Rough Magic Theatre’s New Edward Lear Picture Book

Edward Lear Books at Bentham Christmas ShoppingSome time ago I was lucky enough to receive a visit from Meg Amsden  of Nutmeg Puppet Company (who was chair of BrUNIMA at the time).

Meg is a good friend of Ali Clough of Pioneer Projects who, like myself, is a resident of High Bentham and I had invited her to come and see my new Shadow Suitcase show “Edward Lear’s Nonsense” while she was up here visiting Ali.  Meg was also keen to see our Liquorice toy theatre and Hansel & Gretel set/characters and to hear more about Harry Oudekerk’s Vischmarkt Papierentheater Festival in the Netherlands: a festival that we recently attended.  You can see lots of previous blog posts about the making of the Hansel & Gretel show if you search through (click HERE for earliest H&G post).

Meg made lots of lovely comments on the Edward Lear show and also suggested that the puppets could be used to make an accompanying picture book that I could sell.  This idea has been at the back of my mind as a project for “when I get round to it” and finally at the end of last year I did it.

book cover

I made about 10 books of Edward Lear’s poem “The New Vestments” and scanned the shadow puppets to create the illustrations for the book.  I did not use the name of the poem for the title of the show because “vestments” is an old fashioned and confusing word that we tend not to use much these days.  The idea was that I would be able to sell the books to people when I am performing the show but I decided to try selling them at one of Bentham’s late night Christmas Shopping events (organised by We Are Bentham ).  I brought the shadow theatre along with me just for display purposes to explain where the illustrations had come from.  I am happy to say that for this trial run I sold every single copy and my display copy as well!  Thank-you Bentham folks!

If you would like to book my “Edward Lear’s Nonsense” shadow puppet show or “Hansel & Gretel” Toy theatre show don’t hesitate to get in touch.  CLICK HERE to contact me.



More on suitcase/pram theatres etc.

Here’s a nice email from one of my readers David Goboff:

Hi Collette

I wrote to you once before about the suitcase shadow theater.  I’m still knocking about with the idea but have not put one into a show.  About your idea using a pram; sounds good because they can go over rough ground, and you do seem to do lots of outdoor gigs.
I have been noodling around with a shopping cart.  I don’t think it would do as well over grass, but I like the way it can fold up.  Here’s a picture that is like the one I’m adapting:
Dave Goboff's shopping cart

Dave Goboff’s shopping cart

It folds, does well over paved areas and indoors.  I have cut a door into the back so I can get to the cart itself without going through the top.  I have a plywood top that fits onto the cart.  The handle comes apart and the plywood has 2 holes cut into it so the handle can pass through.  I haven’t attached a screen, but I have used a small toy theater that I stored inside the cart, but placed on the top.  Setting it up is part of the show.
I too have a battery operated PA that will fit below.  Its weight gives the cart stability.
When it is further along I’ll take some photos and send them along.
Here’s a search for more pictures of the folding shopping carts.
Dave Goboff
(954) 667-3283

If you can imagine it, we can make it happen.