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Monthly Archives:

February 2014

Hippo in France

Our hippo had a fantastic time at the Fish and Chips Festival in Sotteville-lès-Rouen, Normandy. It’s a street theatre festival produced by Atelier 231  featuring British street acts booked by Xtrax.

Atelier 231 is this amazing street theatre creation centre. Imagine vast ex-train engine sheds with fully-equipt workshop spaces, office spaces and a fleet of caravans and apartments for artists in residence. It’s mind-boggling how much French society supports it’s artists.

It was our first gig in France and the first time the Hippo’s left the country so we were very excited. We performed two evenings so we had a chance to take in the sites across the river in Rouen during the day. Highlights included Rouen Cathedral (famous from Monet’s paintings) and the site where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake. We walked lovely pedestrianised streets which were part old and part reconstructed to look old (after the severe bombings from WW2) and, of course, visited our share of cafes and boulangeries.

The act went well, crowds seemed to really enjoy the hippo (even if they were a bit baffled by the storytelling part of it, our French being non-existent) and the hippo behaved himself. We need to work out how to build lights into him for night gigs. That or accept that a large hippo will suddenly emerge out of the darkness and freak out festival goers.

The festival was a great mix of friends we regularly meet along the British street theatre scene (Pif-Paf, Acrojou, Artizani, Dr. Butler’s Hatstand Medicine Band) and some impressive French companies such as a lovely fire garden by La Compagnie Carabosse and what was perhaps the best fire performance I’ve ever seen, Passage by La Salamandre.

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Twitter

Sunday, September 22nd, 2019 at 5:30pm
Week 2 starts #giantpuppet residency making #Septimus #ShrewsburyGiant with @shrewsmorris head off the clay mould, first banner finished. One week to go! #ACEsupported #puppetry https://t.co/hkJLguK3vi ThingumaTheatre photo
Saturday, September 21st, 2019 at 11:14am
Week 1 done of #giantpuppet residency in #Shrewsbury with @shrewsmorris making #Septimus the #ShrewsburyGiant. Body frame made, first flag nearly ready, head ready to come off of mould—day off then full speed ahead towards the debut performance on 29 Sept! #puppetry #ACEsupported https://t.co/K8hA22756S ThingumaTheatre photo
Friday, September 20th, 2019 at 4:21pm
Good crowd in #Chester #ClimateStrike #FridaysForFuture see if you can spot the #Dodos... https://t.co/KMnWw54ojy
Helen-EthicalAdviser @helentandy
All I have in my head today is wow... wow.... #TakeClimateAction #GlobalClimateStrike - need to get photos off the camera
#Chester #Cheshire has shown it cares —— #FridaysForFuture #YouthStrike4Climate https://t.co/CkP05ycwSn

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