, and is expected to return to the site for tonight’s performance. The producers are currently meeting to discuss strategies for preventing further attacks. They are also considering counseling for the traumatized cast member who found the body.

Letters from Lithuania tells the story of a brother and sister separated by war. Audience members take a journey by train and follow the characters—including stiltwalkers and puppets—to Lithuania and South Africa. The play is written by Nicola Harwood with original concept and development by Bessie Wapp. Direction is by Peter Hall and Joanna Garfinkel, with musical direction by Alison Jenkins.

Read the Plank Magazine ReviewLetters From Lithuania takes place at the Minature Railway in Stanely Park and runs until August 13, for more information, please go here.