SCOTLAND’S Puppet Animation Festival began with 12 events at the Netherbow Theatre on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, in 1984. The award-winning Scottish Storytelling Centre carries on the tradition of outstanding puppetry for families with a fantastic programme for this year’s Scotland-wide marionette take over!
This week we meet Jack (Thu 14 April, 2pm), a clever little boy who takes us on a magical musical adventure, featuring the enchanting Celtic harp and Irish bodhrán. Willie the Wicked Wolf (Fri 15 April, 2pm) is a riotous, non-traditional version of Little Red Riding Hood with a rock’n’roll, motorbike loving wolf at the helm. He plans to eat both Granny and Red Riding Hood… but it doesn’t quite go to plan!
Then Little Red Riding Hood meets Robin Hood in a merry mix-up in the forest, creating an enchanting mash-up of two classic fairytales with humorous results in Little Red Robin Hood (Sat 16 April, 2pm).
Next week puppet fever continues with Who’s Been Sitting in My Chair (Thu 21 April, 2pm) by Freehand Theatre who have been making high quality theatre for children for almost thirty years: a heady mix of original puppetry, good design, rich language, beautiful music and gentle humour creates a stunning retelling of the famous tale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, including a bear hunt!
The ever-enchanting Ailie Cohen pairs up with Lewis Hetherington to present a striking piece blending puppetry, storytelling and sumptuous visuals in
Cloud Man (Fri 22 April, 2pm) as Cloudia, a cloud expert who has always dreamt of setting her sights on the rare creatures of the sky, follows clues to the summit of Cloud Mountain and discovers surprising views in an uplifting and imaginative tale. Ailie’s reasons for her love of puppetry are clear: “I can make my puppets do everything that I, as an actor cannot. The different worlds through which to travel and take an audience are therefore boundless. Puppet theatre is always an exercise in imagination.”
Another look at Little Red Riding Hood, this time through the eyes of a thespian wolf! Wolf Tales (Sat 23 April, 2pm) invites you backstage with Mr B.B. Wolf who wants to set the record straight… He’s Big, he’s Bad and very hairy, But underneath he’s not that scary! In between making his exits and entrances for a starring role in Little Red Riding Hood, while simultaneously babysitting a pram full of cubs, the Wolf reminds us that you shouldn’t believe everything you hear. Bristol-based Pickled Image use life-size puppets, shadows and songs to create a spectacular and hilarious exposé on the truth behind classic fairy tales.
Our seventh and final marionette magic comes from the fantastic Clydebuilt Puppet Theatre ensuring fun and education are hand in hand, as Leigh McCallister explains: “Puppetry is a marvellous medium for children as it combines many expressive arts skills – drama, music, storytelling, craft, design and technology.” Diving Belle (Mon 25 April, 2pm) is the enchanting story of Belle’s seaside café, Tom’s lighthouse and a glittering undersea world, told with table top puppets and a large dollop of ice cream. What happens when a storm brews and Belle is faced with revealing her magical secret? Come along and find out!
Box Office: 0131 556 9579
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