GALLERY

A gallery of images from Horse + Bamboo Theatre productions. H+B was formed by Bob Frith in 1978, from a group of his students at Manchester School of Art (now part of MMU), musicians and performers from Welfare State International, and artists from the Dutch theatre company Matrogoth

In 1997 Alison Duddle was introduced to the company, having previously worked in Minneapolis with In the Heart of the Beast Mask & Puppet Theatre. From 2000 Alison worked closely with Bob on the shows, and became Joint Artistic Director in 2009.

The photographs and comments in the three galleries below follow the Company’s story over the past 35 years.

NOTE: LOOK AT ‘Current H+B shows’ FOR PHOTOGRAPHS AND INFORMATION ABOUT OUR RECENT PRODUCTIONS

Show:AllShows since 2000Shows 1990-1999Shows pre-1990
  • 2012 Puppet Festival
    2012 Puppet Festival
    Growing out of a long-line of local Festivals started by H+B in 1989, the annual Puppet Festival, directed by Alison Duddle is a week of events culminating at the weekend. It’s a popular event in Rossendale, and brings workshops and shows by national and international puppet companies to the Boo.
  • 2009 Deep Time Cabaret
    2009 Deep Time Cabaret
    Developed by Bob as part of ‘Valley of Stone’, a Heritage Lottery funded project to celebrate the geology and quarrying history of Rossendale. This unlikely starting point resulted in a wildly experimental show that opened deep underground in caves in the Forest of Dean.
  • 2009 Deep Time Cabaret
    2009 Deep Time Cabaret
    Deep Time Cabaret used film and song in new ways for the company, with notable short animations by Steff Lee. The set was a skeletal frame and lighting partly consisted of wind-up lamps. It was a great hit at the Suspense Festival in London.
  • 2008 Veil
    2008 Veil
    Veil was an ambitious project that explored the historical relationship between Europe and the Middle East. Its multi-layered story followed the life of an archaeologist at the beginning of the 20th century; and two contemporary young women – one Iranian, one European.
  • 2008 Veil
    2008 Veil
    The story was developed by Bob with help a group of women from Muslim backgrounds, and their own stories helped flesh out the lives of the female characters in the play. Loz Kaye’s music drew from Middle-eastern sources, and he sampled spoken Persian for the sound-track.
  • 2008 Veil
    2008 Veil
    Alison Duddle made many of the exceptional masks for this show, and Erik Knudsen helped Bob with the film sections. Photographs of Veil by Ian Tilton.  
  • 2007 Storm in a Teacup
    2007 Storm in a Teacup
    This developed out of a short show made for the pPod. The story of a lonely Lighthouse-keeper and his friendship with a relief sailor grew from a 20 minute into a 50 minute family show, and has toured on and off for several years with performers Jonny Quick and Mark Whitaker.
  • 2006 Little Leap Forward
    2006 Little Leap Forward
    This show, adapted and directed by Alison Duddle from an autobiographical book by Guo Yue, and designed by Bob Frith. Set during the Cultural revolution in Mao’s China, it was a powerful show about the ability of art (in this case Yue’s flute-playing) to transcend horror.
  • 2006 Little  Leap Forward
    2006 Little Leap Forward
    We worked closely with Guo Yue and his wife, Clare Farrow, in adapting his novel, and Yue recorded the flute parts of Loz Kaye’s music for the show.
  • 2006 In the Shadow of Trees
    2006 In the Shadow of Trees
    Bob Frith wrote and designed this show which was directed by Alison Duddle. A fairy-tale  story about a feral child, it won awards as the Best New Play at the MEN Theatre Awards, and went on to tour for several years, with the designs featured in an exhibition at the V&A Museum.
  • 2006 In the Shadow of Trees
    2006 In the Shadow of Trees
    The set from In The Shadow of Trees was built on a shoe-string for a residency at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester. With the success of the show and the demand to tour, it became increasingly difficult to adapt the set to touring schedules, which demand quick get-ins and get-outs.
  • 2006 Guided Imagery
    2006 Guided Imagery
    Guided Imagery was given a new lease of life when we moved into the Boo in 1996 as the large space allowed us to build bigger environments. During this period we built, among others, a Menagerie (pictured), a Deep-Sea Trawler, and a Fish and Chip Shop!
  • 2005 The pPod
    2005 The pPod
    The pPod was an architect-designed portable theatre space developed by the company for showing small puppet productions to audiences of between 30 and 35. It toured for three years, and popped up in unlikely venues such as Agricultural Shows as well as arts festivals.
  • 2005 on – Puppet Festivals
    2005 on – Puppet Festivals
    The Puppet Festival is the biggest single annual event in our Boo Family Programme. At the Boo we run a monthly programme of events for children and their families, involving visiting puppet companies as well as our own productions, plus free hands-on workshops for the audience.
  • 2002 Company of Angels
    2002 Company of Angels
    This show was co-written and directed by Bob and Alison. Based on the life of the painter Charlotte Salomon who died in Auschwitz in 1943, it used her own extraordinary ‘Life or Theatre?’ cycle of gouaches as inspiration.
  • 2002 Company of Angels
    2002 Company of Angels
    Bob Frith had seen the Royal Academy exhibition of Charlotte Salomon’s epic work ‘Life or Theatre?’ and immediately felt that it would form the starting point for a Horse + Bamboo show. ‘Company of Angels’ was the result, and it toured throughout the UK, Europe and the USA.
  • 2000 The Girl Who Cut Flowers
    2000 The Girl Who Cut Flowers
    A publicity shot of the Goat character, who harasses the eponymous Girl. Photograph taken in the woodland at the back of our workshop in Waterfoot.
  • 2000 The Girl Who Cut Flowers
    2000 The Girl Who Cut Flowers
    This show was the first in which Alison Duddle took a leading role, working alongside Bob Frith to create a show about a young girl passing through puberty. The show toured for two years.
  • 2000 The Girl Who Cut Flowers
    2000 The Girl Who Cut Flowers
    A particularly sinister life-size Punch and Judy featured as characters in the show.
  • 2000 Guided Imagery
    2000 Guided Imagery
    Another Guided Imagery project for people with learning disabilities centred around building a life-size fairground at the Boo, complete with Ferris Wheel, Ghost Train, Roundabouts – and Hook a Duck stall.