The Shepherd’s life puppetry returns to Theatre By The Lake

Theatre by the Lake is delighted to welcome back Jimmy Grimes, Puppetry Director and Designer on The Shepherd’s Life, to work on the puppetry in the upcoming Christmas production,The Emperor and the Nightingale.

Jimmy is the recipient of the inaugural Les Enfants Terribles Award and his impressive theatrical CV includes three years working on the National Theatre’s production of War Horse, where he was Associate Puppetry Director. His puppets, which he designed and created for The Shepherd’s Life, were a key feature of the much-loved and critically acclaimed production, with over ten Herdwick sheep puppets, two sheepdog puppets, and one puppy puppet being brought to life by two professional puppeteers and a community chorus.

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Jimmy said: ‘I am really excited to be returning to Theatre by the Lake to work on The Emperor and the Nightingale, and to be bringing this gorgeous and colourful show to life with puppetry. Working on The Shepherd’s Life was a fantastic experience and Theatre by the Lake is such a warm and welcoming place to work’.

The Emperor and the Nightingale is written by Neil Duffield and based on the fairy tale, The Nightingale, by Hans Christian Andersen. It tells the story of Wu, a young Emperor who is kept a virtual prisoner in his palace, and his friendship with a young peasant girl who leads him on a life-changing adventure to hear the song of the nightingale.

Alongside Jimmy’s puppetry, The Emperor and the Nightingale features original music from composer Richard Atkinson, sumptuous designs from Martin Johns, and all the colour, movement and spectacle of Chinese Theatre, promising to be a feast for the senses. It is the final show to be directed at the theatre by former Artistic Director Ian Forrest after 17 years at the helm and having directed nearly 70 productions.

On five Saturdays across the run (19, 26 November and 3, 20, 17 December at 10.30am) the theatre is also offering free make-and-do workshops where children can make their own puppets and Chinese masks. The sessions are suitable for 3 to 10 year olds, and there is no need to book.

The Emperor and the Nightingale runs from 26 November to 14 January. Tickets for the show are from £10 and you can book online at www.theatrebythelake.com or by calling the Box Office on 017687 74411.

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