A Year and a Day 2009

Following on from the showcase in March, the Youth Group decided to continue exploring Edward Lear’s poem and create a production for the Buxton Puppet Festival 2009. This became ‘A Year and A Day’ and ended up as a forty minute extravaganza performed on the Buxton Opera House stage during an Evening of Youth Productions with the Yamabiko-Za Children’s Theatre who were in Buxton on the Buxton Meets Sapporo Again! international exchange.

After the Easter Holiday exploratory workshops, the Youth Group were involved at every stage of the project and in every aspect of the production from making puppets, writing the script, choreographing movement, designing and making the set and of course performing. In true Funny Wonders style, the planning and script writing only finished about five minutes before the curtains were opened!

The piece began with a traditional shadow-puppet theatre performance of Edward Lear’s poem ‘The Owl and the Pussycat’. The stage then came alive as their journey over ‘A Year and a Day’ took them to the hot, wild African savannah where they encountered fire, bounding antelopes and djembe-playing, masked men and furry creatures; following a wild storm they drifted across the ocean ending up in New York during the autumn fall where they were met by a gigantic, jazz-loving, leaf man; they then journeyed to Antarctica where they met the enigmatic Jack Frost and some tap-dancing penguins; they then travelled to Japan in time for a rare cherry tree blossom and met a dancing geisha. An unknown amount of time later, they arrived on the shore of a mysterious island – the land where the Bong Tree grows (BONG!) and the story of the poem continued with mince and slices of quince and many runcible spoons. For the finale we were joined by local band Purple Cloud of Funk.

See images from the dress rehearsals and performance day here.

Djembe Drumming Workshop

Making Workshops

Show Rehearsals