Review and videos: Norwich Puppet Theatre gives a sneak preview of its Christmas show The Tinderbox
A unique retelling of a classic Hans Christian Andersen story is set to entertain audiences at Norwich Puppet Theatre this Christmas.
The Tinderbox - a tale of a roguish soldier who acquires a tinderbox which gives him the power to summon three extraordinary dogs - is the festive show for the Whitefriars venue and it is the first production the theatre's director Joy Haynes has directed since she joined the theatre.
Yesterday, a small audience was treated to a sneak preview of part of the show, and Miss Haynes said she was looking forward to sharing the whole show with audiences later this month.
'This is the first home-grown production at Norwich Puppet Theatre for seven years - the others have been collaborations,' she said.
'It is quite exciting and I feel confident that we have got a show that is going to be enjoyed by children and adults alike. Hopefully it will be the first of many!'
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When asked why she picked The Tinderbox for the Christmas show, she said: 'I am very interested in stories by Hans Christian Andersen, but this is a slightly different Hans Christian Andersen story in that it is related to a traditional tale like Aladdin. It is the idea of magic and transformation and how extraordinary things can happen - and that always works really well with puppets.'
The excerpt performed yesterday showcased many of the unique and inventive puppets taking the starring roles in the show - from the mechanical soldier with a money box for a stomach to the delicate and beautiful princess - and the audience were given a taste of the ingenious ways the show combines animation with traditional puppetry.
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Youngsters watching an excerpt of The Tinderbox gave the show a big thumbs-up.
Sprowston Junior School pupils Eloise Mason and Joshua Ampleford had a great time watching the show.
Eloise, eight, said: 'I thought it was really interesting and clever how they built the puppets and made the soldier's money come out of his stomach.
'If I could have any job it would probably be a puppet-maker.'
Joshua, eight, said: 'I thought it was really smart how they did all the animation. It was really inspiring.
'If I was a headteacher I would have puppet-making as a lesson.'
West Earlham Infant School pupil Megan Ayto, six, said: 'I thought it was good. I liked the tree-house and the queen.
'I'm looking forward to seeing the show next week with my school.'
There will be a gala performance on December 15, and then the show will be performed from December 22 to January 5. Tickets �3.50-�22. Visit www.puppettheatre.co.uk or call 01603 629921.
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