Kneehigh’s The Dancing Frog

Poor Gertrude thinks she’ll never laugh or love again. But then she has a lucky encounter on a lily pad. With a frog. Called George. Suddenly, things are looking bright again! For George isn’t just any frog. He’s a dancing frog. And when Gertrude thrusts this web-footed wonder into the spotlight, he becomes an overnight sensation, the likes of which the world has never seen!

Featuring a team including Old Rope String Band musician and early Kneehigh member Tim Dalling, performer and puppeteer Ailsa Dalling, Cornish performer Jenny Beare, puppeteer extraordinaire Sarah Wright, with puppets created by Lyndie Wright of the Little Angel Theatre, London. Mike Shepherd directs this delightful tale of hope, heart and hip-hoppity adventure based on the classic children’s book by Quentin Blake.

“Kneehigh is as magical as it is powerful. Creating worlds and igniting the imagination of both young and old. Incredibly impressive and important work that I feel so blessed to have seen with my family.”
Kate Winslet

“In true Kneehigh style, the most minimal props set the sceneand just three performers whizzed through space and time, accompanied by the most captivating and charming green frog whose dancing is unrivalled in the puppet world.”
The Bosinver

Image credit: Steve Tanner
Running Time: 1 hour (no interval)

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

‘This Christmas, whatever you do, don’t forget the magic word…!’

What if you uncovered the secret that your grouchy neighbour is actually a wizard whose house is powered entirely by magic? And what if agreeing to feed their cat while they’re away during the Christmas holidays turned into an adventure that threatens to spiral out of control? Would you know how to cope with a vacuum cleaner that has a mind of its own? And just how do you convince those presents to stay
under the tree!?!

Taking their inspiration from Goethe’s poem, two of Bristol’s leading family theatre makers, Soap Soup Theatre (The Selfish Giant, The Snow Baby, The Pixies’ Scarf) and Open Attic Company (Much Ado About Puffin, Stella & The Starshiners, Mistletoes & Whiney), team up for the first time to make this very special family Christmas show. Combining forces to share their passion for intricate puppetry, hilarious characters and sumptuous design on what could be their most magical offering yet: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice!

Join us for a thrilling story about trying to help out, running before you can walk, biting off more than you can chew and how people you know might not always be quite what they seem!

“A beautiful show that will appeal across generations.”
★★★★ A Spy In The Stalls on Soap Soup Theatre and Tessa Bide Production’s The Selfish Giant

“A tender and enchanting children’s story, featuring a host of loveable characters.”
The Reviews Hub on Soap Soup Theatre’s The Snow Baby

“A very enjoyable and well-executed piece of theatre that charmed us all.”
Weston Super Mum on Soap Soup Theatre’s The Owl & The Pussycat’s Treasury of Nonsense

“A story of beauty, laughter and love that transcends language and age barriers.”
Made In Plymouth on Much Ado About Puffin

Running Time: 1 hour (no interval)

Woodland Tales With Granddad

Something is happening in the woods, voices can be heard, and a strange metallic smell fills the air. Machines are gathering at its edge and a mysterious call is heard across the valley. Laura the ladybird, Jeffrey the spider, Brett the woodlouse and Willoughby the woodpecker are worried. Velda the vixen knows there’s only one person who can help them – Granddad. But is there enough time? Can they save the wood? And will the mystery stranger help?

This is an incredible show with an important environmental message to share, directed by Emma William and written by Pickled Image and Hattie Naylor. Woodland Tales With Granddad is the third Granddad show from Pickled Image following Fireside Tales With Granddad and Christmas Tales With Granddad.

“We thought it was simply superb! A beautiful experience of wonderful storytelling.”
Theatre Royal Plymouth

“Magical, beguiling, emotional and eye-wideningly beautiful.”
Bristol 24/7 on Pickled Image’s Yana & The Yeti

“Skilful puppetry and charming story-telling.”
The Stage on Pickled Image

“The puppetry was excellent, and the variety of characters and puppets was really great fun and enjoyed by audiences.”
Doncaster Theatre

Running Time: 50 minutes (no interval)

How Does This Politics Thing Work Then?

Politics is boring. Politics is complicated. Politics is for adults… Rubbish! Politics is actually super important and can be made really fun, if you know how. Luckily Tatton Spiller (Simple Politics) and Tiernan Douieb (Comedy Club 4 Kids, CBBC’s The Slammer) know exactly how and will show you over 60 minutes just how to make sense of it all.

You might not be able to vote yet. You do have opinions, though. You know the world you want to see. You know what’s right and what’s wrong. Also, you want to have a fun. Comedy Club 4 Kids specialise in making children laugh and Simple Politics specialise in making them understand how politics works in a clear, informative and fun way. So we’ve teamed up for a show that keeps you entertained, engaged and informed so you can also shout at the telly along with your parents during Question Time!

“The ethos is just right.”
★★★★ The Telegraph on Comedy Club 4 Kids

“The perfect way to entertain the whole family.”
Three Weeks on Comedy Club 4 Kids

“Excellent show – we loved it. Kids and parents engaged and laughing out loud.”
Audience Feedback

“I thought politics was boring but that made sense and made me laugh a lot.”
Audience Feedback

Running Time: 1 hour (no interval)

The Bird Show

With frolics and foraging, flitting, flying and two unusual feathery friends, this is a madcap and touching show about birds facing changes to their habitat. The Bird Show uses live music, puppetry and lots more silly bird puns in this heart- fluttering physical comedy about conservation, migration and imagination.

We follow Henry the Heron and Sally the House Sparrow on a zany journey to become friends while facing ecological threats to their habitat. This colourful, visual show uses music, object puppetry, dance and low-fi acrobatics to gently explore the impact of humans on nature and asks the question – what can we do differently?

Written by award-winning playwright Tiffany Woodsmith, directed by international director Susana Alcantud, with designer Bronia Housman and original music by Catherine Burke.

“The energy and commitment of the company is infectious. This is unique small scale theatre with a great heart.”
Theatre Bath

“A fun-filled family show!”
Air in G on What’s The Matter?

“Entertaining and enlightening.”
StageTalk on What’s The Matter?

Running Time: 1 hour (no interval)

Luna

For as long as we have turned our eyes to the sky we have been entranced by the moon. It controls our tides, stabilises our orbit, marks our time. And on July 20th 1969 two humans finally landed on its surface.

Luna is a joyous adventure through humanity’s ongoing fascination with this mysterious lump of dead grey rock, from our earliest attempts to explain its ever-changing presence, to the extraordinary achievements that culminated in Neil Armstrong’s one small step. Playing at The Wardrobe Theatre exactly 50 years to the day since the first moon landing, Luna is a rich feast of storytelling, puppetry, music, history and science.

Directed by Toby Hulse, performed by Shaelee Rooke and Robin Hemmings, plus a supporting cast of household objects and domestic lights.

“A must see for children of all ages – even the big, grown-up ones.”
Time Out on Hulse’s One Small Step

“Boisterous magic.”
The Guardian on Hulse’s The Lost World

Running Time: 1 hour (no interval)

Sinbad The Sailor

PLAYSHOP: 10.45am-11.20am | 2.30pm-3.10pm
Swim like a whale, swing like a monkey, squawk like a parakeet and learn a dance to perform in the show. Come dressed in your finest Arabian Nights’ inspired cloth!

SHOW: 11.45pm | 3.30pm

Jump on board an ancient sewn ship, hoist the mainsail and journey across the Arabian Sea to destinations unknown for adventure after adventure with one of the most famous seafarers of all time… Sindbad the Tailor oops! Sindbad the Emailor errgh…? Sindbad the SAILOR! Ahh!

Join his reckless crew to escape from the spew and spit of a spuming whale, marvel at bejeweled somersaulting sheep, confront the dangers of banana propelling monkeys and help solve the moral dilemma of the watermelon headed man! Featuring live Arabic dance… hair dryers, hoovers and hoummus as extras!

So Salam ‘alaykum, greetings of Peace to you from Sindbad the Sailor – may your beards grow bushy, your baked beans prosper and your Brexit plans be forgiven and bare fruit for all… In’sha’llh.

Brought to you by Wild Words with storyteller/performer Michael Loader and dancer Natalie Bibi (Club Cairo).

“Michael clearly has storytelling in his soul and his love of people and engaging the audience in the story is abundantly apparent.”
Treefest National Arboretum

“Best show ever, I now have a stitch from laughing!”
Machynllech Comedy Fest

“I come from Baghdad in Iraq and would like you thank you for representing my people and my country so well.”
Machynllech Comedy Fest

“His stories are full of drama, side-splitting humour and straightforward narrative. His positivity is infectious. Highly recommended!”
Hand to Mouth Theatre

Running Time: 2 hours (with interval)

I’m Bitter About Glitter

Liz and Felix take you on awe-inspiring journey into their fantastical world – where they unite to battle the Beigester (think patriarchy, in beige) who threatens to invade their world of sparkle and choice. Join this mother and son duo as they travel to distant lands, meet magical beings and learn so much about themselves on the way. Who will triumph in the Battle of the Beige?

A show for anyone who has ever been small with big questions & a big imagination, or whose family doesn’t quite fit inside the box.

The performance is family friendly and will be a relaxed showing, so babies and youngsters warmly welcomed.

I’m Bitter About Glitter Family Workshop: 1.30-3pm
Join us in this anarchic workshop with your family; and Banish the Beigester (or smash the patriarchy)! Together we will create magical lands, and think big thoughts about Identity, feeling different and being your fabulous self… with the help of props, found poetry and most importantly – your ideas. The workshop is designed for families to participate in together, to share the fun,share experiences and have big conversations.. Suitable for ages 8+ and children must be accompanied by an adult.

“It’s a joy to watch this mother and son’s relationship on stage.”
Audience Feedback

“It was magical.”
Audience Feeback (aged 8)

Running Time:
Show – 40 mins (no interval)
Workshop – 90 mins

MathildaMathilda

A paper heart is caught in the wind. It flutters from the fingers of a little girl who had been practicing writing her name on it: MathildaMathilda. The heart lifts and the breeze blows it into the air.

On the hill, overlooking the sea, Nelly’s works in her artist’s studio. A twin who has lost her sister. Their childhood doll sits in a bag, forgotten. But in the bag is not one dolls head… but two! The heart blows through the window and gently lands on the dolls breast. MathildaMathilda opens her eyes, rolls them around and starts… she is alive! But what is she?

This is an adventure story. A story of connection, and of separation. A tale of two heads are better than one. Of sea-side towns, urban jungles, exploding paint factories, and of a wicked Ring-Mistress with a forgotten past. The story of MathildaMathilda.

Created and performed by mother-daughter duo, Tomasin and Ros Cuthbert in Soap Soup Theatre’s first show for older children. Boasting jazz compositions by one of the London Philharmonics young composers of the year Ashley John Long, bursting with unforgettable characters and stunning scenography. A highly original piece of work, not to be missed.

Soap Soup Theatre will be joined by the Soap Soup Community Choir for the 7pm performance of MathildaMathilda. With arrangements written by Jannah Warlow. This is the last performance with the choir before the company go on tour, so don’t miss this not-to-be-repeated treat!

“A tender and enchanting children’s story, featuring a host of loveable characters.”
The Reviews Hub on The Snow Baby

“A very enjoyable and well-executed piece of theatre that charmed us all.”
Weston Super Mum on The Owl & The Pussycat’s Treasury of Nonsense

Running Time: 1 hour (no interval)

Onwards & Upwards

Deep underground, beneath scrambled wires and twisting pipes lives Luna; an inventor and fixer of broken bits and bobs.

Luna’s never lost her bobble hat to a gust of wind, jumped in a puddle, or even seen the stars! In fact, she’s never been to Uptop at all. She’s got everything she needs right here in Downblow. But when a broken compass clatters into her workshop, Luna’s world is turned upside down as she uncovers the extraordinary real-life adventures of the first women to cross oceans, skies and to reach the very top of the world. Could Luna become an explorer too?

With their signature blend of storytelling, puppetry and beautiful live music INKBLOC Ensemble return to The Wardrobe Theatre with their family theatre adventure after the success of Lego Beach. Inspired by the stories of three incredible female explorers, Onwards & Upwards is a story about digging deep, for explorers of all ages!

Directed by Helena Middleton (The Wardrobe Ensemble’s The Star Seekers, The Time Seekers and Little Tim & The Brave Sea Captain).

“A magnificent concoction… the show is non-stop. It whirls with energy throughout. Lovely fun!”
★★★★ Bath Echo

“A life-affirming show, we loved it! They bought girl-power and adventure to life!”
Kids Of Bath