PAST PROJECTS

 

 

THE TRAVELLING PUPPETORIUM

A project in partnership with PuppetLink Ltd and the National Trust with funding from the Arts Council of England's Year of the Artist scheme. The project aimed to interpret aspects of selected National Trust properties by using a specially created interactive 'Puppetorium' which involved storytelling and participatory street theatre.


TOM THUMB

A much loved rod and glove puppet production of a classic tale which toured with success to numerous schools and arts centres before being rested from the active repertoire in favour of new work.


ACCESS ALL AREAS

A package of street theatre entertainment featuring King Fiddle-De-Dee's Puppet Promenaders and a variety of puppet - and other - novelties



MILLENIUM PUPPET PARTY

A project with PuppetLink Ltd. sponsored by The Millenium Festival Fund. A major celebration of street puppetry taking place over six days in three counties with puppeteers from around the UK, from the USA, India, Sweden, Italy and Hungary. Plus a major Punch and Judy Jamboree and Slapstick Symposium.


SHOWS FOR THE UNDER FIVES

Plinky From Planet Plunk was a project carried out with funding from Youth Music and in partnership with The Museum of Cannock Chase, Ludlow Assembly Rooms and the City of Worcester Play Council. It brought puppetry and live music making to schools and pre-schools. So successful was the project that the Midlands Arts Centre commissioned it's transformation into the theatrical production Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. With funding assistance from Arts Council England this played a 98% sell-out national tour and spun off into the creation of our separate under-fives company: Blue Sky Theatre.

 

SHOWS FOR THE OVER 18s

Punch and Judy Episode 2: Attack Of the Clowns was a flagship project was aided by generous funding from Arts Council England and the Mac New Work Trust and was performed in association with Hand to Mouth Theatre. It allowed us to commission cult theatre maverick Ken Campbell to write a new work updating the Punch and Judy tradition into the 21st Century. Whilst there have been many attempts to do 'adult Punch and Judy' they have either been for actor's theatre or have been explicit parody versions of chidrens Punch and Judy. This show - described by one reviewer as "a sublimely obscene – and very funny – reconnecting of Mr. Punch with his ribald roots" is the first attempt from within the heart of the Punch tradition to look at what a Punch and Judy Show might be like if it was still today (as it once was) an anarchic performance geared to adult audiences. That's The way To Do It!

 

Mr. Punch considers Osama's recruitment offer to put the fun into fundamentalism

REVIEW
Punch and Judy, three little words which provide heated arguments all over the place. Or, as in the case of one American Showbiz Bear named Edgar, Punch and Judy seems like an old fashioned show in need of updating. So Edgar (“story structure theorist and script doctor”) and his ventriloquist pal Josh Darcy decide to see for themselves what Punch and Judy is all about and give it a new direction. We meet them on stage flanked by two Punch and Judy booths. With the co-operation of Professors Glyn Edwards and Martin Bridle “Episode 2: Attack of The Clowns” is created before our very eyes. Out goes old mob-capped Judy, in she comes, peroxide ponytail poking through her baseball cap, still the eternal nagging wife. Now Punch is left baby-sitting with the quins, who are the result of a brilliantly demonstrated contemporary issue. No subject is too sacred to be spared the attack of the clowns. The puppets unflinchingly expose our fears, turn them into farce and make us laugh – laugh heartily – because we know we shouldn’t.
The puppet makers (Ted Beresford, Brian and Alison Davey, Craig Denston and Mary Edwards) provide a wonderful cast of characters from Kylie on her mobile phone to the mounted policeman and his horse in riot gear. The Punch Professors kept the action going at a fast and furious pace (hands fully occupied? Try your knees!) The format of a ventriloquist, Bear and puppeteers may be difficult to accept and could do with some fine tuning, but it was a good device for presenting the argument. I will not describe any of the hilarious scenes because I hope you will see the show and laugh as much as I did. The myth, magic and mayhem are still there in abundance. The old demons are still with us in their current disguise. Punch rises to meet every challenge and, true to form, emerges triumphant. Down with Political Correctness. Long Live Punch!
Review by Jane Savage on Puppeteers UK website


QUOTE UNQUOTE
from Prof. Anthony Dean, Professor of Performing Arts, University College Winchester.
“The updating aspect of the show gave the audience an insight into the history of Punch and reminded us of the way in which popular entertainments always sought to comment on the issues of the day and act as a focus for popular opinion - the show linked the form of Punch and Judy to more contemporary entertainments like Spitting Image and Bremner, Bird and Fortune...and it reminds us that this form is for adults as much as for children. The show was hugely enjoyable, funny, informative and satirical in equal measures - a Punch for the new millennium.”
from Steve Tiplady: Artistic Director: Little Angel Theatre.
“A sublimely obscene – and very funny – reconnecting of Mr. Punch with his ribald roots”
From Charlotte Bond. General Manager. Little Angel Theatre. “It was packed and everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves. It was a wonderful show and an excellent night”
From Dorothy Wilson, Director. MAC. “I enjoyed the anarchy and political acuity. I’ve not laughed so much in ages.”
From the independent evaluator’s report submitted to Arts Council England “Audiences were extremely positive in their response to the show, with many surprised by it, some a little shocked and all very substantially entertained by it. Those that did attend in either venue gave extremely fulsome praise. This was a thrillingly different piece which succeeded well beyond its aims. It was interesting, highly entertaining and clearly surprised most of its audience. It seems certain to enjoy a longer life”

 

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