Tim Watts: On the Adventures of Alvin Sputnik – Deep Sea Explorer

 Winner of several international awards, (including the New York International Fringe Festival Award for most outstanding solo show) the fresh faced Tim Watts is bringing his one man show to Perth. 

WA Correspondent Craig Dalglish catches up with Tim Watts to ask about his one man show The Adventures Of Alvin Sputnik: Deep Sea Explorer and it’s upcoming season with the Perth Theatre Company.  Google “The Adventures Of Alvin Sputnik: Deep Sea Explorer” and you will discover this is a show that has been places. Winner of several international awards, (including the New York International Fringe Festival Award for most outstanding solo show) the fresh faced Tim Watts is now bringing his one man show to Perth for a limited season. 
Perth Theatre Company presents The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik: Deep Sea Explorer  in the Studio Underground at the State Theatre Centre of Western Australia from 22 November to 3 December 2011 and award-winning artist and performer Tim Watts is the star of the show. 
I would like to tell you that our interview was conducted after meeting Tim for coffee, overlooking the Indian ocean, but in reality it involved a keyboard and email!  

Q&A with Tim Watts 

Alvin SputnikWhat type of student were you at school?Not a very good one. I was quiet, and would day dream a lot! I liked Physics and Drama, but I was terrible at English (still am).
Who were the major influences in your life while growing up?My Mum and Dad. One is a poet, the other is an engineer. Both wonderful parents and outstanding human beings.
Can you tell us a bit about the development of the show?It happened through experiments and showing friends. It very much relied on honest and open feedback from many, many different people. 
Where did the idea for the name of the show come from?It took a long time to settle on the name. In the end we combined two titles that we liked, that’s why it is so long. But I think it does capture the show quite well. The name Alvin Sputnik comes from the combination of “Alvin” which is the deep sea submersible that was built in the 60’s and still does a lot of the major dives, and from “Sputnik” which was the name of the first satellite ever launched into space. (which apparently in Russian means ‘companion’)
Can you tell us about the show? What can we expect?It’s a one man theatre show with puppets, animation, music, that tells the story of a heroic widower in a post apocalyptic waterworld. After his wife passes he joins a last ditch effort to save humanity by searching the deep dark depths of the ocean for a new home. However, despite this noble mission, all he wants is to find and be with his wife’s soul once more, as it continues to sink down and down into the unknown. It’s a fun show about grief, loss, hope, love, and the end of the world. You can expect to laugh, cry, and have a great ol’ time Alvin SputnikYou’ve played the show around he world now, how do differing countries respond to the performance?  There are subtle differences, the biggest change was in South Korea when we did it for the first time in another language. That was strange, and the bits with language had laughs in all different spots. Well mainly,  they didn’t laugh at any of the real jokes (I think they may have been lost in translation/delivery) but they laughed anytime I said a Korean word. So that was certainly different. But I am amazed that the puppetry and animation seems to evoke the same reactions from people from all the different places we have been. Despite our cultural differences there are certainly universal things that we all find funny, or that engage our imaginations. 
Any advice for up and coming puppeteers?DO IT! puppets are fun. Practice really hard, use a mirror and other people for feedback. If you can, learn from doing workshops or working with puppet companies. Puppeteers work their whole life to master the art of playing with toys. Cause it is truly magic when you can give life to something that is dead.  
The Studio Underground State Theatre of Western Australia.Corner of William and Roe Streets, Perth
Tickets $29.75 – $34.50
For bookings & further information phone BOCS 9484 1133 or visit www.bocsticketing.com.au 

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