It was a love of theatre and storytelling that drew Sarah Kriegler and Jacob Williams into the world of puppetry.
The couple run their own company, the Lemony S Puppet Theatre, performing works that often combine real actors and puppets to create a ‘magical realism’.
Sarah says the story is absolutely the driver of their work, and sometimes telling that story properly requires a human actor, and at other times it requires the freedom and possibilities that puppetry offers to bring it to life.
‘For example, Picasso and his Dog is the story of a man, an artist, and the relationship that he had with a dog called Lump. He had this dog for the last 17 years of his life and they had this incredible companionship,’ Sarah says.
‘They died within a month of each other, which is very common for people who are so attached to their animals, and there is no other way to tell that story on stage than to use a puppet.’
Puppets enable a performance to be filmic, Jacob says.
‘So you can take all of the tricks that film can do, like having ghosts in the space, or a dog on your lap, or a dinosaur running through a forest, and you can actually do that with puppetry, but you can't do it with actors or it's ludicrous.’
And it is not just the characters and animals that can be brought to life with puppets.
‘In Picasso's studio, we were able to make the whole studio a puppet - canvases come alive, sculptures on his table came alive. So, you could go into the fantastic and into the surreal very simply and easily,’ Jacob says.
Watch Lemony S Theatres's 2020 Victorian Seniors Festival reimagined performance