Fourteen children from Hawes Primary School have worked with Lempen Puppet Theatre Company to make puppets from scratch and build an exciting performance around them.
Lempen Puppet Theatre are one of Britain’s great touring theatre companies – they have toured everywhere from tiny and remote Scottish islands to major cities, and regularly take their original shows to international festivals across Europe.
During May and June, Liz and Daniel Lempen ran six two-hour workshops after school in which children were taught to make puppets from everyday materials – milk bottles, cardboard, fabric off-cuts and more. The children then worked on developing character, animating their puppet and discovering its ‘special talent’. The project culminated in a performance at The NASH in Hawes where the children took part in a puppet talent show – each child taking centre stage, animating their puppet and sharing its special skill to an audience of family, friends, teachers and the wider community.
The children performed through a specially-painted theatre stage with black-out and full-tech including lights, music and sounds effects. They also experienced stage direction and the process of rehearsing and refining.
Emily Rowe Rawlence from The NASH, who coordinated the project, says: “we wanted to expose children of the local area to new art forms and give them a chance to work with professional and innovative artists. It was amazing to see what creativity was unleashed, and so fast. We’ve met a whole array of fascinating characters - Bulldog the Boxer, Amelia the Gold-Sniffer, Loxie the Gymnast, Savat the Levitator and Bruce-Banner with the Double-Face, to name a few. The children have been so enthusiastic and excited throughout, and so pleased with the quality of their creations – this is what arts opportunities can ignite.”
In the same week as the talent show, Lempen Puppet Theatre performed their mesmerising show Cardboard Carnival in The NASH for the children of Hawes School - one performance for Key Stage 1 in the morning and one performance for Key Stage 2 in the afternoon. During this 45-minute extravaganza a series of ingenious and intricate animals - all made from simple cardboard – unfurled to the music of ‘The Carnival of the Animals’ by composer Camille Saint-Saëns.
This project was generously funded by Stronger Communities, Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust (Roger Stott Community Grants Programme) and the Upper Dales Area Partnership.
Lempen Puppet Theatre are the Directors of Skipton International Puppet Festival which will run from 4th to 6th October 2019.