It's a great piece of entertainment and uses a combination of 'real' puppets, actors and projections. For the first time in twenty years the company have made use of the marionette bridge and marionette puppets, a form of puppetry which has been out of fashion for years now as it is quite demanding on resources and skills.
In celebration of Norwich Puppet Theatre's 35th birthday, the theatre has taken the bold step of reinstating the bridge and investing in the puppeteers skills for this new work. The investment was helped by a Kickstarter Fundraising campaign and many of the people in the audience last night were Kickstarter supporters. It was great to see it full of adults, who all really enjoyed the show.
The main characters starting the show are Belle, the beauty, her father and their horse - an expressive old nag who is a symbol of the lost past life of the now impoverished father and daughter. They are panning for gold to try and turn their fortunes and are stranded in the desert. They lose their horse and wander, hungry and vulnerable until they encounter a house which is neglected but was once grand and opulent. It is there that the Beast appears, and his brother and so the story really gets going. I won't spoil the rest except to say that there are lots of mad and humorous adventures on the way and a happy ending of course.
There is also some great music and special effects so watch out for those too. The show is on for schools this week and opens to the public from 20 December with a range of times and also baby-friendly performances - you are welcome to bring babies along with older children and family. You can book here, also for Thumbelina another show for Christmas, great for little ones
Here are a couple of other reviews from EDP and Outline