Monthly Archives: March 2016

Tech time in Leaper land

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We open tomorrow but here’s a sneaky peak into our tech rehearsals… more photos to come but you’ll have to wait and see!


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Rehearsal week 2 – new puppet friends

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This week we’ve met some new puppet friends designed by the wonderful Claire Harvey. We’ve had a fun week of playing! Nearly show time!


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Meet Annie – set designer and recycling queen

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Name: Annie Brooks

206396_658364308341_1089738967_nRole in the project: I am the designer for Leaper. My role is to design and make the set, props and costumes for the show.

Day in the life of Leaper: A day in the life of me always starts with eggs for breakfast. From that point on, there are a whole host of things to get on with. There are different stages to designing a show – firstly I’ll do some rough sketches to get the ideas flowing and get the overall feel of what I want it to look like. Next comes the really fun bit – the model box. For this show I made a model 16 times smaller than the full scale set. This is a really important part of the job because it gives you a really good idea of how the set will look and I can address any potential problems before I start making the real thing. (Plus, you get to feel like a giant for a day.) After that, my average day can go anywhere from making a handmade barrel to painting barnacles on a door frame. And lots of cups of tea.

What do you like most about your job? I love the variety of cool things I get to make, whether it be a tray of salmon eggs or a mini fishing boat. I find it really satisfying to work out what materials to use and how best to make the designs come to life. I spend quite a lot of my time browsing in B&Q shops for inspiration – often the most mundane piece of plumbing pipe can be given a new lease of life and made into something completely new! 40% of our set and puppets are made out of recycled or reclaimed materials either from things lyon around the house, skips, charity shops or even beach combs on Brighton Beach!20160204_205231_resized

Why is teaching children about conservation important? It is imperative that children (and adults) are taught about conservation – we all live on the same planet and need to share the space fairly and respect each other. In the fast-paced, busy world we live in, it’s very easy to forget where our food comes from and where our waste goes after we’ve binned it – it’s important that we sometimes take a step back and think about how we as individuals can help maintain a sustainable environment. It’s great for children to learn this for themselves at an early stage so they understand their own responsibility in the world, but also to pass on the message to their parents (which they do very effectively!)

Why use theatre? I think it’s really effective when dealing with issues or themes, that they are communicated through storytelling. Through theatre, an audience can connect to the characters in the show and empathise with their individual journey on a smaller and more palatable scale. It can often be overwhelming to take in all the facts about a particular subject, yet through storytelling, we are able to receive the information more readily, and with emotions. It also gives the audience the chance to formulate their own opinions and conclusions without being told what to think.

What part of the show are you most excited about? I’m really looking forward to seeing all the set finished and in the theatre to see how it transforms the space. It’s quite exciting to see creations that you have dreamt up with a pencil and paper, come to fruition and turn into a whole theatre show.

What sea creature are you most like? I am probably most like sea cucumber because I love eating and I particularly like eating cucumbers. Does that make me a cannibal?!


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Rehearsals week 1

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We’ve been busy playing and deciding how puppets can swim, how barrels become cars and how a laboratory can become a nursery for our little leapers! Here’s some photos…

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Meet Hal – The captain of the ship

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Name: Hal Chambers

Role in Leaper: Director hal blog photo 2

Day in the life of Leaper: Well, for the last three years I been researching Leaper and finding out some amazing facts! The most fun has been finding out all about the life of the Salmon fish from the wonderful Steve Keay! I have been writing the script for the play and casting the actors. The super talented design team and I have been talking about what the show will look like and how the puppets will move. Soon we will start rehearsals and I will direct the brilliant actors and together with the whole team we will create the world premiere of Leaper. There will be some bits which are easy and fun, some bits where we will not know what to do and some bits where we be very stressed! But ‘the show must go on’ and I hope we can create a beautiful piece of theatre for our young audiences.

What do you like most about your job? Making the show! Working with such creative people is very inspiring. And making stories for a living is a real honour. After three years of fundraising, meetings and research, being able to play around with puppets, materials, light and music in the rehearsal room is what it is all about!

hal blog photo 1Why is teaching children about conservation important? Because they are the next generation! Our generation is in danger of leaving our children with a big mess to sort out in our oceans. Let’s go straight to the source! We hope that within our play there is a subtle message about nurturing the good things in our environment for future generations to enjoy and this is something both child and parent can talk about in the car in the way home from the theatre…

Why use theatre? We can quote stats at young people about what is happening in our oceans all day long but with a puppetry performance we can let the visuals and music do the talking. If this is successful, there is a chance we can imprint something on the human heart for years to come.

What part of the show are you most excited about? The section where the Salmon leaps will be pretty epic! Especially as our fish hero has been on such an epic quest and his leaping comes to signify the Salmon’s tenacious spirit of survival. Human beings have done their best to threaten the future of wild fish but the image of a fish flying out of the water to get home is pretty mesmerising.

What sea creature are you most like? I have been told by other members of Tucked In that I snore like a walrus…. so probably a walrus!

hal walrus

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