A giant bamboo world that holds all knowledge of the evolving universe, a 3 metre bamboo horticulturalist who has tended its garden since the beginning of time and four space-faring playground engineers who attempt to colonise it with one of their mad playground inventions. Yspace/Transience/Bambuco


Audience Perspective:

A fantastical bamboo garden grown from the evolving knowledge of the universe, a 3m bamboo horticulturalist who has tended it from the beginning of time and 4 space travelling playground engineers who attempt to colonise it with one of their mad designs. Based on the epic poem Styckx, physical theatre, animation and puppetry weave together within an enormous bamboo theatre to tell the story of an evolving friendship between Mr Styckx and Engineer Ex. Also in the mix… innocent endeavour, good intentions, blind ambition, dangerous ignorance, corrupting power, exploitation, destruction, havoc, chaos…  mwaagh aagh aagh aaaagh!!! (Evil Laugh) …goodness me…a must see.

Presenter Perspective: A work in development, Styckx involves the physical theatre  and puppetry of Y Space, 2 D animation of Transience, set within the 3 D bamboo structure of Simon Barley of Bambuco. Simons’ unique “Theatre” is designed as a 20m wide, 16 metre high and 40 m deep freestanding bamboo set. It can be adapted to an indoor venue. Styckx is a non-verbal adaption of an epic poem by Y  Space Director Jillian Pearce that was written over the development of the project.

In Styckx, three practices come together to tell the strange story of a bamboo world that serves as a library where all thought and memory is stored. This garden of universal knowledge is tended by one inhabitant… Mr Styckx who knows everything and nothing all at once. The arrival of the 4 playground engineers throw the garden out of kilter as they begin to fulfil their mission to colonise the world with their playground inventions. When they misunderstand the unique physical properties of the bamboo materials they are using, their intentions change from innocence to greed. When one engineer acknowledges Styckx and questions the group’s intentions, a transformation and collaboration between Styckx and her begins.

Techniques used, explore how animation, puppets, actors and structure come together using shadow with interactive animation as a tool that allows 3 D and 2 D to integrate. For further development we need to create one giant playground machine using bamboo structures, animation, shadow and performers and two enormous puppet arms of Mr Styckx combining with an animation head.

History: Styckx has gone through six stages of development and needs one more stage of development before presentation.

Stage 1: In 2006 Y Space director, Jillian Pearce, commissioned  director of Bambuco, Simon Barley, to  design a structure that Y Space could build and create a performance within. Simon created “Theatre” as a spectacular bamboo structure that measured 20m wide, 40 m deep and 16 m high outdoor structure and could tour as both show and venue.

Stage 2: “Theatre” first appeared in the 2006 Balmoral Arts Festival as a work in development called “Cyrk”. The budget covered the building and maintenance of the structure but not the theatre within it. The animation and theatre story was pieced together from previous shows and hung within the structure like an ill fitting coat within a cupboard…

Stage 3: Arts House Melbourne, 2007 An adaption of the structure for the indoor space saw the development of methods of combining interactive animation, aerial peformance, shadow, and puppetry that were of the materiality of Simons structure rather than using it merely as scaffolding. Content began to emerge from some of the images and Mr Styckx was created.

Stage 4: Styckx Development at the Garage Arts Space, Natimuk, 2008. Development Funding was sourced from Arts Vic and RAF to develop further the ideas and content from 2007. Again an indoor version of “Theatre” was built, the images became the story of the bamboo world, Mr Styckx and the playground engineers. The story was only half finished and we didn’t know how it ended.

Stage 5: APAM spotlight presentation 2010.

STage 6: 2011-2012 Styckx epic poem was written… Rhyming Couplets…Iambic pentametre…Found an ending!

Under Development

Stages 7: Develop giant playground Machine and Styckx puppet arms with animation head. Publish Styckx poem as  book with images from the theatre show.

Stage 8: A new shipment of Chinese moso bamboo into the country, Realise and tour the show and sell book as merchandise.


The Team:

  • Director/choreographer Jillian Pearce
  • Animation Director Dave Jones
  • Composer
  • Designer
  • Aerialists 4
  • Riggers 3
  • Production Manager OHS
  • Projectionist, co-animator
  • Lighting designer operator
  • Sound designer operator

Additional Features:

  • The poem is currently being developed as a small one person shadow storytelling experience.

Technical Specifications:

  • • A suitable outdoor performance site and all permits relating to its use for a bamboo structure ; Footprint 40m by 20 m and 15 m high.
  • • Lighting equipment and Sound equipment (including any costs to hire) according to design yet to be developed.
  • • Site security during non-working hours
  • • Secure storage of rigging gear on site.
  • • Freight costs for bamboo and rigging materials transport from and to Natimuk.
  • • Either freight of wooden sleepers or cost of local source.
  • • Provision of amenities within range of the work site
  • • A supply of drinking water
  • • Appropriate 3 phase power to site and structure
  • • Office/ warm up space – access to internet, printers, computers, photocopier, telephone lines
  • • 2 x data projectors (strength to be confirmed) and small housing tent for weather. Note: Y Space can arrange hire and freight appropriate of projectors at the cost to the festival
  • • Cherry picker 5 days (day 3-6 of build and 1 for day pulldown.)
  • • Traffic and parking management for the event.
  • • Audience seating and management.
  • • Marketing and documentation