what else we do...

'AXE AGE-SWORD AGE'

WEAPONS AND WARFARE WORKSHOP

Suitable for BOTH boys and girls! 7 years and up

Dave and James bring the Viking Age to your school or village hall with an impressive array of reconstructed clothing, armor, weapons and a few genuine Viking artifacts over a thousand years old, the children will learn how the Vikings fought in battle and what they wore!


This fun one hour workshop culminates in the children actively taking part in a Viking shield wall! Using a fabulous array of realistic looking foam-latex weapons, shields and helmets they will get an exciting ‘hands-on’ experience of what it felt like to be in Viking battle formation. And under attack!


Duration: 1 hour (longer by arrangement)

Venue required: Village/School hall

Max number of participants: 35 – 40


'SHADOW MAGIC' 
PUPPET MAKING WORKSHOP
Suitable for boys and girls 6 years and up

James and Felicity offer an exciting opportunity for children to discover the magical world of shadow puppetry and make their own shadow puppet to take home.


We begin by demonstrating various types of shadow puppets from far away and close to home on our own shadow screen. 

Taking a theme of your choice, we will show how to make a shadow puppet. This is a hands-on experience and involves cutting with safe scissors and gluing with kid-friendly glue sticks. However, any child under the age of 6 will need parental supervision.


After this we demonstrate simple techniques for using shadow puppets before leading the children in presenting an impromptu 'little performance', for friends and family that might wish to attend in the final 15 minutes of the session.


Duration: 3 hours 

Venue required: Village hall/School hall with 8 tables

Maximum number of people: 30-35 children or adults


We have another play, devised with a focus exclusively on adults and teenagers. It combines physical theatre with elements of puppetry and live music. It is generally available and can be performed in either an indoor venue or outdoor event, being entirely bundled into an old travelling trunk and a fiddle case!


Jack and the Devil's Purse

"May the De'il walk behind ye"
 

A cock-eyed, mischievous tale about the value of money in a world turned upside down.

Jack lives alone with his poor old ma. Like many young lads his age he's just a little "too bad for heaven" and a little "too good for hell." But mainly, he's just bored! Surely there must be more to life than this?

Enter the Devil...

Join 'Old Nick' himself as he narrates how Jack got the better of him, in this darkly comic yarn, full of unforgettable characters and temptations behind every smiling face.


This is an adult-themed show, suitable for 11 years and above.


Performed by James Richardson and Dave Oliver

Live fiddle by Lizzie Bennet

Puppets and costumes by James Richardson and Lisa Green

Directed by Sophie Sterckx and James Richardson

From an original story told by Duncan Williamson



JACK AND THE DEVIL'S PURSE COMMENTS:


Brilliant performance. Wonderful live music. There were moments that were absolutely electrifying.

- Dan at Skipton Puppet Festival, Skipton, North Yorkshire. 


One of the most original pieces of theatre I've seen. Even though I know the tale I was so wrapped up in the performance it was like I was hearing it for the first time.

- Peter at Plymouth Barbican, Plymouth, Devon.


Not seen anything like it. The blend of story-telling and performance was wonderful. So much energy and humour in it.  

- Lydia at Stainsby Folk Festival, Stainsby, Derbyshire.


 A wonderful evening, enchanting, funny, compelling and brilliantly performed.

- Jez at St Thomas Library, Exeter, Devon.


THE TALE BEHIND THE TALE:


James' great-grandmother was an Irish Traveller called Ellen Cahill. When she married she settled in Mitchum, London, with a Romany man by the name of Henry Richardson.

James' dad remembered how Henry used to impress him and his siblings by pouring a pint glass, full of gold sovereigns, all over the kitchen table and letting the kids scramble to gather them up.

Whilst wondering where all that 'gypsy gold' went James was drawn to this old tale about wealth and trickery and, of course, the dealings of Devil.

'Jack and the Devil's Purse' is an old tale, as told by the late master storyteller, Duncan Williamson. Duncan was a member of the Scottish Travelling Community and by his own reckoning held over 3000 stories in his head! This unique cultural tradition of oral storytelling among Scottish Travellers goes back as long as they themselves have been travelling the roads and by-ways of Scotland, since before the 12th century.


There are many tales told about young Jack and how he manages to overcome all manner of trials and tribulations, including several in which he must pit his wits against the Devil himself. Such stories served to reinforce the notion of self-reliance and ingenuity as tools to survival among young Travellers.


In choosing 'Jack and the Devil's Purse' we sought, and gained, the kind permission of Dr. Linda Williamson to adapt Duncan's story. Linda has worked with dedication to document and publish Duncan's trove of Scottish Traveller stories; ensuring their survival and enjoyment by a wider audience.