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Miniature models and film sets on show at city theatre for family fun

PUBLISHED: 17:31 07 August 2018 | UPDATED: 17:45 07 August 2018

Ian Harding (far left), from King's Lynn, creator of the Zey the Mouse stop motion films, at an exhbition at the Norwich Puppet Theatre, with (from left) scriptwriter Jonathan Smith, Norwich Puppet Theatre general manager Ian Woods, and voice actor Ross Patterson. Picture: SOPHIE WYLLIE

Ian Harding (far left), from King's Lynn, creator of the Zey the Mouse stop motion films, at an exhbition at the Norwich Puppet Theatre, with (from left) scriptwriter Jonathan Smith, Norwich Puppet Theatre general manager Ian Woods, and voice actor Ross Patterson. Picture: SOPHIE WYLLIE

SOPHIE WYLLIE

It is a skill which takes commitment, creativity and passion.

A model from the Zey the Mouse stop motion films created by Ian Harding, from King's Lynn, at an exhbition at the Norwich Puppet Theatre. Picture: SOPHIE WYLLIEA model from the Zey the Mouse stop motion films created by Ian Harding, from King's Lynn, at an exhbition at the Norwich Puppet Theatre. Picture: SOPHIE WYLLIE

And fans of stop motion films can admire small but perfectly-formed models used in the popular Zey the Mouse films this week.

A model from the Zey the Mouse stop motion films created by Ian Harding, from King's Lynn, at an exhbition at the Norwich Puppet Theatre. Picture: SOPHIE WYLLIEA model from the Zey the Mouse stop motion films created by Ian Harding, from King's Lynn, at an exhbition at the Norwich Puppet Theatre. Picture: SOPHIE WYLLIE

The free exhibition at Norwich Puppet Theatre has been put together by Zey the Mouse creator, Ian Harding, 37, from King’s Lynn.

Kirsty Hayes, from Mattishall, with her seven-year-old son Zack Hayes, at the Zey the Mouse exhibition at Norwich Puppet Theatre. Picture: SOPHIE WYLLIEKirsty Hayes, from Mattishall, with her seven-year-old son Zack Hayes, at the Zey the Mouse exhibition at Norwich Puppet Theatre. Picture: SOPHIE WYLLIE

Models and sets come from three separate productions, created by the film-maker, and include scaled-down representations of a London tube train, a seaside fun house, a promenade of shops and Big Ben.

A model from the Zey the Mouse stop motion films created by Ian Harding, from King's Lynn, at an exhbition at the Norwich Puppet Theatre. Picture: SOPHIE WYLLIEA model from the Zey the Mouse stop motion films created by Ian Harding, from King's Lynn, at an exhbition at the Norwich Puppet Theatre. Picture: SOPHIE WYLLIE

Mr Harding, who grew up in the Swaffham area and started creating Zey the Mouse films in 2012, said: “I do the exhibitions so people can see the models and sets for themselves. You get a different experience that way.

A model from the Zey the Mouse stop motion films created by Ian Harding, from King's Lynn, at an exhbition at the Norwich Puppet Theatre. Picture: SOPHIE WYLLIEA model from the Zey the Mouse stop motion films created by Ian Harding, from King's Lynn, at an exhbition at the Norwich Puppet Theatre. Picture: SOPHIE WYLLIE

“The films get a big audience, from children up to 65-year-olds.”

A model from the Zey the Mouse stop motion films created by Ian Harding, from King's Lynn, at an exhbition at the Norwich Puppet Theatre. Picture: SOPHIE WYLLIEA model from the Zey the Mouse stop motion films created by Ian Harding, from King's Lynn, at an exhbition at the Norwich Puppet Theatre. Picture: SOPHIE WYLLIE

The artist, whose films have an online audience of more than 25,000, said: “The models take a lot of commitment and painstaking work.”

A model from the Zey the Mouse stop motion films created by Ian Harding, from King's Lynn, at an exhbition at the Norwich Puppet Theatre. Picture: SOPHIE WYLLIEA model from the Zey the Mouse stop motion films created by Ian Harding, from King's Lynn, at an exhbition at the Norwich Puppet Theatre. Picture: SOPHIE WYLLIE

He described his films as “colourful, sweet, charming and friendly”.

A model from the Zey the Mouse stop motion films created by Ian Harding, from King's Lynn, at an exhbition at the Norwich Puppet Theatre. Picture: SOPHIE WYLLIEA model from the Zey the Mouse stop motion films created by Ian Harding, from King's Lynn, at an exhbition at the Norwich Puppet Theatre. Picture: SOPHIE WYLLIE

The models are from eight-minute productions entitled A Trip to the Seaside, Clara’s Birthday where Zey the Mouse visits London, and The Sci-fi where Zey the mouse and Dylan the dog end up in the computer game.

A model from the Zey the Mouse stop motion films created by Ian Harding, from King's Lynn, at an exhbition at the Norwich Puppet Theatre. Picture: SOPHIE WYLLIEA model from the Zey the Mouse stop motion films created by Ian Harding, from King's Lynn, at an exhbition at the Norwich Puppet Theatre. Picture: SOPHIE WYLLIE

“There are morals in every film including friendship and being honest,” Mr Harding added.

A model from the Zey the Mouse stop motion films created by Ian Harding (pictured), from King's Lynn, at an exhbition at the Norwich Puppet Theatre. Picture: SOPHIE WYLLIEA model from the Zey the Mouse stop motion films created by Ian Harding (pictured), from King's Lynn, at an exhbition at the Norwich Puppet Theatre. Picture: SOPHIE WYLLIE

The models are made from clay and sets are made from wood, card, plastic and acrylic paints.

A model from the Zey the Mouse stop motion films created by Ian Harding, from King's Lynn, at an exhbition at the Norwich Puppet Theatre. Picture: SOPHIE WYLLIEA model from the Zey the Mouse stop motion films created by Ian Harding, from King's Lynn, at an exhbition at the Norwich Puppet Theatre. Picture: SOPHIE WYLLIE

They are created and filmed at Mr Harding’s home and films can take up to a year to complete.

It takes thousands of processed pictures to create a finished film.

Mr Harding, who studied art and graphic design at City College Norwich, said: “I wanted to get stuck into something that I loved doing. If I’m going to make something I make sure it has detail. Stop motion allows you to keep your vision alive.”

As well as looking at the sets, children can make their own film sets and characters at the exhibition.

Kirsty Hayes, from Mattishall, who was visiting with her seven-year-old son Zack, said: “It is nice to see old-fashioned animations. I’d rather see my son be creative than sit in front of a computer.”

The exhibition runs daily between 10am and 4.30pm until this Friday.

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