October Half Term Season Going Well

The show seems to be very popular, with three out of the four performances so far fully booked. Of course the smaller audiences necessitated by Covid rules means a “full house” is much more likely. I must admit that despite the cut in revenue I do enjoy the smaller audiences with a more intimate and friendly atmosphere. I’m enjoying it.
This is a very demanding show two very different scenes to set and a longer magic show than usual. The show is supposed to last an hour and a half but has been nearly two hours on a couple of days. Nobody has complained.
This weeks cabaret features Kasperl, the little Austrian puppet (based on pinnocchio) carved by Eric Bramall. Also there’s my Violinist, one of my own early puppets made mostly in papie mache. The Harlequin puppet-working-a-puppet was the original idea of Eric Bramall, and was of course a very appropriate act for a cabaret at The Harlequin Puppet Theatre.
One of the Program items, The Handkerchief Ballet was devised by Eric but was based on the brilliant original idea of Buster Stavordale, a clever puppeteer who throughout the 1950s toured a Puppet Show for the Sharp’s Toffee Company. The Sharp’s Puppet Theatre was quite famous in its day and was featured during “The Festival of Britain”. Eric and Buster were great friends and shared a lot of ideas, and made puppets for each other.

ReOpening At Last!

All things continuing as announced by the Welsh Government we will be able to open for a short Summer Season, starting on Monday August 10th and ending on August 30th. We will have a show at 3pm, Monday to Friday when we will be showing The Grand Puppet Circus, then after a short interval we will have Mr Bimbamboozle’s Magic Tricks – with lots of participation by the Children. Then to finish the show, as always, there will be a selection of acts from Marionette Cabaret, where you see not only incredible manipulation but also see just how the strings are pulled.

You Can Book in Advance at: 
Http://puppetshow.info/mob

You Can Book in Advance at: 
Http://puppetshow.info/mob


May Half Term Holiday Online Puppet Show

May Half Term Online Show

From the replies I have received it seems that the online shows, Aladdin at Christmas and the Sleeping Beauty for February Half Term, then the ever popular Alice in Wonderland for the Easter Holiday, have proved popular and given me something to do.

So for the May Half Term, May 29th to June 6th, I plan to do Eric Bramall’s favourite Puppet Play, “The Princess & the Gooseberry Mandarin”. I know some of you have seen this before, but for those who haven’t, you are in for the biggest surprise ending in puppetry. Of course it won’t be as powerful on the screen as when you are actually in the theatre.

But hopefully this will be the last online show that we have to do. I’m desperately hoping that I’ll be able to open for at least part of the Summer Holidays.

Tickets can be bought in advance at http://puppetshow.info and at https://puppetpanto.co.uk

And if you enjoy the show I’d love to hear from you, or from the children. You or they can email me at chris@punchandjudy.com
Keep Safe everyone, we’re on the last few laps now! Surely?

Things are looking a bit more cheerful aren’t they? Just a bit. No sign of the Harlequin actually re-opening yet. Still I thought I should do something for half term.

ONLINE PANTO FOR 2020

ALADDIN or The Wonderful Lamp

Like everyone else we have been turned topsy-turvy by this Covid virus and the ever changing regulations to keep us all as safe as possible. Certainly it soon became clear that we in Wales were not going to be able to open theatres for pantomimes and Christmas shows. It won’t be the same, but we are going to upload our pantomime onto the web and invite you all to pretend you are at the puppet theatre watching the show.
We have chosen that traditional favourite, ALADDIN, or the Wonderful Lamp. A version of this story is told in practically every country of the world but our version is loosely based on that which appears as one of the stories told by Sherazade in the Arabian Nights.It’s the story of a poor Chinese boy, the son of a widowed washer-woman, from Pekin . who gets the better of the wicked Abanazar who pretends to be his uncle.
The story takes Aladdin and Abanazar into the mountains, to a secret cave and a magical treasure. Aladdin is locked inside this cave but manages to escape with the help of a Magic Lamp and a Giant Green Genie.
Abanazar nearly defeats Aladdin but, with the help of his girlfriend, a beautiful Princess, Aladdin tricks the wicked Abanazar, marries the Princess and his mother,Widow Twankey, marries the Emperor, and everyone lives very happily indeed.

To book for this Puppet Pantomime Online please go to

http://puppetshow.info

Mr Punch’s Birthday Celebrations May 10th 2020

This annual event known as The May Fayre takes place in St Paul’s Churchyard, Covent Garden, London on the Sunday nearest the anniversary of Punch’s first recorded appearance in Britain.

This year it has had to be cancelled due to this wretched virus. The Punch and Judy fraternity are therefore celebrating online, mainly on the Punch and Judy Page on Facebook.

Chris Somerville’s contribution can be seen here:

Chris, aka Mr Bimbamboozle, presents Punch & Judy to a tiny audience on a very windy Llanfairfechan seafront.

This is not my idea of fun

I started writing this blog when the theatre was struck by tragedy and the theatre suffered an arson attack. It was a relatively small fire but it caused a lot of damage and kept the theatre closed for a full year.

Now we are closed again, but not for refurbishment (and hopefully not for a full year) but for the safety of us all. We are all, literally “all” because the whole world is involved, in the throes of this nightmare which is this coronavirus attack. It is quite terrifying in its speed of spreading among the community and the numbers to whom it proves fatal.  The only good side, as far as there can be a good side, is that by and large it seems to be sparing  children, who rarely catch the virus or if they do then only mildly. 

I pray that all of you will stay safe and healthy, the children of course, but also the Mums and Dads and very especially, the Grandmas and Grandads who are so often the ones who bring the children to the theatre. Of course, they by dint of age, are, like me, among those who are most vulnerable. Of course as I’m much older than you grandparents I’m supposedly much more vulnerable.

Anyway I’m going to do my very best to come through this ordeal and hope to see you all in happier days when we are able to act normally and gather together when I can get my “fix” of children’s laughter.

Until then, keep safe, keep well, and keep praying.

Old but valued….

I had a lovely comment in an email toady. A lady had enquired about wheelchair access to the theatre. I had replied that such access was limited and only possible if the wheelchair user could transfer to a theatre seat. I went on to explain that the theatre was built in 1958 and no provision for wheelchair users seems to have been considered in those days. I have looked into such things, but there is no way that the theatre could now be adapted for the needs of the disabled user other than pulling down and rebuilding.

The lady’s very encouraging reply was “The theatre is the most wonderful and charming place and my friend said she remembers going as a little girl and please dont ever pull it down or rebuild it for any reason!”

With the October Half Term over now is the time to put Alice in Wonderland into mothballs as I refurbish the puppets for the Christmas Season. Some of them will be in need of a little TLC I think.