After our performance of Jack and the Beanstalk at Hotham Primary School many of the pupils decided to write to us to say thank you to our actors Tim and Natalie and to ask us some questions. We've read every letter and loved them all. In this blog we're answering some of the children's questions.
Emma and Nayla sent us these brilliant drawings. Emma's (below) depicts the market place scene in Jack and the Beanstalk, when a mysterious stranger in a black cloak buys Muriel the cow in exchange for some beans.
Emma asked: “How did you make the cow?”
Our cow – Muriel – was created by a couple called Steve and Sally. He is a puppetry director and she is a puppet maker (with a background in sculpture and fine arts).
Long before we started rehearsals for Jack and the Beanstalk we contacted them with a copy of the script and asked them to come up with something which would meet the following criteria for our cow puppet:
- Made from found objects – that's existing items and materials, which are refashioned or reused.
- Where possible the ‘found objects’ should be associated with cows and the dairy industry!
- Robust enough to travel around the country in and out of cars to various schools.
- Able to demonstrate character
- Easy for actors to move around a small stage. So not too heavy or cumbersome.
- Not an actual live cow!
As a result these are some of the characteristics of our Murial:
- Head made from a 6 pint milk carton.
- Body made from a black shopping trolley customised with white paint into Friesian-patterned skin.
- Hooves made from yoghurt pots.
- A tail made from an Actimel yoghurt drink bottle.
- Udders made from a washing up glove!
Lisa said: “Jack and the Beanstalk is my favourite tale! What others do you do?”
For the Christmas 2016 pantomime season we’ll be taking Aladdin, Cinderella and your favourite Jack and the Beanstalk back on tour. We’ll also launch our new musical Scroogical (based on Charles Dickens’ story A Christmas Carol)!
We’re busy all year round performing a variety of other shows and delivering workshops in primary schools across the country. By clicking on the links below you can go to our website to find out more about some of them…
Adam asked us: “Could you write back saying if you could do another play for our school?”
Adam, we’d love to perform another play for your school. World Book Day and/or Shakespeare Week in March might be a good excuse (if you need one) to get us back! Just ask your teachers to get in touch.
Thank you so much for all of your letters and questions Hotham Primary School. You helped to make a very special West End in Schools panto season and have inspired us for the year ahead.
If you have any more questions or suggestions about what we do, please ask your teachers about responding to this blog.