Chicken Licken returns to the UK for a Spring 2019 tour

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DNA Puppetry and Visual Theatre are presenting the timeless classic Chicken Licken in April 2019 in three lucky venues – Jacksons Lane in London, Norden Farm Centre for the Arts in Maidenhead and Square Chapel Centre for the Arts in Halifax

Chicken Licken is presented by Adam Bennett,  in his third decade of being a full time performer and puppeteer. Adam is one of the co-creators of this show with long time collaborator Rachel Riggs and has performed this particular show in theatres, arts centres, festivals and events on three continents and in three languages; English, Spanish and French.

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The review by Flossie Waite in Children’s Theatre Reviews praises Adam’s easy and witty style which carries this show, drawing in the excited attention of the children with charm, skillful puppeteering and a nod towards the absurdity, hinted menace and homespun charm of the original ladybird books that were the source material for the performance.

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Cloud Child at Fringe World Perth, WA

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Last weekend Cloud Child flew into Perth to delight families with young children in the Sunset Verandah venue at Scarborough beach. Playing in a big top tent to a large audience, puppeteer Adam Bennett and circus performer Lynda Moylan told the ever enchanting story of Cloud Child, to lovely audiences.

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Each child recieved their own little fluffy cloud to hold during the storytelling and fly in the clear Perth blue sky at the end of the performance, as they exited out of the tent in a follow the leader procession.

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Giant mermaid fabric covered clouds at the main entrance were also part of the sensory engagement for children to interact with.

 

Audience feedback included –

‘magical’

‘a beautiful little show’

‘is their a childrens book of this story?’

‘this is the only show my profoundly deaf son has ever sat still and enjoyed!’

‘my child was mesmerised!’

Thank you to everyone who supported DNA’s performances and look out for the Cloud child story book coming soon!

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New show! Tales of the Magic Carpet

Schezerade DNA 2

Rachel from DNA Puppetry and Imaginary Leaps has been working on making a new storytelling show, honouring Schezerade, the original storyteller of all storytellers, who saved herself and hundreds of women in the city of Baghdad from death.

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In a vintage style one-woman adaptation of the stories of the Arabian Night’s,  Rachel was inspired by her travels performing in Iran and the amazing story of Schezerades survival to create this show. The Arabian Nights tales were gathered from the travelling merchants along the Silk Route, stories from Persia, Egypt, Arabia, Syria, China and India.

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Rachel researched the original stories, also drawing upon Lotte Reinigers silhouette shadows of Prince Ahmed, and Ray Harryhausen’s magical animated films of Sinbad the Sailor. The magic of objects in these stories is significant, as life was hard in feudal societies, and the transformation of everyday objects, represented a yearning of the human spirit to break free from a rigid socio economic ranked society which didnt give people much freedom to live their lives. Therefore in the rags to riches tales, the carpet can magically fly you anywhere and the lamp which houses a magical genie, symbolises deliverance from darkness, the shining light helps us to see where we are going.

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DNA Puppetry brings to life the fantastic tales from Ancient Persia for young children and families. Imaginatively creating a trilogy of ancient tales, blending visual theatre techniques, music and audience participation. We begin with the classic story of Aladdin and his Magical Lamp, told with table top puppets, marionettes and a muppet style Schezerade.

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Come on a magical journey and see the bazaar come to life… with smells of spices and fragrances, silks and jewels, magical objects and enchanting music. And lots and lots of cloth!

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Scheherazade is a legendary Persian queen who is the storyteller in 1001 Nights. It was said she had collected a thousand books of histories, the works of poets, studied philosophy, the arts and sciences, and knew them all by heart. She represents the female story tellers of the ancient world and the show is a tribute to all women who behind the scenes, create their own power and safety, within the culture they find themselves in.

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Thanks to Cockburn Childrens Centre and Roving Mad Entertainment, lynda and Cerrie, Sian and Paul for helping out on my first shows!

 

“When it comes to making children’s theatre, it’s clear DNA Puppetry and Visual Theatre are part of the upper crust” – childrenstheatrereviews.com

 

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Halloween 2018

Thurtinkle Halloween 2018

DNA Puppeteers Rachel Riggs and Adam Bennnett had a great, ghoulish time at our SHAC artist  annual community celebration. Keeping to the traditional pagan roots of ‘Our Hallows Eve’ and recycling decorations from the local refuse tip, SHAC artists and DNA Puppetry aim to build the community celebration with parades, giant puppets and installations in the future.

Adam Thurtinkle Halloween shac

Over the weeks before Halloween, families were invited to participate in after school ‘Weird Wednesday’ creative workshops to make costumes, magic wands, lanterns and shadow puppets. Making fabulous creations for the scariest night of the year with artists Lynda Moylan, Cerrie Beech and Rachel Riggs

Hundreds of people came trick or treating, to watch Thurtinkle storytelling by the fire, the childrens shadow play and fire show.

For more information about SHAC – www.shacfreo.com

Recent blog post about DNA puppetry at SHAC here

Thank you to photographers and all who participated x

 

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Tissue Play !

Recently I returned to Como childrens centre in Perth, Western Australia to meet new children and run a series of workshops on ‘Tissue Play’. I was artist in residence here a few years ago and had a weekly opportunity to facilitate child led creative play, engaging with many themes, including ‘Cloud Child’, nature play and much story telling.

Having the opportunity to regularly research and develop early years engagement with themes, objects and materials, is a joy! And new ideas and investigations are always inspiring from the childrens experiential learning journeys.

‘ Using Tissue play and puppetry’ is a book produced by earlyartsuk, outlining the Tissue Play techniques from Imaginary Leaps, for early years educators.

Ideal for all young children but particularly for those first language is not English, or for whom expressing their thoughts and ideas through words presents a huge barrier, this fun teaching pack hugely encourages children’s speaking and listening skills. It can have a massive impact on all areas of learning in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), and helps build a keen self-awareness and awareness of others.

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This inspiring resource can be purchased at

https://earlyarts.co.uk/shop-teaching-packs/using-tissue-play-and-puppetry

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Creating a Puppet Diva!

Wanda diva sings

ToyBox band at Fremantle Street Theatre festival, Western Australia 2018

Ive always wanted to make a simple ‘muppet’ lip sync style puppet to use for singing live and street theatre walkabouts. I love to sing and happiest to have the puppet project the song.

Wanda toybox diva

‘Wanda’ took me a week to make, a few hours a day, creating her from what i had in my craft resources – foam, pipe lagging, polystyrene ball head.

She can wear a varity of wigs, depending on which diva she is based on, for example Karen Carpenter, Dusty Springfield, the possibilities are endless! Her 70’s vintage dress can also be restyled or removed, so she can wear all kinds of retro, funky clothes.

Wand mermaid puppet

Wanda as mermaid for Stretch Festival parade, Mandurah, WA 2018

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DNA Puppetry at SHAC – Sustainable Housing for Artists Collective

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DNA puppetry/Imaginary Leaps has a new home at SHAC in Fremantle, Western Australia! Since moving in last year, we are really happy to be in a unique, world class facility for artists to live and work in a supportive co operative. As well as a studio and storage in our homes, we have community studios for performances and exhibitions, and will be officially launching a whole programme of workshops and performances in the near future!

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Cloud Child has been a big success for families with young children in our local community and DNA is building a programme of regular childrens theatre in the future! as well as an annual Halloween celebration and much more!

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Playing outside with family enrichment and engagement

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SHAC studio upstairs for artist exhibitions

SHAC’s unique native gardens and eco friendly environment

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