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Puppetry

Backup – Summerhall, Edinburgh

Reviewer: David Doyle It’s 4am at the North Pole and a snowstorm is brewing. A van, carrying a television crew snakes through the snow and so begins what is undoubtedly one of the most delightful shows at this year’s festival. A short-form work combining puppetry, object theatre, and gestural theatre, the piece is a charming look at those caught in ...

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Randy Writes a Novel – Theatre Row (The Clurman Theatre), New York

[Randy Writes A Novel] [Theatre Row, NYC] (c)Chris McDonald

Writer: Randy Director: Randy Reviewer: Adrienne Sowers Randy is a globetrotting vegan from Australia making headlines with his stand-up comedy. Randy also happens to be a purple puppet, who wrote a novel, that he would very much like to share with New York audiences at Theatre Row. A one-puppet performance, Randy commands the stage for anywhere from seventy to one ...

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Holes – Nottingham Playhouse

Writer: Louis Sachar Director: Adam Penford Reviewer: Dave Smith Having got his tenure as Artistic Director at Nottingham Playhouse off to a solid start with local mining paean Wonderland, Adam Penford here significantly raises the bar with this unendingly inventive and entertaining adaptation of Louis Sachar’s modern classic novel Holes. This is a clever and intelligently directed combination of humour, silliness, ...

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Best of BE FESTIVAL – Circomedia, Bristol

Reviewer: Julia Beasley The fabulously floodlit church of St Paul in Portland Square is the perfect venue for this trio of top-drawer alternative theatre performances. Home to renowned circus skills academy Circomedia, it ably hosts the best acts from last year’s BE FESTIVAL, Birmingham’s international festival of performing arts (previously called Birmingham European Festival). First of the three performances is ...

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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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