Vale Lyndon Peter Wilson

Lyndon Peter Wilson
We are very sad to inform the greater puppetry community of the recent passing of Lyndon Peter Wilson, who died peacefully at his home in New Zealand on 22nd March, 2021. 

Among his many achievements, he was the co-founder of Spare Parts Puppet Theatre (WA), which is marking its 40th anniversary this year. Here is the piece that Spare Parts wrote about Peter:

“Puppetry people from around Australia, New Zealand and the world both remember and celebrate the life of Lyndon Peter Wilson, known as Peter Wilson, who sadly passed away earlier this week.

Spare Parts Puppet Theatre was formed in 1981 by Peter, together with writer Cathryn Robinson and designer Beverly Campbell Jackson, to share the magic of puppetry in Western Australia.

From the outset, Peter brought an international flavour to Spare Parts. He had earlier established the Tasmanian Puppet Theatre in 1970 and studied theatre and puppetry with Puk Theatre in Tokyo, the Bunraku Theatre, National Theatre of Japan, the Central Puppet Theatres of Prague and Moscow, and Cannon Hill Puppet Theatre in the UK.

The company’s first production Faust was presented as part of the 1981 Festival of Perth (now Perth Festival) and was billed as a “total visual experience”. The work was directed by Peter and developed with Japanese artists Noriko Nishimoto and Takeshi Hoshino.

We celebrate the enormous legacy Peter built for puppetry and for his vision in igniting the art form in Australia and later in enriching the lives of artists and audiences in New Zealand. He is fondly remembered by all of us at Spare Parts and by the many artists who received their start under his leadership.”

 Peter won many awards in his career, including the National Drama Critics Award (1979), Sidney Meyer Performing Arts Award (1988) and the UNIMA Australia Lifetime Achievement award (2006) at the 2nd National Puppetry Summit in Hobart, Tasmania (you can read about it in this issue of Australian Puppeteer Magazine, p10-11). 
 In 2018, UNIMA Australia nominated him to be a Member of Honour for UNIMA International, which was to be decided at the UNIMA Congress in Bali in 2020. The congress was unfortunately postponed until April 2021 due to Covid. Peter’s global interaction with puppetry, the establishment of training programs in Australia, (which have been the main driver of the development of puppetry in this nation) and his cultural exchange programs that have also supported innovation in the puppetry arts, were principal factors in his nomination for Member of Honour.

Our hearts go out to Peter’s family, friends and the wider puppetry community as we grieve his loss.

Here are some more photos of Peter below, courtesy of Spare Parts Puppet Theatre: