Local Children Produce Knockout Puppet Panto
In a comic variation of the sorry tale of Hansel and Gretel, an enthusiastic audience watched the fall of the three turrets on Baron Big Belly’s castle! The event was cooked up with puppets by children and families from the local community at the Bridge Community Centre and performed on Saturday 23rd March.
Practitioners from TheatreRotto, the Hastings-based puppet theatre company and charity led by Julia McLean and Orlando Bishop, took an enthusiastic and engaged group of children (and some parents) through all the stages of making a pantomime, together with new songs, dialogue and scenery – in a series of 10 sessions.
The after-school group worked together weekly from mid-January to create this unique theatrical event, blending comedy with worryingly tragic moments! As well as learning to make and manipulate both rod and shadow puppets, the children designed the scenery and props, and the young puppeteers of mixed ages put on a humdinger of a show for the packed and fully appreciative audience. One parent in the audience commented: “The children have been immersed in creativity – the show was amazing!”
The production and free performance of Hansel and Gretel and The Three Turret Castle was made possible through sponsorship by the Tesco Bags of Help initiative, the Sussex Community Foundation and Big Local North East Hastings.
Children from all over the town had their own input into creating highly individual characters and spectacular scenery which included not only the castle with its three turrets and greedy baron, but also the not-to-be-forgotten gingerbread house and bubbling cauldron!
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