IF Commonwealth Games fever on the Gold Coast takes your breath away, spare a thought for octogenarians Agnes and Earl, and their latest ball of fluff, Snoop.
For about 30 minutes, a few times a day every day of the Games, they’ll be found taking in the sights of life around them from a park bench.
And The Senior has it on good authority that although seemingly reserved – they are, after all, puppets, albeit astonishingly lifelike ones – they’d love some company.
Gold-Coast based White Rabbit Theatre Ensemble artistic director Lisa Smith said Agnes and Earl are of an age where they are somewhat set in their ways and routine – and they’re not about to change.
At the same time, she said, “they’re quite excited at the prospect of all the comings and goings; curious about what the Games may bring, who’ll be passing by; and perhaps a little reflective of the changes they’ve seen as long-time residents. They’re also comfortable in the intimate quiet of each other’s company after more than 60 years’ marriage.”
Agnes and Earl are part of the Gold Coast’s arts and cultural festival coinciding with the Games.
Puppeteers Anna Straker, Zac Boulton and Ainslee Palmer will bring the life-size couple – and the boundlessly energetic Snoop – to life in pop-up performances around Broadbeach.
“There’s more than a teaspoon of my grandparents in Agnes and Earl and those of the artists I’m working with,” Anna said.
“We seek to create feelings of a touchstone, shades of the familiar. And there may well be some sharing of their local experience, their observations.”
So look twice at people sitting on park benches during the Games, and be sure to extend a warm “hello”. Agnes, with her wheelie walker, and Earl, with his walking stick, may reward you with an unforgettably touching experience.