Family Enrichment Workshop
Up to 25 children per workshop will be happily engaged for 45 minutes.
DYNAMIC NEW PUPPET SHOW BOUND TO THRILL THE WHOLE FAMILY
YORKSHIRE POST 2009
Review by Dan Chaik: The programme states that the show is for ages four to ten, so you feel a little self conscious going into a performance such as this without a child in tow. Fortunately the programme also tells you that the stories which provide the inspiration for the show are from Terry Jones, he of Monty Python fame.
Perhaps a childlike view of the world, in the sense that the Pythons were childlike, is all that is actually needed to enjoy this production from DNA Puppetry and Visual theatre. Anyone with an imagination will enjoy this gentle, subversive, funny show. Taking the 1981 book Fairy Tales by Jones as a basis, artistic director of DNA Rachel Riggs and puppeteer Adam Bennett create an enchanting little show. Bennett is the man, literally, behind the puppet Thurtinkle, who tells the sometimes dark and constantly amusing stories from Jones’s book. While Thurtinkle is an impressive puppet and an amusing character, presenter Shakera Louise Ahad provides a vital link between the puppet and the audience. Clearly thinking on her feet in a show that can only be as rehearsed as far as an audience of young children will allow, she is an engaging presence who helps the audience connect with the puppet and the stories he tells. It is impressive feat to act, tell stories, and essentially carry out crowd control all at once, but she carries it off with wit. A show that was enjoyed by both the children and the parents in the audience, it is heartening to think this kind of theatre is still being created and taken around the country.
Review by Ronnie Haydon in Time Out: The teller of tales with the unusual moniker is a large-nosed puppet, who leans companionably on his windowsill while he holds forth. Thurtinkle is a congenial host with a ready wit. His sidekick is an amiable woman in a silly hat called Rachel, whose warm, chatty style and prowess on the melodeon earns her the unalloyed devotion most under eights reserve for their teachers. Thurtinkle's enormous nose is the subject of his first story, in which we learn that he comes from a country populated by people equally over endowed in the conk department. Oddly enough, this is the story with the least laughs; but it does lay down a hugely enjoyable pattern of audience participation.
The tales that follow introduce other characters who pop up from Thurtinkle's tiny house, where puppeteer Adam is secreted presumably half-stifled; although you wouldn't know it from the diverse repertoire of daft voices he uses for his cast. The funniest story Rachel and Thurtinkle tell between them is about two dastardly robbers (glove puppets wearing tiny black masks) who have designs on the King's magic glass cupboard (which gives people their hearts desire, as long as they're prepared to put something back). Greed hastens the criminals' downfall and they shatter the beautiful cupboard, which appalling crime sends the audience into a shocked, self-righteous silence. So caught up in the story were my young companions that they were still chuntering about such wanton vandalism by the puppet baddies as they walked out of this clearly pleasing hour-long show for four-to-eight-year-olds by Dynamic New Animation.
(by the same reviewer on a different set of stories)
He may look like a cross between a horse and a New Age traveller, but Dynamic New Animation's earthy teller of tales is a big hit on the Saturday morning theatre circuit. Thurtinkle, a puppet, and Rachel, a jolly young woman who hangs on his every word, capture the often elusive attention of children aged four and above with their gentle one-hour show, presented with clarity and a readiness to invite, and act upon, children's contributions to the narrative.
Thurtinkle has returned to his leafy wooldand home from his travels, gasping for a cup of tea. Rachel is all agog for his stories from far away. Together they point out on a huge inflatable globe the countries Thurtinkle has explored: India, Australia and Brazilian(sic). Each little tale is a mini puppet show in itself. Rachel, and the puppeteer concealed in Thurtinkle's tiny house manipulate a series of beautiful string and rod figures and props. Much of the fun for children is in identifying the various characters and their exploits. This low-key, but admirable entertainment absorbs them completely.
All text and images © Dynamic New Animation 2005