A delightful re-imagining of one of Aesop's most loved fables

Jacob is a young boy who loves to be playful.

When he is given the responsibility of being the village shepherd his wild imagination leads him astray...

This tale about the power of our words is brought to life for young children and their families, with Angel Heart's impeccable combination of exquisite puppetry, dynamic storytelling, beautiful live music and the chance to join in. 

This is a family show suitable for everyone 3 years and above 

Audience reviews for The Boy Who Cried Wolf:

Thank you for such brilliant story-telling and music. I loved the twist of the Wolf-Catcher!
- Batu and Ebru at The Lyric Hammersmith, London

Beautiful storytelling. The instruments were fantastic and really special.

- Jude and George at Countess Wear Village Hall, Devon

Thank you for a wonderful afternoon, such a lot of talent and great story-telling.

- Adrienne and Molly at Chetnole Village Hall, Dorset 

Puppets by James Richardson, Lisa Green and Dave Oliver

Live music by Felicity Hollow

Directed by James Richardson

Adapted from Aesop's fable by James Richardson and Felicity Hollow

Snow White 

The Return of the Little Things

Far, far away there lies a curiously mechanical kingdom in which everything ticks but nothing laughs. It is ruled by The-Queen-Who-Never-Smiles and she is determined to control everyone and everything...even Time itself.

Snow White knows what it is like to live in such an unhappy land, and our tale begins when she must flee for her life to escape the Queen's terrible jealousy. Seeking refuge in the mysterious Wild Wood, Snow White discovers she is not the only one refusing to live in a world without laughter. Under the trees little steps are taken to bring about big changes.

Angel Heart breathe new life into this timeless fairy tale, retold with a visually striking innovative style.

This is a family show, suitable for all children 4 years and above.

Audience comments on Snow White:

What an absolutely wonderful, magical, beautiful performance! Something we will all never forget.
- Gillian, Granny and Saphyr at The Boo, Rossendale, Lancashire.

Absolutely amazing. Such beautifully made puppets and really brought to wonderful life. Utterly entrancing.

- Lawrence at Mt. Pleasant Eco Park, Cornwall.

Staged with great imagination and humour using a variety of techniques... This was just a hugely enjoyable show... It's a tale for all seasons.

- Jez at Countess Wear Village Hall, Devon.  

Puppets by James Richardson, Lisa Green and Dave Oliver

Soundtrack by Rachel Miller

Directed by James Richardson

Adapted from the The Grimm's Fairy Tale by James Richardson and Dave Oliver

Malina's Dream

An enchanting show about friendship and finding your way between two worlds.

Malina is an excitable young girl who lives with Grandpa in the Land of the Midnight Sun.

Into her frozen world comes dream, and in that dream comes a stranger, whose ship is crushed in the ice.
When Malina discovers her dream has become real, she knows only she
can save the stranger's life
...with just a little help from Grandpa and his magic drum!

This warm-hearted tale is inspired by true-life encounters between 19th century sailors and Inuit people of the Arctic.

Wander with Malina and her friends between the worlds of snow and shadow! Beautiful puppets (including shadow puppets), live music and an evocative soundtrack create an unforgettable experience of magical theatre...where even lost penguins find their way.

This is a family show, suitable for all children 4 years and above.

Audience comments on Malina's Dream:

What a wonderful experience. I was swept away with the magic.

-Peter and Jamie at Milborne Port Village Hall, Somerset.

Enchanting is an over-used word, but in this case it is well deserved.

-Beverley, Richard and Arianne Evans at Lighthouse Theatre, Poole, Dorset.

What a magical journey. My two children (10 and 3 yrs) were captivated throughout. Fabulous.

- Jane, Charlie and Henry at Terry O' Toole Theatre, Lincoln, Lincolnshire.

Puppets and costumes by James Richardson and Lisa Green

Soundtrack and Music by Rachel Miller

Performed by James Richardson and Felicity Hollow

Directed by Sophie Sterckx, James Richardson and Roz Hilton

From an original idea by James Richardson

Meet those who live in the Land of the Midnight Sun:

MALINA - An Inuit girl and GRANDPA - A shaman.

It was while first thinking about a show set in the Arctic that James came upon the little known history of Scottish and American whaling ships, and the contact they had with the indigenous peoples of the Arctic. We discovered that it was common practice for the ships to stop off at Inuit communities in the Spring. The Inuit hunters' knowledge of the Arctic waters, the migratory patterns of whales and their skills as harpooners was without equal and they were welcomed aboard. But it was not only the Inuit men who joined the whalers at the start of the season. The women, children, huskies, sledges and kayaks would all be brought on board. Everything to make a home away from home! 

Over the two or three centuries that this close contact lasted the relationship between the two cultures, judging by the historical records and personal accounts from both sides, seems to have been one of mutual respect, curiosity and well-meaning good-will. Even today in Arctic communities a get-together may well include Scottish jigs and dances, played on accordions and concertinas that were first given to members of the community several generations back! This shared history of two different worlds gave me the idea for Malina's Dream and the unusual meeting between Samuel and Malina.

Grandpa has, without intending it, a passing resemblance to Albert Einstein: Grandpa is an old shaman. He's a little rough round the edges, but essentially a kind-hearted soul, who lives with his granddaughter and at the same time has good knowledge of the ways of the Spirit. Albert Einstein was a good natured man whose character and genius has led Science towards a greater understanding of the invisible realm where, more and more, we discover that behind matter lies energy. So we reckon Grandpa and Einstein would enjoy a good old chin-wag if ever they met!

SAMUEL - The Lucky Sailor and OVALOO - The Walrus.

The inspiration for Samuel came from James' great grand-father, William Kinchin. He was born at sea in 1864 and spent most of his life aboard one ship or another. He used to 'sign-on' with a whaling ship, bound for the Arctic waters around Greenland. He experienced the hard but at times exhilarating life that came with being a whaler. Of course, no one would dream of hunting whales now, but back then whaling was still a big part of the fisheries industry. For several centuries the Greenland Whale had been hunted for both its blubber, which was made into a valuable oil for industry, and for its baleen. Baleen hung in great plates inside the whale's mouth and acted like a giant filter. Because of its tough, springy nature this 'whalebone' was used for making all sorts of things including carriage springs, walking canes and fishing rods, but mostly for the ribbing in ladies' corsets! When our story is set at the turn of the 20th century whalers still sailed north on wooden masted ships and the actual chase of the whale was carried out in small whale-boats, with just six men in each. It was extremely dangerous work. Once the whale was close-to the harpooner cast his harpoon by hand and in this moment a boat and its crew could be obliterated by a terrific lash of the whale's tail! Even when the whale was 'fast' (attached to the boat by the long rope fixed to the harpoon) it could dive to great depths to escape and, if the men handled the rope wrongly, they might all end up dragged down to Davy Jones' Locker! In Malina's Dream Samuel is a tough but jolly sailor, who loves a good sea shanty and whose job it was to catch whales. He has a heart of gold and would be horrified if he knew now how close we came to making whales extinct.

Ovaloo is one of Malina's many animal friends in the Land of the Midnight Sun. He is rather large and clumsy and sometimes, rather smelly. But Malina loves him because he lets her ride on his back to go on an adventure or two. Ovaloo is a puppet that makes another appearance (under a different name) in another of our shows. Can you find out which one?


There are two shadow sequences in the show that convey 'the land of dreams'. Shadow puppetry has become a trademark feature of Angel Heart shows and in Malina's Dream there are 20 shadow puppets. With just two performers it's quite a handful back-stage! The two sequences: Malina's dream itself and Grandpa's journey into 'the land of dreams' are both 5 minutes long. We were a little worried about attention spans in younger children, but we wanted to 'push the boat out' a little. There is live vocalization, as well as the soundtrack, to enhance the puppetry. Shadow puppetry is not a common art-form in children's lives, but it is an exciting 'alternative' to modern animation. It has a sense of 'being-there' magic which we think is more rewarding than the passive viewing of a TV screen. 

It's worth mentioning that when James came to design 'the spirits' that appear in 'the land of dreams' he had a problem: wanting them to be weird, but not too scary, he tried drawing some but they didn't look right- they came out just a little too contrived. Then, he thought, who better to design them for children than his then 4 year old son, Leo? So providing him with lots of card and reminding him not to draw too many lines Leo came up with what you see on the screen! He was at that age where he was not trying to draw things 'correctly': he was just drawing in a delightfully fluid, uncensored way. The results are weird, humorous and just a little bit naughty!

Freya - A Viking Saga

A comic tale about the strength of friendship to overcome the biggest of challenges.

Freya, a Viking girl and friend of the gods, is in a bit of a pickle. 

She is about to become a giant’s dinner! 

Freya must use all her wits to escape old Gorm's cooking pot and prove that friendship is  

“stronger than the strength of a giant and more powerful than the magic of a god."

The rivalry between the Norse gods and the Frost Giants is brought humorously to life in this colourful re-telling 

of two famous Viking myths and Freya’s own saga.

This is a family show suitable for all children 4 years and above.

Audience comments on Freya- A Viking Saga:

That was really fantastic! We go to as many theatre events as possible and this really stands out for me. Wonderful puppets, great story, beautifully told.

- Felicia Webb at Hazelbury Bryan Village Hall, Dorset.

Thank you once again for such a great show. The audience really loved it and so did we.  

- Jacqueline and Iain of Stiltskin Theatre at The Muse Theatre, Plymouth, Devon.

Absolutely fantastic. Really beautiful. Incredible attention to detail.

- Felicity at Calstock Village Hall, Cornwall.

Puppets by James Richardson, Lisa Green, Andrew Grundon and Julie Burkin

Masks and props by Dave Oliver

Set dressing by Dave Oliver and Lisa Green

Soundtrack and Music by Rachel Miller

Directed by Sophie Sterckx and James Richardson

From an original idea by James Richardson and Dave Oliver

Meet the folk of the saga:

FREYA- The Warrior Maiden.

Freya is the daughter of a chieftain. Her uncle is the famous Olaf Beararsson, the Berserker. She is a strong-headed feisty young girl, not content to sit at home spinning and weaving. With her pet wolf cub, Ulfie, she is ready for adventure at the drop of an axe. If ever the boggle-eyed Giant, Gorm, picked the wrong girl to have for his dinner it was surely Freya. How he is outwitted by Freya is how the story unfolds, and when he resorts to strong-arm tactics he discovers that Freya is just as handy with a sword as she is with her brains.

ODIN – The Harvester of Odd Socks.

Odin is the 'All-Father of the Gods'. He is skilled in magic and is extremely wise. In the Viking myths it is told how he even exchanged one of his eyes for a drink from the Well of Wisdom. To Viking warriors Odin was the god to follow: it was he who welcomed those who had died fighting in battle into the joyous Otherworld of Valhalla, a place where there was eternal feasting, singing and more fighting! In the Prose Edda, a 13th century Icelandic manuscript, Snorri Sturluson lists some of the names by which Odin is known- he has over 200 different ones! We have used a handful of these in the show: 'Lord of the Aesir', 'Shape-Shifter', 'Spear-Shaker' and 'The Delight of Frigga'. However, 'The Harvester of Odd-Socks' is not one of them. We couldn't help cheekily giving him this title. But, we hasten to add, it is not intended to upset the old Norse god, for it must be a special god indeed that knows the fate of all the odd socks of the world.

THOR- The Mighty god of Thunder.

Thor is one of those larger than life boisterous gods that appear in mythologies all over the world. He loves nothing more than feasting, drinking and bashing out the brains of stupid Giants. He himself might not be as clever as Odin. And his table manners would definitely upset your gran, but if you had half a dozen hungry Frost Giants eyeing you up for dinner then Thor would be the bloke you'd want next to you! In the Viking myths he is shown as a heroic champion whose hammer, Mjolnir, or 'Crusher', saves the Gods time and again from their enemies, the Giants. Maybe because he knows this he is often rather boastful and childish and just too loud. But there are also funny tales at his expense and we have adapted two of these for Freya- A Viking Saga. He really did dress up as Odin's wife and pretend to marry the King of the Giants, we didn't make it up!


Everyone knows that Giants are well, giant. Quick to anger and slow to thought. And although this sums up the hungry Gorm and the foolish Thrum, not all Giants are so dunder-headed. Skrymir was no fool. Appearing in the second of our 'tales-within-a-tale' Skrymir really did hoodwink Thor in the original Viking myth and get the better of him. He was a powerful magician and it would be interesting to know what might have happened if he had gone head-to head with Odin, that other great sorcerer.

GILBERT- The Dwarf.

Dwarfs held a special place in the Vikings' imagination. They are right at the heart of things. Indeed, in the creation myth, when Odin and his two brothers slay the first Giant and make the world out of his body they fashion the dwarfs from the maggots feasting on it! Perhaps this explains why they always like burrowing deep beneath the earth, looking for gold, silver and precious stones. Like Gilbert, all dwarfs are very skilled at making things out of metal. Thor's hammer was made by a dwarf, even though the handle ended up too short because of a pesky fly that kept buzzing around... but that's another story!

Mazymeg and the Honey Bees

An enchanted adventure where friends and Nature go hand in hand.

Albert lives alone with his beloved honey bees on Dartmoor, a wild and mysterious land where nothing is as it seems.

One day a stranger appears and steals Albert's bees and it's as though the light has gone from Albert's world. But a second visitor comes to his cottage- a little Pixie girl, called Mazymeg. She promises to find his bees, for she knows who the stranger is- Dark Dewer, the wicked wizard.

Come be 'pixie-led' over the Moor with Mazymeg! With engaging story-telling, an evocotive soundtrack and mysterious characters around every corner.

This is a family show, suitable for all children 4 years and above.

Audience comments on Mazymeg and the Honey Bees:

Absolutely beautiful. Design, set and puppets were magical and the children were totally focused. Evokes the spirit of Dartmoor for anyone who knows it.

-Laorie and Alex at G-Live, Guildford, Surrey.

Fabulous acting- loved the voices. Wonderful to be able to watch such a charming production for all the family.

-Lamb family at Osmotherley Village Hall, North Yorkshire.

Devon was conjured up brilliantly- it made me want to go back, and my daughter loved it!

-Lucy, Ian and Isobel at Nuffield Theatre, Southampton, Hampshire.

Puppets and costumes by James Richardson and Lisa Green

Set dressing by Lisa Green

Soundtrack and Music by Rachel Miller

Directed by James Richardson and Roz Hilton

From an original idea by James Richardson

Meet the folk who live on the Moor:

ALBERT - The Bee-Keeper.

When I was 12, my parents moved from Surrey to Dartmoor. From suburbia, busy roads and streetlights to a derelict wooden stable block on an old estate, four miles from the nearest shop. I remember the first time I went for a walk on the Moor on my own. It was like stepping into Lord of the Rings! Not Mordor, for sure. But something wilder and more mysterious than merely the Shire. On the way I had my first encounter with one of its inhabitants. He was in his 'out'-field that bordered the open moor and he was cutting the docks and bracken with a scythe. He was in his shirt-sleeves with his trousers held in place high over his belly-button by sturdy braces. In his labour he had taken his jacket off but retained the dignity of his flatcap. Here was Percy Waye and stopping his work he called me over and said something like,

"Ow-dee-do, me luvver? Wer bainst thee gwain to? Oh, up auver Puper's. Us be in for a skatt zarternoon, zo mind you waz maakin' awm avore dimpsey, me anzum. "

Apart from barely comprehending his strange but lyrical dialect I was slightly disconcerted by this old man calling me 'his lover'. Only later, as I got to know him did I discover this was a colloquial and affectionate term of endearment extended with warm hospitality, even to strangers. I learned a lot about some of the local places and people from Percy and I created Albert very much in memory of him, the like of which you'll seldom meet these days.

MAZYMEG - The Piskie and STOOGY JEN - The Wise Woman.

'There's piskies up to Dartymoor, An' tidden gude you zay there ain't.' 

This line comes from an old Dartmoor poem- a 'pisky' being the word used in both Devon and Cornwall for a pixie. Now whether you believe in the faerie folk or not is a matter for yourself to decide. James has a story about how, on one Summer's day he was out walking a long way off on the open Moor. As he walked through a tinner's gully he distinctly heard the sound of child-like laughter, lasting for at least a minute. It was so merry he took it for a group of young children playing together. Being curious as to what school party had made it that far out into the wilds he climbed out of the gully, only to find, to his surprise, there was no one to be seen. The day was clear, the air still. James scanned the distance in every direction and spent the next hour roving out in ever-widening circles (and ever-deepening puzzlement) to find the source of this merriment. Yet all to no avail. Since then we have heard two similar experiences from people living on the Moor: childlike laughter, yet no one there. That's faerie folk! You'll never find them when you go looking for them.

Stoogy Jen is the old Wise Woman of the Moor. She lives alone in a funny house that looks like something a dormouse might have made. She is a bit peculiar and sometimes a bit crotchety, especially when people keep knocking on her door at all hours, seeking her advice. Stoogy, like many such oracles tends to speak in riddles and avoids answering a question with a straight answer, which can make the receiving of wisdom a somewhat risky business!

QUEENIE - The Queen Bee and INSY - The Cave Spider.

We all know how important bees are for keeping Nature up and running, so when Albert's bees are stolen by The Dewer, Mazymeg needs all the help she can get. Queenie comes with the full moon, just when Mazymeg has all but given up in her quest. The Queen Bee reminds the young pixie never to lose hope and teaches Mazymeg the hive's mysterious 'waggle dance' to help her find her way.

Spiders might not be everyone's idea of a cuddly friend, and at first glance Insy might look like just another creepy arachnid. But as soon as Insy starts speaking it is clear that there is nothing to be scared of and that this is no ordinary spider. In fact, Insy is the key to old Stoogy Jen's riddle, and just the help Mazymeg needs to defeat The Dewer in his Dark Tower. 


Dartmoor, like Cornwall, has a history of tin-mining dating back in sporadic fortunes to the bronze-age. Although tin was never as abundant or its mining ever as profitable on Dartmoor as in Cornwall the tinners from both counties shared customs, legends and lore. One such shared belief was that mines were under the guardianship of a certain type of earth spirit, peculiar to the mining of minerals. These sprites were known as Knockers on account of the fact that they could favourably lead miners to a rich lode of tin by 'knocking' within the mine. However, they had to be treated with great respect with food being left out for them so as to keep them happy. Tinners were also mindful of their language too as Knockers had a particular dislike of swearing. Even whistling could invoke a shower of pebbles being hurled at the offender. Knockers were also said to guard treasure and in this capacity they could be far more dangerous. At Chaw Gully, on Dartmoor, the Birch Tor Mine was once busy mining for tin. The Knockers there were a rather irritable lot and woe-betide anyone that, even now, tries to steal the hoard of gold that is said to lie at the bottom of one of the old mine shafts.

Cirkus Spectakular

A zany and touching tale about never giving up on your dreams.

From the lands to the East where the Mountain is King and the Forest is Queen they come... Cirkus Spectakular! 

Led by the mysterious Baba Kalina it is a colourful, topsy turvy world played out in a wandering marquee of dreams.

But for one little boy it becomes more than just a magical show. 

Cirkus Spectakular offers Pavlo the chance to prove himself and at last to feel like he belongs.

Drawing colours and sounds from Eastern Europe, Cirkus Spectakular explores what it means to be 'outside the box’, 

yet how we can all find a way to be a part of a circle.

Roll up for the Cirkus! With hilarious acts to delight, a boisterous soundtrack to enthrall,

 and a fire-breathing puppet that will truly amaze you.

This is a family show, suitable for all children 3 years and above

Audience comments on Cirkus Spectakular:

Truly spectakular! Amazing to see how the children 'believe' in the puppets- magic.

-Suzy at Chudleigh Community School, Devon.

Lovely inspiration for our dream to become reality!

-Kate and Lisa at Heath End Village Hall, Hampshire.

Really enjoyed it. My son laughed and laughed.

- J Browning at Farnham Maltings, Surrey.

Puppets created by James Richardson and Lisa Green

Soundtrack and Music by Rachel Miller

Set dressing by Carole Richardson

Directed by James Richardson

From an original idea by James Richardson and Dave Oliver

Meet the stars of the ring:

BABA KALINA - The Cirkus Ring-Mistress and PROFESSOR VLADIMIR - The Flea-Tamer Extraordinaire..

Baba Kalina's name means ‘Rowan-Woman’ and with her berry red dress and her dark Romany looks she is an elegantly mysterious lady indeed. She does not perform in the ring herself, but she IS Cirkus Spectakular, around which all the other acts revolve. Everyone looks up to her as a protecting mother-figure, but no one is in any doubt about her strange magical powers. There are many rumours of her being a powerful sorceress and it is said that the special amulet she possesses somehow protects the Cirkus from all misfortune and financial ruin.

At first glance the Professor might appear rather intimidating with his martial costume and his piratical appearance. He has a peg-leg, a hook, an eye-patch and a rather large scar, all of which he acquired (or should that be lost?) training some of the World’s most dangerous creatures. But with Cirkus Spectakular he has a new act and would be the first to tell you there is NOTHING quite as ferocious and challenging as his troupe of Carpathian Fleas. He is often at his wit’s end cajoling, coaxing, berating and even pleading with his unruly co-performers into doing their routines!

ZAZEL KA-BOOM - The Human Cannonball and  OLLO - The Clown Who’s Never Down.

With his ridiculous mop of shiny black hair and his star-spangled jump-suit Zazel is a cross between a latter-day Elvis Presley and Evel Knieval, the motorcycle stunt-rider from the 1970’s! He sort of wishes he was both and has a rather inflated sense of self-importance and definitely a flair for the theatrical. Although he can be a bit pompous sometimes all the others forgive him, for after all, it’s not everyone who gets fired from a cannon every day!

Ollo is the king-pin of Cirkus Spectakular. No one knows where he came from originally. Nor can they remember quite when he joined the Cirkus, or even recall ever having seen him without his make-up. But all that doesn’t matter, because every cirkus needs a clown and Ollo is theirs. With his 1980’s New Romantic look he might appear out-dated but his gentle humour and quiet sensitivity can move audiences to laughter and tears.

THE MIGHTY ZISHE - The X-tra Strongboy and JARMILA - The Amazonia from Macedonia.

Unlike the traditional Strongmen, with their big moustaches, bigger muscles and rather skimpy animal-skin costumes Zishe is much more shy in his role, as probably the Strongest Teenager in the World. Scary as that thought is Zishe is really a gentle sort of ‘giant’. He doesn’t have the quickest of minds but there is no denying he possesses the strength of a hundred men! In Cirkus Spectakular he has found a place where he can show off his strength without people questioning his intelligence. 

With her curves, exotic costume and daring acts Jarmilla is definitely all girl-power! Orphaned when she was a small girl she has learnt to take risks and make danger an everyday fact of life. She appears a little aloof and doesn’t talk much, but then that can be a bit difficult when you are breathing fire and swallowing swords a lot of the time! Yet, under all her tough exterior there beats a big pussy cat heart.

MADAME MINSKA - The Walrus Whisperer and ROSA- The Walrus.

She is actually Baba Kalina’s mum and it was her who originally started Cirkus Spectakular with her husband, Bogdan the Bullet-Biter (now deceased). After many years she has passed over the running of the Cirkus to her daughter, but likes to keep her hand in with a rather unique act, involving her beloved walrus, Rosa. Rescued as an orphaned pup from the Chuckchi Sea, over in Siberia, Rosa has rather out-grown Madame Minska, but the old lady would tell you there is a deep, intuitive communication between them. Many who see them perform together would tell you that this does not always seem obvious. Or maybe Rosa just likes to play tricks on Madame Minska!

Oshima and the Big Sea

A gentle tale of kindness, trust in the unknown and dancing with turtles.

Every day Oshima goes off fishing in his little tub boat. He hopes he will catch a really, big fish…But he never does. Maybe it is because Oshima’s pet frog, Ito, is always playing tricks! Or maybe Oshima is just too busy day-dreaming about what it must be like under the Big Sea… One day Oshima has a big adventure and gets the chance to find out!

Dive with Oshi into the Big Sea! With amazing sea creatures, songs of the ocean and a huge octopus.

This is a family show, suitable for all children 3 years and above.

Audience comments on Oshima:

This was the best children's show I've seen. I completely suspended disbelief and entered Mr Oshima's world. 

-Angela, village hall promoter at Sturminster Marshall Village Hall, Dorset.

My three year old son turned round after being totally captivated and said “Mummy, can we see it again?” Superb!

- Emma and Theo at Norwich Puppet Theatre, Norfolk.

What a fantastic show! You had the children enchanted- a wonderful thing to see in this age of technology and computer games.

- Toni and Hanisa McKee at Dorchester Arts Centre, Dorset.

Puppets and costumes by James Richardson and Lisa Green

Set dressing by Carole Richardson

Soundtrack and Music by Rachel Miller

Directed by Sophie Sterckx and James Richardson

From an original idea by James Richardson

Meet the dwellers of the Big Sea:

MR OSHIMA- The Fisherman.

Mr Oshima loves Mrs Oshima. He loves his little tub boat. He loves the Big Sea. He loves his hat. He loves Japanese opera. He loves... actually, there is very little that Mr Oshima doesn't love. He is such a gentle, kind-hearted soul that it would take him a very long time to think of something that he wasn't that fond of. Mr Oshima lives in a village on one of the many little islands off the coast of Japan. We decided to call him Oshima when we saw the name in a book of Japanese poetry (known as haiku). We liked it because the sound of it seemed to conjure up the sea. It was only later that James discovered that Oshima literally means 'big island'. Given that he is a rather large chap and that he spends a great deal of his time out on the Big Sea it seems the perfect name for him.

MR KUROKUCHI- A neighbour.

Mr Kurokuchi, or Mr K, as he is known in the village, is Mr Oshima's next door neighbour. Unlike Oshima, Mr K has trouble finding anything to like, let alone love. He particularly dislikes jellyfish, even though they rather like him! He is a rather grumpy chap and always suspects the worse will happen. And it often does in rather unexpected and funny ways.

Voyage of the Nutjellynana

A cuddly tale about having the courage to reach for the stars.

Three cuddly toys long since loved, left behind and now forgotten in an old attic. 

Life looks like it’s lost its stuffing until Fidge has a banana-brained plan… 

Build a rocket ship, blast off, and boldly go where no toy has gone before!!

"Easy." says Fidge. "Bonkers!" says Melby. "Ooooooh!" says Alice.

But when the 'Nutjellynana' reaches outer space Melby is sucked down a black hole, leaving Alice and Fidge 

to come to his rescue, making new friends along the way.

Journey into Space...the cuddly frontier!  With charming characters, flying rockets and cosmic bananas.

This is a family show, suitable for all children 3 years and above.

Audience comments on Voyage of the Nutjellynana:

I was transported away and my little one didn't want it to finish, thanks.

-Jo and Tean at East Portlemouth Village Hall, Devon.

Absolutely fantastic suspended reality. Thank you for such a treat!

-Sarah, Jon, Bena and Lola at the Tobacco Factory Theatre, Bristol.

One of the best children's shows we've seen! My daughter and me would love to see it again and again.

-Kamilia and Rasa at Artsdepot, North Finchley, London.

Puppets by James Richardson and Lisa Green

Set dressing by Lisa Green

Soundtrack and Music by Rachel Miller

Directed by Ella Turk-Richards and James Richardson

From an original idea by James Richardson

Meet the Cosmic Crew:

MELBY- The Teddy Bear (circa 1967).

Melby is the oldest 'resident' in the attic. He is one of the old-school sort of cuddly toys we all know and love. He is actually called Melbrose III, but everyone just calls him Melby. Over the years he's seen a lot of playtime action and been a soft shoulder to cry into on many an occasion. However, along with being a bit chewed around the ears he has become terribly stuck in his ways. He is now very happy in the attic, enjoying his 'retirement' years and not wishing to stir up the dust by doing anything in the least bit adventurous, or out of the ordinary.

ALICE AND JOEY- The Kangaroos (circa 1979).

Alice and her baby roo, Joey, are a couple of home-spun cuddly toys, made 'with love' and pink paisley. As such they are a happy-go-lucky pair, always ready to look on the bright side of life. Alice has a gentle, kind-hearted approach to all she does and tries to open Melby's eyes to what she calls, “Life beyond the attic”. She loves her young roo, Joey, but it seems a constant struggle to keep him safely in her pouch. For Joey is curious about everything and has no trouble imagining 'life beyond the attic'. He is forever day-dreaming and ready to follow anyone with a curiosity bigger than his own.

FIDGE- The Golden Monkey (circa 2001).

Fidge (short for Fidget, on account of him not being able to keep still) is one of the new 'breed' of realistic cuddly toys. He's a Golden sub-nosed monkey, from Southwest China. Not content just to be cuddled Fidge has an inexhaustable desire to be at the centre of everything, as and when it happens. His mind is full of hair-brained ideas and plans to get out of the attic. With his dextrous fingers he's ready for any sort of mad-cap monkey business, and that is what Melby fears most.

ZELLA- The Spaceteen with the Zoom-ee boots.

Zella is an intergalactic sort of girl who loves nothing more than a good adventure and anything sparkly. She has just got a pair of Zoom-ee boots for her birthday and has been out and about planet hopping with them. Unfortunately, she didn't set her home co-ordinates before she left that morning and she has rather lost her way. Luckily, she meets the crew of the Nutjellynana and, as well as hitching a lift with her new-found friends, can help them find the missing Melby.