Little Angel Theatre Announces Spring Season 2022

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TODAY, ON WORLD PUPPETRY DAY, LITTLE ANGEL THEATRE REVEALS A VIBRANT SPRING SEASON WITH HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDING:

  • Ian Nicholson and Sam Wilde create a new live version of their hit lockdown digital shows in I Want My Hat Back and Other Stories adapted from Jon Klassen’s beloved books. Running 28 May – 31 July 2022. For ages 3 – 6.
     
  • Smoking Apple’s Kinder imaginatively tells the poignant story of a Czech-Jewish girl escaping on a Kindertransport train and travelling across Europe. Running 11 May – 14 May 2022. For ages 11 – 16. 
  • Indefinite Articles enchanting Pinocchio returns to Little Angel Theatre for a new generation of children to enjoy, performed by former Little Angel artistic director Steve Tiplady as Geppetto. Running 29 April – 26 June 2022. For ages 5 – 11.
     
  • Multi-media musical puppet show Jina and the STEM Sisters, from HMDT Music is based on the achievements of historical STEM women and features Motown, jazz and musical theatre. Running 20  April – 1 May 2022 . For age 7+.
     
  • On the Little Angel Theatre YouTube Channel, two thought-provoking new series are released; Little Bell, written by Giles Paley-Phillips and Bertie… both directed by Samantha Lane. Plus new Watch, Make, Share shorts are announced.

Little Angel Theatre Artistic Director Samantha Lane and Executive Director Peta Swindall introduce the new season:

‘It is wonderful to welcome Ian Nicholson and Sam Wilde back to Little Angel this Spring. Their three charming adaptations of Jon Klassen’s Hat books inspired the imaginations of children worldwide when they ran online during lockdown in 2020, as part of our ‘Watch, Make, Share’ digital programme which is still going strong today. We can’t wait for children to meet their favourite cardboard characters up close in this brand-new live version of the trilogy! We are also excited that Indefinite Articles’ timeless production of Pinocchio has made it to the stage. This show was programmed for Spring 2020, but was never performed due to lockdown. We are delighted that it will finally get an audience and inspire a new generation of young theatregoers with the adventures of the most famous puppet in the world.

For older children, award-winning company Smoking Apples will also take us on an adventure with Babi, a small girl who travels across Europe on a Kindertransport train. Although the story of a child displaced from her home is sadly a timely one, Babi’s adventure also shows the power of human kindness through those she meets along the way. We also can’t wait to share our two new digital series with our young audiences, particularly ‘Little Bell’, which we were inspired to develop following our Christmas production of ‘There May Be A Castle’. Just like that show, ‘Little Bell’ will tackle the more challenging topics children encounter as they grow up. The series is inspired by the beautiful book ‘Little Bell and the Moon’ by Giles Paley-Phillips, who we are thrilled is writing the series.’

LITTLE ANGEL SPRING SEASON:

Previously announced!

Jina and the STEM Sisters
20 April – 1 May 2022
Little Angel Studios
Recommended for everyone over 7

Jina and the STEM Sisters invites audiences to join lost budding scientist Jina on her adventure home, empowered by some of history’s super-STEM women. Digital-coder Ada Lovelace, glamorous inventor Hedy Lamarr, ‘radiating’ Marie Curie and pioneering astronaut Mae Jemison are amongst those offering Jina scientific gifts of curiosity, courage, creativity, persistence and open-mindedness, to help her find her way and follow her dreams to become a scientist.

This multi-media musical puppet show for schools and families from HMDT Music is based on the discoveries and stories of historical STEM women who fought against the odds to pursue their flair for scientific enquiry, but were often unacknowledged for their discoveries and frequently encountered discrimination and prejudice along the way.

This enchanting and witty new show featuring a wealth of music from rap to Motown, jazz, opera and musical theatre and ‘ingeniously presented puppetry’, aims to inspire a new generation. Created and performed by an all-female team, and supported by an extensive schools’ project, this production comes to Little Angel Studios as part of its national tour.

Credits:
Written by Rachel Barnett-Jones
Composer/Music Director Jenny Gould
Directed by Clare Whistler
Designed by Sophia Lovell Smith
Puppets made by Judith Hope, Alison Alexander, Roger, Julie and Simon Lade and Sophia Lovell Smith
Performed by Ruth Calkin and Andrea Sadler (puppeteers)
Sung by Nadine Benjamin, Eloise Eisenberg, Jessica Gillingwater, Abigail Kelly, Susan Moore and the I Can Sing! Children’s Chorus with the STEM Sisters Band directed by Jenny Gould

Made possible with the support of Arts Council England.

Announced today!

Pinocchio
29 April – 26 June 2022
Little Angel Theatre
An Indefinite Articles production, in association with Little Angel Theatre
Aimed at ages 5-11 years


Step inside Geppetto’s workshop and hear the tale of a puppet that wants to be a real boy, and a puppet maker who wants to be a real father.

Watch as Pinocchio is carved on stage, paint brushes come to life as foxes and the shadow of two saws transform into a giant fish. An element of improvisation adds to the magic, as no two performances are exactly the same.

Puppetry, shadows, illusion and original music combine to create a show that is inventive, witty and has a big heart.

Indefinite Articles enchanting production of Pinocchio is performed by Steve Tiplady, former artistic director of Little Angel, in the role of Geppetto. This Little Angel classic is lovingly revisited for a new generation of children to enjoy. 

Credits:
Written by Carlo Collodi
Adapted by Louise Warren
Performed by and additional material by Steve Tiplady
Directed by Alex Martin and Sally Todd
Puppet direction by Sue Buckmaster
Music by Hannah Marshall
Puppets made by Peter O’Rourke and Michael Fowkes

Announced today!

Kinder

11 May – 14 May 2022
Little Angel Studio
A Smoking Apples production
Aimed at ages 11-16 years


Escaping on a Kindertransport train, one small Czech-Jewish girl embarks on a mighty adventure. 

Crossing between the past and present, Babi travels across Europe; from bon bons in Germany to the smell of the sea in Margate, she discovers how tiny acts of kindness can change the course of a person’s life. 

Joyful, moving and poignant, Kinder features beautiful table top puppetry and cinematic shadow play, as Babi tries to assemble the parts of her broken identity, to find peace in her future. 

Kinder is the newest show, from award winning puppetry and visual theatre company Smoking Apples. Inviting you to take a seat inside an immersive set, the story unfolds through a series of playful hatches and openings. 

Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and Enterprise Arts Trust. 

Credits:
Director: Molly Freeman
Set Designer: Matt Lloyd
Puppet Design: Hattie Thomas
Script: Molly Freeman and George Bellamy 
Shadow Puppetry Illustration: Hattie Thomas 
Production Manager: Matt Lloyd 
Producer: Sofia Stephanou 
Performer/Co-devisor: Hattie Thomas, George Bellamy and David Burchhardt 
Composer: Jon Ouin
Sound Design: George Bellamy 
Lighting Design: Sherry Coenen 
Dramaturgy: Sam Redway

Announced today!

I Want My Hat Back Trilogy
28 May – 31 July 2022
Little Angel Studio
A Little Angel Theatre production with Ian Nicholson and Sam Wilde

Running Time: 45 mins
Aimed at ages 3-6 years


A bear has lost his hat. What if he never sees it again? WAIT! He has seen his hat.

A fish has stolen a hat. And he’ll probably get away with it. Probably.

Two turtles have found a hat. The hat looks good on both of them. But there are two turtles. And there is only one hat.

Following their hit digital series, lockdown sensations Ian Nicholson and Sam Wilde are back with more of their trademark cardboard design.

Jon Klassen’s beloved books, I Want My Hat Back, This is Not My Hat and We Found A Hat, will have a brand new life of their own LIVE on the Little Angel stage. All the favourites including Bear, Little Fish and the Turtles will be making an appearance in this one-of-a-kind trilogy.

Credits:
Adapted by Ian Nicholson and Sam Wilde
Directed by Ian Nicholson
Designed by Sam Wilde
Assisted by Alana Ashley
Sound Design and Composition by Jim Whitcher

I Want My Hat Back
Adapted by Ian Nicholson and Sam Wilde
From the book by Jon Klassen, illustrated by Jon Klassen
Published by Candlewick Press

This Is Not My Hat
Adapted by Ian Nicholson and Sam Wilde
From the book by Jon Klassen, illustrated by Jon Klassen
Published by Candlewick Press

We Found A Hat
Adapted by Ian Nicholson and Sam Wilde
From the book by Jon Klassen, illustrated by Jon Klassen
Published by Candlewick Press

Currently running!

Handa’s Surprise
Running until 16 April 2022
Little Angel Studios

Aimed at ages 2-5 years

Based on the bestselling book written and illustrated by Eileen Browne, Handa’s Surprise returns to Little Angel Theatre before heading out on tour this Spring.

Travel to Kenya and follow in Handa’s footsteps as she journeys to see her best friend Akeyo, in the next village. Handa is taking seven delicious fruits as a surprise – but seven different animals have seven very different ideas… could you resist the sweet-smelling guava? How about a ripe red mango or a tangy purple passion fruit? 

Directed by Marleen Vermeulen with set design by Sophia Lovell Smith and puppets made by Peter O’Rourke, this production uses a blend of physical performance, puppetry, live music and song combine to create an intimate, magical production with audience participation. Come and share in the magical tangerine surprise!

Credits:
Adapted from the book by Eileen Browne
Directed by Marleen Vermeulen
Set designed by Sophia Lovell Smith
Puppets made by Peter O’Rourke

This play is based on the original book Handa’s Surprise, written and illustrated by Eileen Browne. Published by Walker Books ltd.

Currently running!

The Singing Mermaid
Running until 24 April 2022
Little Angel Theatre
A Little Angel Theatre and Royal & Derngate, Northampton co-production

Aimed at ages 3-8 years

Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks’s enormously popular story The Singing Mermaid,, is brought to life through beautiful puppetry and performance, adapted by Samantha Lane and Barb Jungr (The Smartest Giant in Town, There May be a Castle).

One day, the singing mermaid is tempted away from all of her sea creature friends and her peaceful home at Silversands to join a travelling circus. The audiences love to hear her sing, but the poor mermaid was tricked! Instead of the swimming pool she was promised, she is kept in a small tank by the wicked circus master Sam Sly, and she soon longs to return to the freedom of the sea. Will she ever escape? And who will help her along the way?

Credits:
Adapted by Barb Jungr and Samantha Lane
Music and Lyrics by Barb Jungr
Directed by Samantha Lane
Design by Laura McEwen
Puppets by Lyndie Wright
Lighting Design by Sherry Coenen

This play is based on the original book The Singing Mermaid. Text copyright © Julia Donaldson 2012. Illustrations copyright © Lydia Monks 2012. Published by Macmillan Children’s Books.
 

LITTLE ANGEL ONLINE

Watch, Make, Share

A new season of Little Angel Theatre’s popular digital shorts programme Watch, Make Share is today announced. These brand new shorts will be available to watch for free on Little Angel’s YouTube Channel where they remain for 18 months.

3 April – Priya & The Twirling Wind, by Raven Kaliana
10 April – Super Speedy Star Baby, by Louisa Ashton
24 April – Slugarella, by Sophie Fretwell
18 April – The Tempest, directed by Ian Nicholson, adapted by Hannah Khalil and designed by Sam Wilde
8th May – Medusa’s First Kiss, by P Burton-Morgan and Holly Mallett

New Digital Series

Little Angel is delighted to announce two new digital series for April and May Little Bell and Bertie…. Both series will be available for free on the theatre’s YouTube Channel. Additional wrap around content will also be available to support classrooms.

Bertie…
7 episodes will be available to watch from the end of April
Little Angel Theatre’s YouTube Channel
Aimed at ages 3-8 years


Bertie… is an environmental entertainment and education series written and directed by Little Angel Theatre artistic director Samantha Lane (The Singing Mermaid, The Smartest Giant in Town, There May Be a Castle). Lilly the stork meets a different animal in a different place in the world in each episode, and children learn about environmental issues and consider how they can take their own steps to help combat climate change.  

Bertie is a bottle.  

He used to be full of sparkling water, but now he is empty inside and lives at the rubbish dump. Bertie dreams that one day he will be recycled into a kite. But, for now, he is stuck in landfill. 

Lilly is a stork. She lives close to the dump in a nest and she is Bertie’s best friend.   

Although it is a little smelly, they like living at the dump. It is amazing to see all of the interesting things that humans throw away. 

Bertie has to stay at the dump because he cannot fly, but Lilly travels across the skies to lots of new and different places.  

Credits:
Written and Directed by Samantha Lane
Set and Puppet Design by Emma Tompkins
Puppeteers and Voices – Lori Hopkins and Jessica Shead
Music and Sound Design by Zara Nunn
Filmed and Edited by Ben Hewis
Lighting by David Abra
Props by Katie Penn
Title Animation by Will Powers
Voice Recording by Christopher Bracher 
With thanks to Work and Play Scrapstore

Little Bell
3 episodes available to watch from the end of May
Little Angel Theatre’s YouTube Channel
Aimed at ages 5-11 years


Written by Giles Paley-Phillips and directed by Samantha LaneLittle Bell is inspired by Giles’ book Little Bell and the Moon a wonderful rhyming tale of a little girl, who grows up, gets old and turns into a bright star in the sky.

In each episode, Little Bell will work through a challenging issue that is troubling her with topics including loss, starting a new school and building friendships.

Giles Paley-Phillips is the author of nine picture books. His bestselling title The Fearsome Beastie won The People’s Book Prize and the Heart of Hawick Book Awards.

Credits:
Written by Giles Paley Phillips
Directed by Samantha Lane
Set and Puppet Design by Ellie Mills
Music and Sound Design by Will Dollard and Mary Erskine 
Filmed and Edited by Studio Kix

LITTLE ANGEL ON THE ROAD

The Smartest Giant in Town
Touring now until 8 May 2022
Written by Julia Donaldson and Illustrated by Axel Scheffler 
A Fierylight & Little Angel Theatre coproduction
To find out more visit smartestgiantonstage.co.uk 

This play is based on the picture book The Smartest Giant in Town © Text Julia Donaldson 2002 and © Illustrations Axel Scheffler 2002, published by Macmillan Children’s Books. 

Handa’s Surprise
Touring from 24 April – 3 July 2022 into both venues and schools. 
Now on sale at The Albany, Canada Water Theatre, Northern Stage, the egg. More dates to be announced soon. 
To find out more visit www.littleangeltheatre.com/on-tour/handas-surprise


A GREENER LITTLE ANGEL

As an organisation, Little Angel Theatre have been committed to reducing our environmental impact for some time, embedding this within our artistic programme and practicing it in our operations. We were an early adopter of the Theatre Green Book and continue to commit to this baseline going forward. We have several key objectives throughout everything we do – reducing our waste sent to landfill, reducing our carbon emissions caused by travel and touring, reducing our building’s carbon output (achieving carbon neutral site operations by 2030) and impacting wider perceptions and behaviour around the climate crisis. These principles are embedded in this new programme of work, continuing to inspire children and families to use materials they can find in their homes to have fun and be creative, and reinventing classic productions for a new generation.

We are currently fundraising for building changes and improvements which will make material changes to the way that our buildings will operate and support this outcome, and we have also committed to 52 sustainable actions over the next year which will impact on our day-to-day activities.

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