RED. It’s the colour of blood. The colour of life… and death. It’s vital, maybe that’s why the story keeps drawing people back to the telling… and retelling of it.
There are so many written versions of Red Riding Hood, from the Brothers’ Grimm to Charles Perrault, that have all mingled together in our collective imagination to form the version we think we all know, that it seemed just fine to take a few liberties with the story and add in a few quirks of our own.
We did lots of reading around the story, at how it has been interpreted over the ages, elements of which have found their way current story – for some, it’s the story of a young girl’s journey into adulthood; for others it’s a myth explaining the cycle of the seasons, of the sun, (red riding hood) being eaten by a wolf to create winter, but then being reborn unharmed in Spring, or of day following night.
And like all folktales it has a dark heart. It addresses some pretty epic themes – it concerns itself with death and re-birth, trust and betrayal, fear and bravery. So we thought we’d better make it a bit silly, too. Just so we weren’t TOO scared.
As in all of our work, the story is right at the heart. And to tell it we use all of the tricks that we know – masks and puppetry, music and silence, lights and darkness, silliness and intensity, visual poetry. The playful relationship between the performers and the audience, the ‘mucking about’ both around (and within) the story seemed an important way in – the playfulness of the performers encourages the children and adults in the audience to play along too, believing our pretend world where puppets have beating hearts and that shadows are wolves that can bite.
Ours is a very handmade aesthetic – everything in the show is made by us – masks, puppets, animations, set and music, with just a couple of exceptions – the music is all original apart from ‘Lil Red Riding Hood’ (recorded by Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs in 1966), and the Cherry Bakewell – there’s nothing home-made about that.
For more information and bookings, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
WRITER, DIRECTOR, PUPPET and MASK MAKER: Alison Duddle.
SET and PROPS DESIGNER/MAKER: Bob Frith.
MUSIC DIRECTOR: Loz Kaye.
LIGHTING: Jonny Quick, Phil Milston.
ANIMATIONS: Vanessa Card, Bob Frith with help from Phil Milston, Mark Whitaker.
CAST: Nix Wood, Alex Kanefsky