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Norwich Puppet Theatre celebrates the success of its festive show

PUBLISHED: 07:00 18 January 2016

Rumpelstiltskin and the Girl puppets, in the cell scene with the spun gold, ready for their appearance in the Christmas show at Norwich Puppet Theatre, with puppeteers, Samantha Arends, left, and Gemma Khawaja. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Rumpelstiltskin and the Girl puppets, in the cell scene with the spun gold, ready for their appearance in the Christmas show at Norwich Puppet Theatre, with puppeteers, Samantha Arends, left, and Gemma Khawaja. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Archant

Norwich Puppet Theatre is celebrating its festive show being its most popular in recent years.

About 2,700 people enjoyed watching Rumpelstiltskin at the city theatre over the Christmas period.

Nearly 2,000 tickets were bought for the public performances of the show - a 30pc increase compared to ticket sales for the theatre’s 2014 Christmas production of Beauty and the Beast.

On top of this, about 700 pupils enjoyed watching the theatre’s school performances.

Ian Woods, the theatre’s operations manager, said he believed it was the theatre’s most successful Christmas show in the last five years.

Joy Haynes, Norwich Puppet Theatre’s director, added: “We’re delighted with the success of the show. As a small independent theatre and charity we rely on the support of our audiences and this increase in visitors has provided a vital boost to the organisation.”

Norwich Puppet Theatre collaborated with Ripstop Theatre to create the Rumpelstiltskin production which took the traditional Brothers Grimm version of the story and added a few extra twists.

Performed by puppeteers Gemma Khawaja and Sam Arends, the show’s set, characters and stage were made and embellished with knitted creations. The puppets were also given the textile treatment, including the character of Rumpelstiltskin who was made of bobbins and spools.

Joy said: “It’s been a great privilege to work with Ripstop Theatre and audiences young and old have loved the show. Collaborative projects like this bring a great mix of creative talent to the theatre and highlight its importance nationally as a hub for outstanding puppetry.”

The production was supported by Arts Council England and took 18 months to create.

Following its successful run at the theatre, the production will start a national tour at the end of January.

For more about Norwich Puppet Theatre shows, visit www.puppettheatre.co.uk

Do you have a Norwich arts story? Email arts correspondent Emma Knights at emma.knights@archant.co.uk

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