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Manchester Day Parade

We had an exhausting and very exciting time at Manchester Day Parade. The Wythenshawe section was one of the largest in the whole parade, and we were so proud of all who took part! The artwork we created together was shown off at its best, with enthusiastic performances from everyone. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with so many different groups, and running workshops in the beautiful surroundings of Wythenshawe Park.

See photos HERE.

Designing the Wythenshawe Parade Section

It’s all battle stations at Thingumajig Theatre! This year, we’ve been asked to lead a cluster of groups for the Manchester Day Parade. In previous years, we’ve worked with one group and then occasionally provided a giant puppet for an additional group. This year we’re working with a collection of about 12 groups which includes 4 dance groups and 2 bands!

It’s certainly bigger than just what Kathy and I can manage so we’ve brought in a few Handmade Parade artists to help us with costumes (Fran Sierrevogel), workshops (Ellie Chaney) and some of the big makes (Joanna McGlynn).

The theme for our section is “Garden City” as this is sometimes what Wythenshawe calls itself. Our message is that all sorts of beautiful things are blooming in Wythenshawe.

We’ve finished the design stage, done some serious materials  shopping and have made prototypes of the different things we’re planning to make. Now it’s heads down until June 2. (Then it’s heads down after that for the Handmade Parade on June 22!)

Thingumajig at Little Angel

On Saturday (April 20), we performed Hullaba Lulu at the Little Angel Theatre in Islington, London. For many puppeteers, this is a very storied place and for me, a puppet geek, this was a bit of a dream come true.

It’s been  the “Home of British Puppetry” since John Wright and his company first converted an old temperance hall in 1961 and spent many years making beautiful marionette theatre which inspired generations. Though John Wright has passed away, the company is still very active making shows for their space as well as taking their shows on tour.

I remember hearing about Little Angel from Eric Bass of Sandglass Theatre. We performed The Vertigo of Sheep in their gorgeous barn turned into a puppet theatre in Vermont. Eric had spent some time training at Little Angel and was inspired not only by the work but by the culture of the living and work space.

The stage is a narrow but deep space, just perfect for puppet theatre–though as it was made for marionettes, the permanent puppet bridge (don’t see many of those anymore) required us to make some adjustments to the height of our sea cloths and moon shadow screen. (But not so bad as we had to do a similar trick when we playing in the studio at Lawrence Batley Theatre!)

Despite a very rare sunny day, we had pretty decent houses: nearly full for the 11am show and about half full for the 2pm show. We had some really great feedback from the audience and the staff–and these are people who see a lot of puppet shows coming through. So hopefully, we’ll be there again soon.

Manchester Day Parade, 2 June

Thingumajig puppets have had a great day out in every Manchester Day Parade since the first one in 2010, and this year we get to head up a whole section! We’re working with groups from Wythenshawe, and had a good initial meeting last week at the beautiful Wythenshawe Hall. The theme of this year’s parade is ‘Wish You Were Here’ and some exciting ideas are leaping around the table already. Andrew and I are working on design ideas and will present them to the groups later this week. We’re particularly looking forward to doing art workshops in the Hall……a grand step up from our usual workshop surroundings!

A November Day 2014 Tour

We’re delighted to announce the relaunch of A November Day to mark next year’s 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War One. The play originally toured in 2008, and has been a favourite in our repertoire since then. We’re very proud of the show, which has had superb responses in the USA and Europe, as well as at home in the UK. It has a special place in Kathy’s heart, being partly based around her own family’s story.

We’re particularly fortunate in that Makin Projects is representing us for the forthcoming tour in spring and autumn 2014, and look forward to visiting many new venues as well as returning to some old favourites.

 

Barn Owl commission

Hobbledown children’s adventure park and farm in Epsom commissioned us to make a giant barn owl. These are such beautiful creatures and we thoroughly enjoyed making our puppet. As it needed to be super strong we made the head out of fibre glass and the body out of nylon tubing and rip-stop. We delivered him to Hobbledown on Good Friday, and worked with Jon, one of the staff, who did an excellent job of learning how to perform his first giant puppet. The owl has been used in the park throughout the holidays, and we believe will have lots of outings during the summer as well.

It’s a great place to visit with lots of amazing artwork, carpentry and, of course, real live animals. Including some of our owl’s very close relatives!

 

 

Watch the owl fly HERE.

Lulu’s Rural Tour

With our own theatre lights, courtesy of ACE, we finally set out on our first tour with the National Rural Touring Forum. We’re so excited to be doing this work and our short tour to Lincolnshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire was a real success. Venues and audiences gave us a hugely warm welcome with Hullaba Lulu, and we look forward to many more rural venues in future.

 

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Thingumajig Theatre
Thingumajig TheatreTuesday, January 15th, 2019 at 5:13pm
We’re excited to be returning to Roztoky nr Prague next month to be a part of their carnival. This time we’re bringing our Caribou and teaching a Worbla mask-making class.
Thingumajig Theatre
Thingumajig TheatreFriday, December 21st, 2018 at 3:57pm
We're wrapping up 2018 and looking back, we've had a lovely year—highlights include (from top left): a lantern puppet workshop in Prague for the Sdružení Roztoč Carnival; artists in residence at The Squire Foundation in Santa Barbara, California to make 2 giant puppets with local artists; performing for 3 weeks at Kleines-Fest.de in Hannover via Fool's Paradise Ltd; creating our new street theatre show, Ghost Caribou, with support from Without Walls Blueprint R&D Fund at Creation Space 101; spending a week on Morecambe Bay making driftwood wild dogs for John Fox and Sue Gill; and making lantern cassowaries and emus for Wild Rumpus and Chester Zoo! Happy Winter Solstice, Merry Christmas and see you in the New Year!
Thingumajig Theatre
Thingumajig TheatreSaturday, December 15th, 2018 at 8:50pm
Very windy one on the Ipswich waterfront—gusts up to 40 mph! Sorry we had to cancel after this set but glad we had two other great days with the Caribou in Ipswich.
Thingumajig Theatre
All About Ipswich
Ghost Caribou on the waterfront tonight. Thank you to the brave families who came down to see them. Unfortunately the act was cut short for safety reasons due to the very high winds along the waterfront. Thank you Thingumajig Theatre for performing as long as you did 🙌🏼
Thingumajig Theatre
Thingumajig TheatreThursday, December 13th, 2018 at 6:57pm
Good fun to see our cassowary and emu lantern puppets in action Chester Zoo Wild Rumpus
Thingumajig Theatre
Thingumajig TheatreSunday, December 9th, 2018 at 10:55pm
A couple more reposts from Ipswich
Thingumajig Theatre
Thingumajig TheatreSunday, December 9th, 2018 at 10:46pm
Our cassowary in action at
Chester Zoo Wild Rumpus

Twitter

Monday, January 14th, 2019 at 3:06pm
Hello 2019. Off to Bulgaria tomorrow to teach a giant puppet class! @Plovdiv2019 https://t.co/4YaHzsOPxB ThingumaTheatre photo
Friday, December 21st, 2018 at 1:47pm
Wrapping up 2018—highlights: lantern puppet wksp in Prague; in residence @SquireArtSb in Santa Barbara, @KleinesFest in Hannover via @FoolsParadiseUK; creating #GhostCaribou via @WWconsortium @101OutdoorArts; making birds @_wildrumpus @chesterzoo Happy Solstice and Merry Xmas! https://t.co/IvOOWxfiqm ThingumaTheatre photo
Thursday, December 20th, 2018 at 8:34am
Our very last Thingumajig Theatre performance of 2018 is a Christmas party turn: Our #crankie from Kit and Caboodle at @Ryburn3Step Illustration by @gokerithgo #migrationisbeautiful #Ambox @cardboardia #acrossthewesternocean https://t.co/9bzxsANZ8O
Tuesday, December 18th, 2018 at 7:55pm
Nice to have our #GhostCaribou photo by @IanHodgsonpix represent the call for the next round of @WWconsortium #Blueprint find! https://t.co/EuS3SqJf05
ThingumaTheatre photo
Without Walls @WWconsortium
📢OPEN CALL ANNOUNCEMENT 📢 @WWconsortium invites artists and companies to apply for funds through the #Blueprint programme, to support the R&D costs of new outdoor touring work for final presentation in 2020 or beyond https://t.co/rx3nxiKv9K https://t.co/fYzbDGBDPr
Saturday, December 15th, 2018 at 9:07pm
Sorry to have to cancel after 1st set. With wind gusts of 40 mph, was not safe for us or audience! Glad we had 2 great outings in Ipswich at Cornhill https://t.co/GYfmzoVqBv
Ipswich Central @IpsCentral
Ghost Caribou on the waterfront tonight. Unfortunately the very high winds led to the act ending earlier than planned for safety reasons 😔 https://t.co/nZeeXyzod8

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