Imagination rules at New Wolsey Theatre’s festive show for kids

The Paper Dolls from Little Angel Theatre and Polka Theatre; at the New Wolsey Studio, Ipswich, Dece

The Paper Dolls from Little Angel Theatre and Polka Theatre; at the New Wolsey Studio, Ipswich, December 1-January 2 - Credit: Archant

Oh to be a child again, when the only limit to how much fun you could have was your imagination. That’s the theme of the New Wolsey’s alternative Christmas show The Paper Dolls.

The Paper Dolls from Little Angel Theatre and Polka Theatre; at the New Wolsey Studio, Ipswich, Dece

The Paper Dolls from Little Angel Theatre and Polka Theatre; at the New Wolsey Studio, Ipswich, December 1-January 2 - Credit: Archant

The co-production between Little Angel Theatre and Polka Theatre runs at the New Wolsey Studio from December 1-January 2 and reignites the partnership between Peter Glanville and Lyndie Wright who last worked together to produce Macbeth, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt and The Magician’s Daughter.

It’s an adaptation of the acclaimed book by Children’s Laureate Julia Donaldson, author of The Gruffalo, who describes it “As magical a theatrical experience for children as one could wish for”.

When a little girl cuts out a string of paper dolls she takes them by the hand and together they go on a fantastic adventure whirling through their home and garden. Ticky, Tacky, Jackie the Backie, Jim with two noses and Jo with the bow fly through time and tear across worlds of fun and excitement.

They face the jurassic clutches of a toy dinosaur, the snapping jaws of the oven-glove crocodile and then a very real boy with very real scissors threatens to snip their adventure short.

The Paper Dolls from Little Angel Theatre and Polka Theatre; at the New Wolsey Studio, Ipswich, Dece

The Paper Dolls from Little Angel Theatre and Polka Theatre; at the New Wolsey Studio, Ipswich, December 1-January 2 - Credit: Archant


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“The Paper Dolls is a beautiful and moving story by the celebrated writer of The Gruffalo, Julia Donaldson. A wonderful celebration of the importance of play and the power of the imagination. However, when adapting this story into a puppetry production, myself and the designer were also strongly influenced by Rebecca Cobb’s pastel illustrations, which vividly bring the imaginative world of the daughter (whom we called Rosie) and her paper dolls to life,” says Peter Glanville, artistic director at Polka and director of The Paper Dolls.

“Both children and parents alike were captivated by this production when it played in London, and we are very excited to be bringing it to Ipswich this Christmas.”

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Suitable for ages three to seven, the New Wolsey is pleased to announce it will be hosting a British Sign Language Interpreted performance at 2pm on December 18; arranged with local BSL interpreter Caroline Smith who is donating her time.

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Written by Peter Rowe, the actor-musicians bring the legendary tale of King Arthur to life; mixing music and magic and swordplay and slapstick. Read arts editor Andrew Clarke’s behind-the-scenes chat with pantomime designer Barney George online now.

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