Days of summery weather are still with us, but cold days as well. But Autumn is on its way and I’m busy getting ready for my October Half Term Season at the Harlequin. This year I am presenting an unusual story written a long time ago, and set in China. It is a fantastic story about a Willow Tree who falls in love with a Princess and her father, The Mandarin, who won’t allow anything to be planted in his garden except gooseberries, yet he craves a banana, a fruit he has never tasted! It is a story which I tell the children has a Happy-Sad ending, and they seem to know what I mean. It is beautifully written by Grace Dorcas Ruthenburgh and was Eric Bramall’s favourite puppet play. Eric Bramall was the man who built the Harlequin Puppet Theatre and who taught me how to work puppets. He died in 1996, but he will be glad that I am still managing to do this story. When he was alive we had three puppeteers to perform this play, now I have to do it alone.
Hope to see some of you during the holiday, October 22nd to November 3rd.
2018 proved a remarkable summer both for sunshine and for audience numbers at The Harlequin. Rhos-on-Sea’s sandy beach had more families than I’ve seen for several years, and although the sun kept a lot of them on the beach a goodly few came into the shade of the puppet theatre to enjoy our production of “Tales from Alice” being my favourite sequences from Alice in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass.
So a new generation of children met the White Rabbit, the Duchess. the Caterpiller, the Mad Hatter, Cheshire Cat and Humpty Dumpty as well as learning about a Victorian little girl, Alice Lidel, who lived locally and for whom the book was written by Lewis Carrol as a birthday present.
Our nexy opening is for the October Half Term (October 22 to November 3) when we will be showing “The Princess and the Gooseberry Mandarin.” This was Eric Bramall’s favourite puppet play, and it his recorded voice playing the part of the Mandarin.
Since this little season spans Halloween we will of course be featuring Mr Scary-Bones the Skeleton in The Marionette Cabaret, the feature which ends every show at the Harlequin.
If there has been a favourite puppet with the children over the years, including both boys and girls and even the young ones, it has to be The Skeleton.