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On our 35th anniversary year, Norwich Puppet Theatre needs your help to 
create the best Christmas puppet show ever; Beauty & the Beast
81 backers pledged £2,475 to help bring this project to life.

About

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£2,475

81

We've reached our initial target (yay!). But we have two days to go and we'd like to introduce you to some new members of the puppet cast who still need your support.  

- Meryl the greedy film producer who lures Beauty away with promises of fame and fortune in the movies

- Beauty's frugal father who doesn't appreciate his daughter until she's swept away in a world of glitz and glamour

- And last but not least horse Beauty's trusty friend

Let's get to £2,500 and create the whole line-up!

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

On the 1 December, we will be celebrating 35 years of Norwich Puppet Theatre. Founded in 1979 by Ray and Joan DaSilva, the Theatre is housed in a medieval church in the heart of Norwich which was renovated by members of the community, who contributed their time and money to help create this local treasure.

And to celebrate we’re going to be producing our most ambitious show yet and we need your help to do it!

Norwich Puppet Theatre
Norwich Puppet Theatre

We’ve put together a team of leading puppet theatre makers and performers to create a site-specific show for Christmas 2014 which celebrates the Theatre as a unique venue. The show will be a new twist on the classic fairytale Beauty and the Beast and will use the Theatre’s marionette bridge for the first time in over 20 years. The bridge was a key feature in the Theatre’s first productions using long string puppets and we are one of only three venues nationally who have one. However, due to financial constraints and the cost of producing long string puppets the bridge has gone unused - until now!

Early production at the Theatre using long string puppets
Early production at the Theatre using long string puppets

Beauty and the Beast will be a spectacular mix of old and new puppetry techniques designed to be enjoyed across the generations, for audiences aged 5 - 95. We need YOU to help make the most crucial element of the show … the puppets of the Beast and Beauty!

It's the thrill of a lifetime … the story

Set in the iconic era of 1920s and 30s cinema and inspired by the classic monster movie King Kong, Beauty and the Beast will be a modern marionette fairytale. Entertaining, fun and visually spectacular, the show will be a mix of traditional string puppets, digital film, performance and original music.

The story starts in a desert wasteland where our young heroine Beauty is panning for gold with her frugal father. She is discovered by a greedy film producer who plucks her from a life of poverty with promises of fame and fortune in the movies. Caught up in the glitz and glamour, Beauty forgets her roots and is ensnared by a world obsessed with good looks - but looks aren’t everything, right?

It's alive... It's alive! … what your support will help create

A wide range of handcrafted, bespoke puppets is needed to make the show a reality. We need your help to raise money to produce the technically ambitious puppets of Beauty and the Beast and get the marionette bridge performance ready. The money raised will go towards;

- Materials to make the puppets and their costumes (don’t want to give the story away but the Beast’s is very special!)

- Employing a highly skilled team of makers who specialise in puppet making, in particular string and hand carved wooden puppets

- Maintenance work on the marionette bridge

- Supporting the next generation of puppet makers, covering expenses for three interns who will help the making team

You ain’t seen nothing yet … the team

Gavin Glover, director and designer

Renowned internationally for adult contemporary puppet theatre having co-founded the groundbreaking FaultyOptic theatre of animation in 1988.

Joy Haynes, producer

Director of Norwich Puppet Theatre and founding member of the acclaimed touring theatre company Banyan Theatre.

Jan Zalud, Mark Mander and Gretchen Maynard-Hahn, puppet makers

Jan, Mark and Gretchen have created puppets, costumes and sets for leading international companies including Little Angel Theatre, The Royal Shakespeare Company and Horse + Bamboo Theatre Company. Mark is also an accomplished performer, whose achievements include performing as George from the legendary TV show Rainbow.

Josh Elwell, Sian Kidd and Jonathan Storey, performers

The Beauty and the Beast cast have performed across theatre, TV and film. Between them they have worked for the National Theatre of Scotland, Little Angel Theatre, BBC, ITV and most recently the new Muppets film The Muppets… Most Wanted!

Hannah Marshall, composer

Musician, cellist, sound designer, theatre deviser and co-director of Ding Dong Foundation.

Tilly Lunken, writer and dramaturg

Tilly is an award-winning writer for theatre productions including The Snow White Complex, Mint Leaves and Christmas Lunch.

Tim Tracey, production and technical manager

Director of Tin House, Tim has provided production and technical support for theatre, festivals and puppetry across the country.

Risks and challenges

Creating a new production is a challenging process and we have a proven track record of producing innovative new puppet shows. Recent productions include Pied Piper which is currently on tour around the country, Red Riding Hood and The Tinderbox.

We're going to be taking creative risks mixing a wide range of puppetry techniques including the technically challenging string marionettes. We have a great team of makers and performers lined up who can meet this challenge to deliver a spectacular show.

The making team, director and producer will meet mid September to talk through designs and the build needs to be complete by the end of October. Rehearsals will follow in November and then it’s showtime in December. So every week counts!

The production started development in 2013 and has undergone an extensive research process over the past year so we have lots of material to draw on. We have already received support from Arts Council England, The Chivers Trust and Ernest Cook Trust which has helped enable the research process and will contribute to the accompanying education and outreach projects in the local community.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £5 or more About $6

    WHY THANK YA KINDLY STRANGER – A big thank you from the Theatre via twitter and in the shows programme.

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    Pledge £20 or more About $25

    IT'S ADVENTURE AND FAME SWEETHEART – Receive a copy of the Beauty and the Beast programme signed by the director and performers plus the above thank you.

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    24 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge £60 or more About $76

    THE BRIGHT LIGHTS ARE CALLING - A pack of collectable goodies including a limited edition autographed photo from Beauty with a personalised message, poster signed by the director, Norwich Puppet Theatre t-shirt, badges, stickers and postcards. Plus all the above.

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    3 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge £100 or more About $126

    GET YOUR GLAD RAGS ON – Two free tickets to the Beauty and the Beast Premiere evening (6 December) where you can rub shoulders with the creative team. Plus all of the above rewards. (travel and accommodation not included)

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge £150 or more About $189

    YOU'RE GOING TO BE A STAR! – For your generous donation you will receive two free tickets to any performance, followed by a private puppeteering masterclass with one of the Beauty and the Beast cast. The session will be tailored to suit your technical ability. Plus all the above rewards. (travel and accommodation not included)

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Funding period

- (30 days)