GUEST COLUMN: New puppet shows to wow libraries, by Coun John Knight

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Hundreds of children enjoyed A Boy and a Bear in a Boat, a play by Stewart Melton based on the award-winning novel by Dave Shelton which toured Notts County Council libraries this summer.

The pop up theatre’s next production is Oddly, a puppet show based on the children’s book written by Joyce Dunbar for ages three-to-eight years and their families which will tour five Nottinghamshire libraries from October 26 to November 1.

The project is programmed by Spark Arts for Children on behalf of the county council, with £82,477 National Lottery funding through Arts Council England’s Grants for the Arts Libraries Fund.

Norwich Puppet Theatre’s adaptation visually reimagines the story of Oddly with a magical mix of puppetry, visual tricks, masks and original music. The story is about a curious boy from the city who sets off in search of three unusual creatures. Deep in a strange and tranquil forest he discovers the Lostlet, the Strangelet and the Oddlet. Together the new friends find surprising ways to make their hopes, dreams and wishes come true.

Local venues and performance dates and times are:

Worksop Library – Wednesday October 28, 11am

Mansfield Central Library – Saturday October 31, 11am and 2pm

Our children’s pop-up theatre has already proved a great success with all ages this summer. We are delighted to be able to bring the skills of Norwich Puppet Theatre into the county as part of a wider repertoire of enrichment events at our libraries which we see as cultural, information and community hubs.

A series of Oddly inspired puppet making workshops devised by Sue Pyecroft of Dark Horse Puppetry are also taking place at the following libraries across the county for children.

Sutton-in-Ashfield Library Saturday October 17, 10.30am – 11.30am

Kirkby-in-Ashfield Library Saturday October 17, 10.30am – 11.30am

Worksop Library Saturday October 24, 11am – 12pm

Mansfield Central Library Monday October 26, 11am - 12pm

For information on booking tickets for either performances or workshops contact library venues directly or visit www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/popuptheatre.