A few weeks ago we announced the Little Angel Theatre’s production of The Tear Thief in London. This live-staging of Carol Ann Duffy’s book uses exquisite wooden puppets designed by Jan Zalud. These carefully crafted marionettes are based on Nicoletta Ceccoli’s dreamy illustrations and bring the characters to life onstage. The show opened with some very positive reviews.

This performance will be at the Little Angel Theatre until 4 November 2012. Adult tickets are £12.00. Tickets for children under 16, students, registered disabled, senior citizens and the unwaged are £10.00. Tickets may be purchased online, by phone, by mail or in person at the box office. For showtimes, booking instructions or more information about the Little Angel Theatre, click here.

The play will be performated at Theatre Royale Bath the Egg in Bath 8 November to 10 November 2012. Tickets are £7.50 for adults, £6.50 for children and students. Tickets may be purchased here.

The Unicorn Theater in London will host the Little Angel Theatre production from 21 November until 2 December 2012. Adult tickets are £16.00 and tickets for children under 21 are £10.00. To look up showtimes and book tickets, click here.

The show will run at the North Wall Arts Centre in Oxford on 27 & 28 November 2012, at 10:00 and 13:30. Tickets are £7.00, book here.

Finally, the show will go to the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester from 11 December until 29 December 2012. Adult tickets are £12.00, concessions are £10.00 and children under 13 are £5.00. Book online, by phone, or in person at the box office.

In the following photo story, Catrin Lowe of the Little Angel Theatre shares the behind-the-scenes story of how The Tear Thief’s characters started as wooden blocks and became beautifully embellished puppets.

Jan carved the girl out of Jelutong wood – a really
light, malleable wood that’s easy to work with. Her head
is shaped using a bandsaw. This cuts around the two
profiles of her face- the front and side. Then Jan uses
a chisel to round her head and carve in her features.

Acrylic paint is used to detail her body and face. The
beautiful hair is made from string. Fabric dye is used to
add the colour. Eyes are made from glass beads – they
dazzle under the lights.

Her hands are carved out of lime wood. This is a strong
timber, so the fingers are less likely to break this way.
Elbow joints are made with leather. Her knee joints are
made with a tongue and groove joint.

This device is called an Automata.  It’s not exactly a
puppet but instead a mechanical device that uses
levers to make the characters move. In this case they’re
fighting over a teddy bear  (we’ve all been there).

This is another sort of mechanical puppet where the
head moves on its own. The audience doesn’t see the
mechanics, so it looks as if the boy is coming to life! There
is a little stump on the top of all the puppets heads. This
is used to hold them in the vice. Once Jan has completed
his work on the puppets, it is cut off and filed down.

The beautiful Tear Thief is decorated with silver
leaf, which gives her a magical, luminous appearance.
Goose feathers are used for her unique hairstyle.

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