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FAULTY OPTIC

Dead Wedding, the new show by Faulty Optic and contemporary composer Mira Calix, reinvents the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, going underground to pick up the tale where the ancient myth ends. Eurydice dies tragically on her wedding day but Orpheus, her fiancee, bargains to bring her back from the Land of the Dead. With Faulty’s macabre humour, and Calix’s subterranean soundworlds, Dead Wedding uses puppets, film, laptop, live musicians and strangely distorted voices to remix the Orpheus tale for the 21st Century. It has been commissioned by Manchester International Festival and Opera North Projects, and is presented in association with The Library Theatre, Manchester (where it plays 5-7 July, 8pm - 0871 230 1888).
See: www.manchesterinternationalfestival.com and http://homepage.ntlworld.com/faultyoptic/

FULL BEAM VISUAL THEATRE

Full Beam have launched their new website, which includes information on the company’s past shows and upcoming events, educational resources giving an insight into Full Beam’s practise, plus a gallery with images and some (generous length) video clips. The company has also secured funding for its new show, My Baby Just Cares For Me, which will tour in 2008.
See: www.fullbeamvisualthatre.org.uk

FORKBEARD FANTASY
  
                                                                                                                   
The Earth is spinning at 1,040mph on its axis and revolving round the sun at 18.5 miles per second in a Solar System which is travelling through the Milky Way at 185 miles per second. As passengers on this miraculous journey we seem to have forgotten how our spacecraft works. Invisible Bonfires is the new show by Forkbeard, made with funding from The Climate Challenge Fund (www.climatechallenge.gov.uk), with the collaboration of Carbonsense and biologist Dr Stephan Harding, and featuring live music by the Lotus Petals. Touring: Acorn Arts Centre, Penzance (16 June); Merlin Theatre, Frome (19 June); Bridport Arts Centre, Bridport (21 & 22 June); Toynbee Studios, London (27 & 28 June). See www.forkbeardfantasy.co.uk for more info and dates.

GAVIN SKERRITT

Gavin Skerritt’s new production combines song, humour and dramatic visual storytelling to adapt Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Matchstick Girl. On a bitterly cold evening a little matchstick girl is out on the streets alone, unable to sell her matches. For warmth she lights them one-by-one and through their flames she sees a succession of visions: a sparkling spinning Christmas tree, a ballet dancing chicken, a singing picture frame. The show will be touring this summer and autumn: St. Mark’s Community Centre, London (20 June); Museum in Docklands (23 June), London; The Lowry, Salford (14 July); the egg, Bath, Somerset (15 September); The Lighthouse Theatre, Dorset (22-27 October); The Agder Theatre, Norway (8 & 9 October). See www.gavinskerritt.com or email info@gavinskerritt.com

NORWICH PUPPET THEATRE

The Summer Season at Norwich Puppet Theatre sees the revival of two of their productions – Snow White (26 July -18 August, performed by Mark Whitaker and Luis Boy, with clarinet accompaniment from Santi Puente) and Emperor’s New Clothes (21 August - 1 September, performed by Luis Boy). In between the shows NPT will be running children's puppet-making workshops at the Theatre and out in the parks of Norwich as part of KidZone events. They are also planning a tour of The Selfish Giant from October ’07 to March ’08 and the 2nd Norwich International Festival of Puppet Theatre 19 - 27 October 2007. Watch this space!
Contact Ian Woods on 01603 629921 or info@puppettheatre.co.uk or see www.puppettheatre.co.uk

PUPPET BARGE

For the June - September period, the Puppet Barge will be showing Brer Rabbit Visits Africa (a specially written play that tells of Brer Rabbit arriving in Africa, in his new waistcoat, feeling rather proud of himself - only to get into trouble), the Ancient Mariner (an adaptation of Coleridge’s supernatural, romantic poem), Out of the Heart of Darkness (a dramatic marionette spectacle that explores and reflects on the corruption, decadence and greed of Africans and Europeans contributing to the debilitating situation in Africa today), and the Town Mouse and the Country Mouse (a tale of two famous cousins who visit each other and both experience exciting new sights and sounds - told with music, songs and rod puppets). For dates and times see: www.puppetbarge.com

PUPPET STATE THEATRE COMPANY

Puppet State Theatre Company (Richard Medrington and Rick Conte) are gearing up for another Edinburgh Fringe with their adaptation of Jean Giono’s The Man Who Planted Trees. In the past year they have done over 170 performances. 3-7 July they will be at the ADC Theatre, Cambridge, and 4-27 August at the Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh (1pm, not Tuesdays). This has been the company’s most popular show ever, with a glowing five-star review from The Scotsman. For tour details see www.puppetstate.com or contact Richard Medrington on 0131 441 9693

ROSSENDALE PUPPET FESTIVAL

On the weekend of Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 June, Horse + Bamboo Theatre Company will be hosting the 5th Rossendale Puppet Festival. The Festival will be held at the Company’s Centre in Waterfoot and will feature eight puppet companies performing a wide range of shows for young children aged 2 to 11. Companies taking part in this year’s Festival include Dynamic New Animation with their production Ballpond Bobby and Garlic Theatre with The Amazing Flying Machine. Performances commence daily at 1pm. Funded by the Ragdoll Foundation, an accompanying programme of eight family workshops and performances will be taking place in Bacup and Haslingden on 6 & 7 June. Tickets including a Family Special can be booked in advance by ringing 01706 220 241. For further details see: www.horseandbamboo.org 

SCOTTISH MASK AND PUPPET CENTRE

Featuring a gathering of international and Scottish puppeteers with shows and workshops based on European popular folk puppets and traditional forms of mask and puppet theatre, SMPC’s second biennial festival, A Celebration of European Folk Puppets, will take place 2-30 June. This year’s participants are from Turkey, Russia and Scotland, and the festival includes shows for families, children, adults and schools. For a full programme of shows and events see: www.scottishmaskandpuppetcentre.co.uk

SKIPTON INTERNATIONAL PUPPET FESTIVAL

The 2nd Skipton International Puppet Festival takes place 20 - 23 September 2007. Current confirmed acts include Lejo (The Netherlands), Pelele Marionnettes (France), Lempen Puppet Theatre (UK), Theater Laku Paka (Germany), Tof Theatre (Belgium), Hand to Mouth Theatre (UK), and Indigo Moon (UK). There will also be a lively street programme with lots of extra artists, as well as the Stan Parker Collection presented by Upfront Puppet Theatre. A Festival programme will be sent out in July to all PUK members; people not on that list who wish to receive a programme should contact the Festival on admin@skiptonpuppetfestival.co.uk
See: www.skiptonpuppetfestival.co.uk

TREASURE TROVE  PUPPET COMPANY

On 6 August, Treasure Trove will be performing the Welsh Language version of their show The Magic Harp at the National Eisteddfod of Wales in Flintshire. Morgan, Anna and their dog live happily at the foot of the magic mountain, the home of the fairy folk. One day, the tranquillity of their life is disrupted by the loud moans and groans of their nasty neighbour, Mr Evan Jones. The Magic Harp is a traditional Welsh tale from Dolgellau performed with hand-carved glove and rod puppets.
Call 01978 761 053 or email treasure.trove@virgin.net

IMAGES L to R:
Norwich Puppet Theatre – Snow White
Puppet State – The Man Who Planted Trees
Wee Giant Puppet Co – Absolutely Fabulist –
Sokobauno Theatre – Hotel Marionette
Puppet Barge Brer in Africa

 

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