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War Horse – Bradford Alhambra

Writer: Michael Morpurgo, adapted by Nick Stafford Music: Adrian Sutton Songs: John Tams Directors: Marianne Elliot, Tom Morris Puppet direction, design and fabrication: Basil Jones and Adrian Kohler Reviewer: Sue Collier War Horse has received a great deal of attention and critical acclaim over the last decade. Michael Morpurgo’s 1982 children’s novel depicts the experience of World War I, from ...

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Pinocchio – National Theatre, London

Writer: Dennis Kelly Director: John Tiffany Reviewer: Richard Maguire The National’s Christmas show Pinocchio is a hybrid affair with The Fox and The Coachman played as old-fashioned pantomime villains while slickly choreographed numbers are straight out of a West End musical. But despite the cast’s best efforts, it’s the wooden actors who steal the show here. The puppet creations designed ...

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The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe – West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds

Writer: C.S. Lewis Director: Sally Cookson Puppetry Director: Craig Leo Designer: Rae Smith Composer/MD: Benji Bower Reviewer: Holly Spanner The creative team at the West Yorkshire Playhouse are known for their spectacular Christmas productions (who can forget Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, a production so successful it went on to tour the UK), and Sally Cookson’s adaptation of The Lion, the ...

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Me – mac, Birmingham

Writer: Emma Dodd (original book) Director: Samantha Lane Reviewer: John Kennedy To maintain a full house audience of parents’ and toddlers’ attention for forty minutes based almost solely on a penguin chick attempting to climb an iceberg slope is a very big ask. Less puppetry, more manipulated soft toys, at least the flippers move. The pace, however, is glacial. The ...

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War Horse – Liverpool Empire

Writer: Michael Morpurgo Adaptor: Nick Stafford Director: Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris Reviewer: John Roberts Almost 10 years to the day, War Horse gained its first preview at the National Theatre in London, however, the production almost never happened.  The then artistic director of the National Theatre couldn’t see how an adaptation of a children’s book about a horse in ...

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The Dream Factory- The Lowry, Salford

Reviewer: Matthew Forrest House of Stray Cats is a theatre production company based in London which specialises in puppetry and physical theatre. They aim to create an immersive and interactive experience for children of all ages to enjoy. They bring their latest offering The Dream Factory to The Lowry’s studio theatre. Telling the story of a young girl named Sophie ...

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War Horse – Bristol Hippodrome

Writer: Nick Stafford (from Michael Morpurgo’s novel) Director: Marianna Elliott & Tom Morris Designer: Rae Smith Puppet Design and Direction: Basil Jones & Adrian Kohler Choreographer: Toby Sedgwick  Music: Adrian Sutton Reviewer: Leah Tozer  War Horse may be a show about horses, but it has the most heart, the most heroism, and the most humanity of any show you’ll ever see. The tale of Joey the horse and ...

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The Flatiron Hex – HERE Arts Center, New York

(The Flatiron Hex) (HERE Arts Center, NYC) © 2015 Richard Termine

Writers: Tom Burnett & James Godwin Director: Tom Burnett Reviewer: Jamie Rosler In a post-climate change New York, or more appropriately, a parallel and dark comic city called NYORG [pronounced NYE-org], contract shaman Wylie Walker (played live as well as in puppet form by James Godwin), is tasked with managing the city's anti-storm security system through a combination of technology and ...

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