Nonsense at Wakefield Literature Festival & Nursery Rhymes with Monsieur le Fou on European Languages Day


About a month ago I was invited to perform both my “Jabberwocky!” and “Edward Lear’s Nonsense” suitcase shows as part of Wakefield Literature Festival for a Toddler group at Wakefield Grammar School Foundation, (Mulberry House).  The shows went down very well with the adults, the babies and the toddlers as well.  You can see from the photo’s that some of the children took me up on the offer of a “behind the scenes tour”, letting them get a closer look at the puppets.

Camilla Field, (Director of Marketing for Wakefield Grammar School Foundation) was good enough to take all the photographs you see on this post.

As it was European Languages Day and Camilla had asked if we had anything suitable for the Pre-prep children in the afternoon.  So Leo Nolan (a long term collaborator and founder member of Midland Red Theatre Co. and Rough Magic Theatre) and myself put on a little show called “Nursery Rhymes with Monsieur le Fou” (CLICK HERE for Leo’s website).  Leo plays Monsieur le Fou, a very silly French man who teaches the children Nursery Rhymes in French, and I play Miss Construed who is British and interprets between him and the children in the audience.  We look at saying Hello, Incy Wincy Spider and Little Miss Muffet as well as indulging in a spot of birthday cake baking for Miss Muffet’s Birthday.  This provides the opportunity to look at various animal and food names along the way.



If you would like to Book “Nursery Rhymes with Monsieur le Fou” or either of my Shadow Puppet Suitcase shows then please CLICK HERE to contact me.

The children’s animal costumes, honey pot, eggs and basket were created by Joy Nolan-Evans.  CLICK HERE to see more of her work on her new blog

An RTS NW Puppet Showcase at The Lowry

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Tim Austin and I were lucky enough to be invited to the “No Strings Attached” showcase launch event hosted by RTS NW at the Lowry which was a celebration of the new “Furchester Hotel” series on CBeebies and of North West puppetry in general.

Before we went in we had time to look at the Lowry’s exhibition on TV puppetry with many of our personal favourites making an appearance (see pictures above).  It was a real treat to see the original puppets up close and see how they were made.  I was surprised to see that Basil Brush’s front teeth appeared to have been made of wood!

We also had a very brief conversation with Joe Godwin (director of CBBC)!

At the main showcase event,there were two puppeteers from “The Furchester Hotel” (Andrew Spooner – Fergus & Sarah Burgess – Phoebe) with their puppets plus one of the puppetry interns who had been working with them.  Other speakers included Phil Chalk from Factory Transmedia who created “Strange Hill High” (a part rod puppet part CGI tv series) and also a fellah called Ian Mackinnon, who’d worked with Cosgrove Hall back in the day as well as on modern Tim Burton films such as “Corpse Bride” and “Frankenweenie” plus the puppeteers of Hacker (Phil Fletcher) and Dodge T Dog (Warrick Brownlow-Pike) with their puppets.

They were all invited to talk about their work at some length and we were able to watch some clips of them in action on a projection screen and at the end we were invited to ask questions.  Right, right at the end I went up to nosy at the puppets close to and had conversations with the puppeteers as well.

 CLICK HERE for a link to the RTS facebook post about the evening and they have more photo’s there too.