Libraries to host family performances

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Hundreds of children enjoyed A Boy and a Bear in a Boat a play by Stewart Melton, based on the award-winning novel by Dave Shelton which toured Nottinghamshire County Council libraries this summer.

The Pop Up Theatre’s next production is Oddly, a puppet show based on the children’s book written by Joyce Dunbar for ages 3-8 years and their families which will tour five Nottinghamshire libraries this week.

A fun tale based on the much-loved children’s book, Norwich Puppet Theatre’s adaptation visually reimagines the story with a magical mix of puppetry, visual tricks, masks and original music. Norwich Puppet Theatre is one of only three venues dedicated to the art form in England producing new shows for children and families which play in Norwich before touring the UK and internationally.

This story is about a curious boy from the city who sets off in search of three unusual creatures. Deep in a strange and tranquil forest he discovers the Lostlet, the Strangelet and the Oddlet. Together the new friends find surprising ways to make their hopes, dreams and wishes come true.

Among the venues hosting performances are Newark Library on Friday, October 30, at 2pm, and Mansfield Central Library, on Saturday, October 31, at 11am and 2pm.

Councillor John Knight, committee chairman for culture, at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “Our Children’s Pop-Up Theatre has already proved a great success with all ages this summer. We are delighted to be able to bring the skills of Norwich Puppet Theatre into the county as part of a wider repertoire of enrichment events at our libraries which we see as cultural, information and community hubs.”

Peter Knott, area director, Arts Council England, said: “Libraries are an essential part of our communities and we want people making the most of them. It’s great to see arts funding helping to make this happen in Nottinghamshire. This latest Children’s Pop-up Theatre tour will be a fantastic opportunity for families to be inspired and entertained.”

These exciting performances have been programmed by The Spark Arts for Children on behalf of the county council. The county council announced in May that it had received £82,477 National Lottery funding through Arts Council England’s Grants for the Arts Libraries Fund to create the Children’s Pop Up Theatre Project which will host productions over the next two years.