DNA logo
DNA Header
DNA logo

For all the latest news, please visit the DNA Director's Blog

Dynamic News Animation

Late Summer News 2008

We've just returned from The Electric Picnic, Stradbally in Ireland. A perfect weekend of music and entertainment. We performed Chicken Licken in the Soul Kids area and had a brilliant time. Other gigs this Summer since Glastonbury have included; The Green Man festival, Worden Park as part of Parkicipate!, Devizes Street Theatre Festival, Camp Bestival and Larks in the Parks at the Orleans House Gallery, Richmond

Sian and Paul provide a musical interlude in a break between shows inside our Puppets A Go Go! tent.


More Summer News 2008

Above you see Rachel and her puppet Baby having a lovely time playing with the children on the kidz field

and here's Thurtinkle taking a break from his 'Dr Nose Travels Through Time' show to chat with fans and onlookers


Summer News 2008

Adam and Rachel have travelled to Perth in Western Australia to attend UNIMA 2008, the world congress of puppetry. 'Chicken Licken' was performed as part of the Carnival Day celebrations, and both Adam and Rachel joined an international cast of puppeteers on the 'Puppet Sports' performances from Quebec. DNA are once again indebted to the generosity of Emirates Airlines for their support offering fare reductions and baggage allowances. The UK department of Trade and Industry and The Arts Council of England also generously offered financial support.

While Adam and Rachel were away, DNA staff were delivering highly successful performances and commissions. 'Dr Nose Travels Through Time' toured North and South.

The Eureka Museum for Children were eagerly anticipating the delivery of their caterpillar commission. Rachel Riggs trained Eureka's play-enablers in encouraging creative play using DNA's puppets and props lovingly crafted by Heather Berril

DNA's 'Hoodies' puppets are in use by The Lancaster Grand Theatre as part of their 'Animal Farm' production by the Footlights Youth Theatre.

WE are also very excited to be part of the 'Portrait of a Nation' project - We Make Manchester, working with the Zion Centre creating 'Hoodies' Tour guides for young people at URBIS for a very special event taking place taking place on July 13th.

As the weather warms we're looking forward to Dr Nose turning up all over the place this Summer. He's making an appearance at the Glastonbury Festival in Somerset, Camp Bestival in Dorset and the Green Man Festival in Wales. He'll also be in Lichfield, Richmond and Banbury over the Summer.

Ball Pond Bobby will be featuring alongside Chicken Licken at the 3 Foot People festival in Chelmsford at the beginning of July so come along if you can.

Spring News 2008

Dr Nose Travel's Through Time is now touring the UK and our new performers Stephanie Ridings and Mark Duncan are doing sterling work. Our audiences and venues are all giviing us very positive feedback.

Specialist director Steve Wright of The Wright Stuff with Dr Nose

Meanwhile Adam Bennett has been touring 'Chicken Licken' and has just been performing 'Ball Pond Bobby' in Singapore with performer Emma Lewis who toured with 'Baba Yaga Boney Legs'. This tour was supported by Emirates Airlines, and we are extremely grateful for their support.

In other developments, we're working with Viv Tyler of Business in the Arts: North West, and Laura Whillans of DWF solicitors on company development through the Business in the Arts skills bank. We have also bee assisted in staff management training by the Co-operative Group through Business in the Arts:North West.

Winter News 2007 2008

Atishoo! A Christmas Cold at the Lowry

We had a terrific sell out season at the Lowry with Atishoo! and are now preparing our brand new show 'Dr Nose Travel's Through Time'. More soon!



Autumn News 2007

We've had a really successful Summer of touring, taking Chicken Licken, Puss in Boots and Puppets A Go Go! to festivals around the country. To finish the Summer, we took Skin Deep Circus to Denmark and Puss in Boots to Ireland. We hope you got the chance to catch these shows but if not there are opportunities to see Ball Pond Bobby and Atishoo! in the Autumn and Winter.

We successfully applied to the Arts Council of England for a grant to further develop the design and content of Ball Pond Bobby, and we have used this grant to commission bespoke seating to really aid the overall aesthetic and atmosphere of the performance as well as enable adults and children to sit comfortably together, remake the set and do a thorough evaluation. We're also working on addition supporting materials for the family activities to enhance the whole experience. We are very excited to be working with an early years specialist to evaluate the project and Ludus Dance of Lancaster worked with our dancer Tids Pickard to develop the choreography.

We're also having a restrospective of DNA artwork as well as some of Rachel's work at PAD in Church St, Preston from October 16th to November 10th. To launch the exhibition we're having a special performance of Chicken Licken followed by a workshop.

A special christmas version of our stunning visual show Atishoo! will be at the Worden Arts Centre in Leyland December 17th-19th and at the Lowry in Salford Keys, Manchester from December 27th to January 6th.






more Summer News 2007

'Fluffy the Cat' designed and made by Georgina Solo (pictured right) and performed by Rachel Riggs (pictured left)

Puss in Boots has returned to Summer touring with an appearance at the Kidz field at the Glastonbury festival. We are also developing a new style of interactive workshop in which one woekshop leader guides the crafting activity while the other uses a puppet to interact and inspire the participants. We tried it at the Makendoo tent and it went down a storm. Which is also how the whole festival went, with the rain and the mud. Still, a great time was had by all.
Next on the summer touring is a last minute invitation to perform at the Winchester Hat Fair, The 3-foot people festival in Chelmsford, the St Alban's fringe festival, the Larmer Tree, Eastern Haze, and the Green Man festival in Wales before crossing the channel to attend the Aarhus festival in Denmark and finishing off with an appearance at the International Puppet Festival in Dublin.

Summer News 2007

With the weather warming up , our happy thoughts are turning to Summer festivals, but before that, it's time to tell you all about our development touring of Ball Pond Bobby, and our involvement in Blackpool's Puppet Up! festival of puppetry and visual theatre, which will again be in Blackpool town centre on the 19th and 20th ofMay.

Rosa Parkin came up from Brighton to be with Adam and Tids for the very first ever 'Ball Pond Bobby' preview at the Lyric Hammersmith. Rosa filmed the event and it's now up to have a look at on youtube.com or on the page of this site. Since then, we've been to Reading and Maidenhead, London, Trowbridge, Banbury, Leicester and Lincoln.

It's wonderful to see the children and grown ups playing and watching and responding to the action and effects.

The programming for the Puppet Up! festival weekend is now complete with performances in the Grand Theatre studio as well as street theatre performances. We are keeping our fingers crossed for fine weather! We've had a good response from primary and high schools in Blackpool and pulled together a mix of artists to go in and help the pupils make a colourful variety of puppets to be in the grand parade.

Spring news 2007

We've been working hard with Jonny Quick and Tids Pickard on 'Ball Pond Bobby' at The Lowry. Thanks goes to Porl Cooper for graciously allowing us to rehearse in the Lowry's wonderful studios. Martin Pearson has made our Bobby puppet and Jonny has been building our ball pond set. Trial sessions at the Preston Guild Hall were well received by our small but enthusiastic groups of four-year-olds, and now wer'e in good shape to priemere at the Lowry on March the 10th.

In the meantime, we've had invitations to take 'Puss in Boots' to Ireland and 'Skin Deep Circus' to Denmark later in the year, and we are currently in discussions with the Lowry to do a Christmas run of 'Atishoo!'



Autumn news 2006

We're busy planning our new show for early years audiences 'Ball Pond Bobby'. Our new administrator Sadiya is settling in well and overseeing our company development action plan as well as working with our tour developer Rosa Parkin on the Spring of 2007. Our plans for the Christmas run of 'Puss in Boots' include a new set design, more songs and a fabulous projected animated backdrop filmed by the Green Room's own Jex (ex touring with Jonny Vegas and The Mighty Boosh) and the amazing Steve Curtis.

Mrs French at the HarrisWe're also contiuing our work with the Harris Museum and Art Gallery in Preston on their 'The Collectors' project and have created puppets of Richard Newsham and Mrs French as well as 'Harris' the cat for younger children. These puppets help children understand the contributions of the donors of two of the Harris' larger collections, while Harris the cat helps children to access some of the more significant modern paintings.




More Summer News 2006

We're proud to welcome on board our newest staff member Sadiya Ali who is replacing Hazel Gornall Smith as Company Administrator. Hazel leaving work to become a full-time mother. We wish her all the best, and are very happy to welcome Sadiya, who comes straight from being Assistant Producer at Contact Theatre in Manchester.

In the meantime, we've been busy touring 'Puppets A Go Go!'. Coming up for the big tent is Nottingham Riverside Festival and The Green Man Festival in Wales. 'Puss in Boots' is playing outdoor gigs all over the country and will be touring throughout autumn and winter. We're excited to announce that the Green Room, Manchester will be hosting a Christmas run of 'Puss in Boots'

We were also delighted to be part of Preston's Carribean Carnival parade with a distinctly odd bunch of puppet related costumes and figures


Summer News - 2006

on the cathedral green, winchester hat fairWith the midsummer solistice upon us it feels strange not to be heading off to the Glastonbury Festival this year, but we are very excited about all the other summer events we are off to: the Wichester Hat Fair, Harrow Museum again, Cardiff International Festival, Gloucester Family Day, Nottingham Riverside Festival, Ely Festival, The Green Man Festival as well as London parks in Richmond and Wandsworth.

'Puss in Boots' has been touring all over the country to great acclaim going down a storm in theatres, arts centres, village halls and outdoor events. Recently we've been to Salisbury Festival, Knaresborough for the Harrogate International Festival and the Streets of Birghton festival. More touring in the Autumn will finish with a Christmas run at the Green Room, Manchester.

Rachel has been training students in puppetry at the National Student Drama Festival in Scarborough and Adam has been recording voices for Jolly Phonics new CD-ROM. We took part in Preston's Carnival Parade and the ART 06 event in Preston.

Rachel has been invited to perform 'Change of Heart' in Blue 4 at the Royal Exchange, Manchester, and we are off to Spain again in the Autumn with 'Chicken Licken' in Spanish.

We are also working with the Harris Museum using puppetry to enable young visitors to have a deeper understanding and appreciation of the Harris permanent collections.

Spring News - 2006

We have had our first performances of 'Puss in Boots', which have been going fantastically well. Many thanks have to go to John Luther of South St Arts Centre in Reading and Annabel Turpin of the Norden Farm Centre for the Arts in Maidenhead for giving us a great run of 8 shows in 4 days to run the show in. Starring Adam Bennett and Miriam Grau Casas, this show is an enjoyable romp with lots of silliness and dressing up, and a cat with an attitude problem.

Rachel has been running an innovative Arts Council project called Fusion - Esteem, which involved working with a group of young women in Blackpool looking at issues around sex and relationships. Using the creative artforms of visual theatre including puppetry, shadow play and roleplaying, and using the work of Tracey Emin as an inspiration to subvert 'traditional female skills' of fabric collage and baking/cake decorating, the young women have become more confidently expressive of their attitudes and concerns through participating in the project.

We've also just noticed that Creative Partnerships have taken a project that we were lead artists in and trumpeted it as a model of best practise! here's the link http://www.creative-partnerships.com/news/91843

Also, Rachel has just created an exciting work-in-progress called 'Change of Heart' as part of the Nuffield Theatre Lancaster's 'Nuff Said' event. Based on transcripts of people who have undergone heart transplants, it explores the concept of 'cellular memory' through object theatre. An intimate installed performance based on fairytale imagery, carnivalesque worlds and cabinets of curiousities. Some instant feedback opportunities were presented to the people attending the event via the use of post-it notes. Here's a selection: "Challenging imagery - superbly presented", "Intriguing", "Strong subjects placed with hard hitting Images"

We are also very excited about the possibility of doing an international collaboration with an Australian Company - Spare Parts Theatre in Fremantle, Western Australia, with the support of UKTI through their 'Passport to Export' scheme and Preston City Council. More about that soon. Explore the site to see if you can find out our historical connections with Spare Parts.

Winter News - 10 November 2005

'Baba Yaga Boney Legs' has been getting some fantastic audience feedback in the Autumn tour and we'd like to thank all of you who have cheered and hooted at the end of the show and those who have emailed us with your words of appreciation and support. It really means a lot to us. Those of you who haven't seen it yet, it's your last chance in London on November 19th at Jackson's Lane (Highgate tube), or if you're in the Midlands there's a three day run at the Phoenix Arts Centre in Leicester in mid-December.

If you're near Hereford, we're doing an extended run of 'Chicken Licken' at the Courtyard theatre in December.

January 2006 will see us busily creating our new show 'Puss in Boots' for a fantastic 2006 tour. The 2006 tour schedule will shortly be appearing on the 'Show Dates' page so keep an eye on our what's new section. We will be opening the tour on February 14th at 21 South Street in Reading, thanks to the support of John Luther there. Cheers John!

Here at DNA we are involved in a number of developments for 2006, 2007 and 2008. We're very excited about our plans and we will keep you in touch with all of them as they 'go live'. Early years work, professional training and artistic collaborations are all on the cards in the coming years.

Autumn News - 1 September 2005

The 'Puppets A Go Go!' tour has gone fantastically well. We launched at the Glastonbury Festival and the tent got it's first big test at 6am on Friday morning with a lightning storm that flooded parts of the site! Full marks to Dadu, our tent manager for the tour for keeping the marquee weathertight and ship-shape. Other places we went to with 'Puppets A Go Go!' were the Mouth of the Tyne festival, Stockton International Riverside Festival and the Green Man festival.

We have a brilliant tour of 'Baba Yaga' organised for the Autumn, and are planning our new show for Spring 2006 - 'Puss in Boots'!

Spring News - 14 March 2005

We've just had a go at putting up the marquee that will eventually become 'Puppets a Go Go!'
- our new summer touring experience for festivals and events.
A beautiful day in the country and a team of eight made the day into a delight.
Many thanks to Dadu Massy for his expertise on the day and to Mark Duckworth for his support and muscle.
Jenny Rutter, Creative Industries officer of Preston City Council is backing this new initiative
with planning support, cash and even showcasing it in Preston Town Centre later in the year!

We've also just picked up two of the major puppets for 'Baba Yaga' in preparation for our
devising week starting today. You can get a sneak preview of them on the 'Baba Yaga' page.
Georgina Solo has done a fine job of making them and they are very impressive.

Coming up we've got 'Chicken Licken' in Stratford and Salford and 'Atishoo!' in Halifax
before commencing touring 'Baba Yaga' in April.

Winter News - 11 February 2005

Dynamic New Animation are gearing up for a busy Spring, but first we have to welcome on
board our new administrator Hazel Gornall, who is already making an outstanding
contribution to the running of the new DNA office.

Adam has been out on the road touring 'The Enormous Turnip' to Leicester and
taking new performer Anna Wilson from Plane Performance in Manchester to
Bath and London with 'Atishoo!'. Next week we commence a week long run at
the Bristol Old Vic for February half term.

Rachel has been leading a design team of Jo Pocock ('Shockheaded Peter') from
Liverpool and Georgina Solo from Lancaster to prepare the creations
for the new touring show 'Baba Yaga Boney Legs'. Also involved is sculptor
and artist Marc Duckworth of Preston and Jonny Quick, who works
regularly as performer and production manager at Horse and Bamboo Theatre.

Preston City Council and Lancashire County Council are both supporting
our move to Preston with much logistical support and advice,
and grants for business and artistic development.

Summer News - August 2004


'Chcken Licken' went to Prague in the Czech Republic and Gent in Belgium as well as
Nottingham Playhouse, The Phoenix in Leicester, Glastonbury, and Lichfield.
Soon Leeds 'Rythyms of the City' will be chickened and at the end of the year
Santiago de la Compostela in North West Spain will be chickened again!

'Atishoo!' toured to Trowbridge, the Lyric, the Octagon, the Gateway,
Watermans, etc. Loads of places.

'The Enormous Turnip' came out and did the rounds too.

We're working on a new show called 'Baba Yaga Boney Legs' ready to go by Easter 2005.
In the meantime, Atishoo! will continue touring with 'Chicken Licken' and 'Turnip' through
the Autumn of 2004 and early 2005.

Winter News - January 2004

DNA has moved into The Watermark Building, a creative hub of the City of Preston, Lancashire.
Containing office and workshop facilities for a vibrant mixture of artists, designers, photographers,
insrument makers and other 'creatives', we are looking forward to mixing with stimulating company!


'Chicken Licken' and 'The Enormous Turnip' will be touring England from January.
Dates include;
Hemel Hempstead


Our new show opens April 17th. We are currently ins creative development for this
production and are already very excited! A single performer surrounded by tissue will
guide the audience through a journey of imagination from a quiet place of recovery
through colourful Images and creatures of paper, being guided by a helpful figure
to a riot of health and happiness.

We hope to create a magical environment using soundscapes, lighscapes and
simple material that leaves plenty of scope for young imaginations to fill in the gaps.
Be sure to try and catch this one. We have a feeling it's going to be special.


Autumn News - September 2003

We've still got some touring in Europe to go with 6 performances and two workshops of 'Chicken Licken' at the World Festival of Puppetry in Charleville-Mezieres, France, and 5 performances in Galicia, North West Spain. 'Chicken Licken' can be seen in the UK in Mansfield, Notts and the Tricycle, London in October.

The Autumn tour of 'The Enormous Turnip' goes to

A Tishoo!

Our new show for children under six will be coming out next Easter. This new show will be our most innovative and experimental to date with young children being led through a journey of imagination using light and shadow, paper and performer. October sees a research and development period at the Horse and Bamboo Centre, Rossendale, Lancashire, with creative artists in visual theatre, music and lighting design. More about this innovative touring show in the Winter newsletter.

Education News

The plans for our new project for young people 'Genie in a Bottle' continue. Over ten weeks in Spring next year, 20 young people between 15 and 20 years old will work with DNA at the Manchester Museum to create a work-in-progress performance that will be performed to young people in various venues in the North West, as well as live on the world wide web. If you would like to be involved in this project, please contact the company.

Summer News - June 2003

'The Enormous Turnip - a Feast of Folk Tales'

The first half of 2003 has been Dynamic New Animation's most rewarding time yet, with a highly successful launch and tour of our newest show for children with an educational workshop that extends participation and aids audience development and family learning. The show and wokshop has been selling out all over the UK including;

Chester Gateway
Unity Theatre Liverpool
Blackpool Grand
Lyric Hammersmith
Salisbury Festival
Nottingham Stages


'Skin Deep Circus' and 'Chicken Licken'

Last year our newest member Rosa Parkin worked hard to contact festivals and venues in Holland, France and Spain, and Adam took 'Chicken Licken' to Lille and Santiago de Compostela, performing in French and Spanish.

This Summer we're loading up the van and heading out to

Dordrecht , Holland, for the International Poppentheater Festival
Chalon-sur-Saone, France, for the Chalon de la Rue street theatre Festival
Gourin, Brittany, for the Espace Marionette Festival
Charleville-Mezieres, France, for the World Festival of Puppetry
Galicia, Spain for the Sala Yago fesitival of Puppetry


MAJOR NEW FUNDING AWARD - 'Genie in a Bottle'

Preparations are under way for major new project in 2004 initiated by DNA called 'Genie in a Bottle'. This project, funded by the Wellcome Trust through their 'Pulse' fund for young people, will give young people in Manchester a chance to explore their responses to the implications for humanity and society of Genetic Engineering and Nanotechnology.

This work will result in a work-in-progress performance by the participating young people using puppetry and visual theatre techniques with the help of DNA and the Manchester Museum. This performance will then tour to venues in the North West to stimulate thinking and debate amongst young people in the region. Venues interested in hosting a performance are invited to contact adam@dynamicnewanimation.co.uk

DNA's work in outreach and education in 2003 includes

'Short Fuse' a issue-based project offering parents of teenage children the chance to explore parenting skills through puppetry (supported by Barnardos and Lifelong Learning)
'Medieval Players' - a residency at Bispham Performing Arts High School for year seven students creating processional puppets, costumes and performances
'Where Do We Go from Here?' - an issue-based Connexions residency in Oxfordshire for teenagers dealing with future plans and career ambitions

Winter News - November 2002

DNA has just completed a tour of 'Skin Deep Circus' around the UK culminating with two shows at the Science Museum, London. Christmas shows of 'Sweetie Pie' at the Arcola Theatre, Dalston from the 17th to the 21st of December take place before creating a new children's performance 'The Enormous Turnip' which is touring nationally from February 2003.

DNA's hit show 'Chicken Licken' played a number of performances in France at the 'Brumes et Frimas' festival, and many more performances in France and Spain are being sought for 2003, as well as a national and international tour of 'Skin Deep Circus'.

Programming has just been completed for 'Puppet Up! 2003' with a fantastic line-up of theatre, street and static shows, exhibition and parade.

The company's groundbreaking perfromance for 14 year olds concerning sex and relationships 'Sex & Chips' will be touring in April 2003 accompanied by an intensive workshop exploring the issues raised in the performance.

Spring Newsletter - April 2002

With Puppet Up!2002 in schools all over Blackpool, preparing for the Grand Parade through the town centre on May 18th, it's time to take stock of DNA's achievements so far this year and what we can see on the horizon.

The Skin Deep Circus development at the Horse and Bamboo Centre was a wonderful week of creativity and inspiration. We hope to be able to tour the show in late October this year, and have had interest from various venues around the country. Chicken Licken and Sweetie Pie have toured extensively, including a benefit gig for Hindle House nursery at the Arcola Theatre in London. Several expressions of interest were made by festivals and venues in France, although nothing has been confirmed yet. Both shows will tour into the summer, and Thurtinkle's Telling Tales is also playing in London, Manchester, Salisbury and Winchester. The lovely Hannah Ringham, who plays in Sweetie Pie, will be starring in 'Dance, Bear, Dance' with the fantastic SHUNT collective in Bathnal Green this Summer, so catch it if you can.

'Sex and Chips' toured to ten venues over the two weeks in April, with overwhelmingly positive feedback from all venues. Year Nine students of schools in Burnley, Blackpool, Garstang and Preston enjoyed the production, which included two 18 year olds in the cast, and the workshops afterwards covered the decision-making process that goes into negotiating relationships and emphasising personal responsibility in deciding about sex and contraception. 'Instant' puppets were used to role-play negotiating sexual advances in social situations. Currently DNA are writing a report on the project and our researcher Andrew Hobbs is compiling an analysis of the effectiveness of the project through before and after questionnaires as well as a six-month follow-up of a school we toured to in October 2001. We hope to make this production available nationally each April from now on.

We accepted a commision from the Discovery Centre in Stratford, East London, to design and build puppets, as well as train performers in puppetry for their education and outreach program, and Rachel has very much enjoyed the experience. A residency at Claremont School, Blackpool on behalf of Blackpool Child Protection Commitee was conducted on the week of the 4th of March 2002. A group of 25 year six students, learnt puppetry, designed and built puppets and staging, storyboarded and rehearsed a show which dealt with coping with danger both inside and outside the home. The performance was shown to the whole school from year three upwards on the final day.

With residencies in schools in Blackpool already started and the imminent opening of the Forkbeard Fantasy exhibition at the Grundy Arts Galley in Blackpool, Puppet Up! is upon us! It all leads to the festival weekend on the 17th, 18th and 19th of May with professional masterclasses, specially commisioned street-theatre performances, international acts, and of course SOOTY! This festival will bring Blackpool Town Centre alive with street shows, a grand parade, theatre performances, window displays and a riot of colour.

Winter Newsletter - January 2002

In the ice and snow of London and Lancashire, Adam and Rachel are in a huddle planning some SERIOUS touring for 2002.

DNA are working with Horse and Bamboo theatre in February developing Skin Deep Circus with financial assistance from the North West Arts Board. With both Chicken Licken and Sweetie Pie touring nationally in the Spring and plans afoot for another tour of Sex'n'Chips to schools and youth groups in Lancashire in April, the company looks set for a lot of travelling!

Chicken Licken goes international this Summer with performances at festivals in Europe and in October, Skin Deep Circus will tour nationally. Keep an eye on the touring list for upcoming dates.

Both Chicken Licken and Sweetie Pie have puppet making workshops attached to the shows and we are pleased to see that more venues are taking advantage of the combination in 2002.

Sex'n'Chips is as much of an education package as a show, and the workshop that accompanies the performance takes a good look at the issues surrounding sex, health and babies. Role-play with puppets forms an integral part of these workshops.

The Blackpool Child Protection Committee has commisioned DNA to work with Claremont School on a residency to help year seven students perform a piece of visual theatre called 'Safe'. This performance will be about basic human rights of freedom from fear and oppression.

We will also be conducting a two day course at the Horse and Bamboo Centre in Rossendale, Lancashire. This course is for professional visual theatre performers who are interested in learning some puppetry technique and bringing traditional techniques into contemporary practise. The course is already sold out. Please join our mailing list if you would like to be notified about courses for professionals.

Rachel Riggs has Puppet Up!, Blackpools national festival of puppetry and visual theatre, well in hand with a line up of stage and street shows that will thrill and amaze. With six weeks of education work and shows touring schools beforehand, the festival kicks off on Friday May 17th. With a feast of street shows, theatre shows, displays and exhibitions, as well as an enormous parade through the centre of Blackpool to kick off the proceedings, it will be a puppetastic weekend.

Summer 2001

DNA has been busy touring 'Chicken Licken' and 'Sweetie Pie' premiered at the London Festival of Children's Theatre. Hannah Ringham of SHUNT joins Adam Bennett onstage in this engaging two-hander touring nationally. Meanwhile Rachel Riggs co-ordinated and led education workshops for Puppet Up!2001 in Blackpool and DNA conducted week long residencies at Carden High School, Brighton and Bispham High School of Performing Arts, Blackpool

In May, DNA completed phase two of work on a major project in Blackpool devising a Sex and Relationships Puppetry education performance and workshop for young people between 11 and 16 years old. Funded by the North West Arts Board (through RALP) and Blackpool, Wyre, Fylde and Lancashire local services, the project premiered it's work-in-progress youth theatre performance directed by Rachel Riggs alongside a team including Matt Smith from Pickled Herring, with publicity created by young people at PRESCAP community arts. Andrew Hobbs from Healthwise is researching and documenting this fascinating project.

DNA has new adminstrative staff. Bethan Evans is helping to deliver the SRE (sex & relationships education) production, and Rosa Parkin is handling enquries for shows and workshops.

The Barbican in London is holding a fantastic event for kids in August to complement the run of Julie Taymore's "The King Stag". Rachel Riggs will be project co-ordinator and lead puppeteer!

After being showcased at Horse and Bamboo's Puppetsense weekend in July, DNA will be showcased at MAC in Birmingham and the Take Off Festival of Theatre for Young People in October.

We are being helped by Business in the Arts: North West in working out our plans to expand and modernise DNA. Lee Marriot of Cosgrove Hall Films has kindly volunteered to help out in planning, and John Thewlis of Chittenden Horley Accountants is assisting with project management and company structuring.

Spring 2001

Our DNA is Mutating! What a year 2000 we had! DNA performed over 80 shows of Chicken Licken and Thurtinkle's Telling Tales for children, and Skin Deep Circus for adults. Adam Bennett performed in over 120 shows for the Unicorn Theatre for Children and Theatre Rites, and the very talented Mark Down filled in for Adam touring Chicken Licken. Meanwhile Rachel Riggs co-ordinated and led education workshops for Tate Britain, Tate Modern, The Lowry Centre and the Lyric Hammersmith amongst many others!

In September, DNA began work on a major project in Blackpool devising a Sex and Relationships Puppetry education performance and workshop for young people between 11 and 16 years old. Funded by the North West Arts Board (through RALP) and Blackpool, Wyre, Fylde and Lancashire local services, the project is now in it's second stage devising the production with a team including Matt Smith from Pickled Herring, PRESCAP community arts and Andrew Hobbs from Healthwise researching and documenting.

There will be a 'work in progress' performance on Friday May 4th to preview Puppet UP! 2001 Blackpool Festival of British Puppetry. 'Sweetie Pie' is our new show for 2001. A playful exploration of the familiar story of Hansel and Gretel which leaps from the reality of many family situations into the fantasy of a gripping adventure.

'Sweetie Pie' will premiere at the Half Moon Theatre for Young People on March 31st as part of the London Festival of Children's Theatre. In the meantime and throughout the year 'Chicken Licken' will still be touring and of course our much loved Thurtinkle will be sticking his nose our at parks and venues in the summer and at special events. DNA are peased to welcome our new administrator Bethan Evans who is developing our work in the north of England and administering the SRE Puppetry Education project.

DNA will be resident at the Puppet Centre for 2001, working in partnership to support and help develop the Centre's information, education and fundraising programme. Rachel will be again directing Puppet Up! 2001, Blackpool's Festival of Puppetry May 13th -20th with street theatre shows, a grand parade, exhibitions and education programme.

All text and images © Dynamic New Animation 2002