Illustration by Shaun Lati
The newsletter for Friends and Supporters July 2018
A MESSAGE FROM RUTH O’MALLEY: I joined Little Angel Theatre last September, and continue to be amazed by the quality and variety of work we produce. It is a privilege to work for such a vibrant organisation that has so much to offer every day, on stage and in our community. It has been particularly special to witness our wonderful puppetry trainees develop their confidence and skills over the course of the year. Little Angel By the Sea will mark the trainee’s last performance run, before embarking on their respective new adventures – fully equipped with a strong grounding in puppetry performance and making, and well as education facilitation skills. Many of our audience members have been coming to Little Angel Theatre for a number of years, as children, as parents and as grandparents. It is a pleasure to work somewhere, so special to so many. I am always delighted to hear new (and old) stories of the theatre. It is thanks to all our wonderful supporters like yourself that Little Angel Theatre is able to continue producing and sharing wonderful stories onstage and in people’s memories. We really couldn’t do it without you – so thank you for all your enthusiasm and support.
VOLUNTEER PROFILE: SARAH LIGHTMAN
Dr Sarah Lightman is an artist, curator and author and her graphic novel The Book of Sarah (Myriad Editions) is forthcoming in 2019. I have always loved bringing my son, Harry, to Little Angel Theatre. It’s a really wonderful space, and we have great fun together in the audience. Little Angel Theatre is also a very understanding theatre, and makes allowances for its sometimes noisy, hungry and thirsty young audience. This helps me feel relaxed as well, for there is always someone else’s child making more noise than my own! I love the intimacy of Little Angel Theatre, which helps keep the children’s attention on the performance. I have always been blown away by the dynamic creativity present throughout every production - that sense that the handmade, and mundane, can be constantly transformed. The shows are rich with important messages, but also laughter, from Wow! Said the Owl and Dogs Don’t do Ballet, to Videk’s Shirt. The imagination and sense of possibilities in such a small space and on a limited budget always means I leave a performance feeling inspired and enthralled. I always wanted to contribute to the Little Angel Community, and how better than to ensure many children will be given the chance to visit Little Angel, who might not otherwise get to experience its magic. I am so happy that my sponsored swim will go towards making this possible. I think, in contrast to his delight as an Little Angel audience member, Harry will find it exceptionally boring to watch me swim the Serpentine, but hopefully the ducks and swans, and my post-swim snacks, will prove to be more delightful distractions. Sarah and good friend Sophie Handler will be joining Little Angel Staff members at the Swim Serpentine on September 22nd. We are raising money for our Puppets for All programme, providing free tickets to disadvantaged children and families. We’re keen to make as big a splash possible! Please consider supporting us: https:// uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Team/LittleAngelFish
PUPPETRY TRAINEE PROFILE: ESTHER POTTER
Little Angel Theatre is committed to supporting emerging talent, but specifically opening up access to a career in the arts for those who are currently missing out. In September 2017, we embarked on a yearlong Puppetry Traineeship, employing four NEET young people aged 18-24 from Islington. Over the year, the trainees have been learning puppetry performance and making skills, as well as developing education facilitation skills. Here is what one of our trainees Esther has to say about the programme: I had done no puppetry performance before this programme. Only as a kid I did some very basic glove puppet-style work, but I’d never done any proper puppetry. I have really enjoyed learning about it and getting to grips with the skills. I have learnt a lot that you would not necessarily expect to learn from a course like this, including everyday work life skills and people management. It has been really fun to be in a working theatre and to see all the different roles that make the company what it is. For our recent production of JUNK, I first of all focused on being a costume designer and made some of the set pieces. It was good to learn more about the less practical side of things – making mood boards, planning, and sourcing … trying to find the cheapest place to buy high-vis jackets! As a performer, I shared the role of Alex with the other trainees. We all gave Alex our own kind of flavour. It’s interesting seeing everyone else do it because there are things that everyone does very differently and some things that are just the same. Alex is the compete opposite of my own personality so that was really fun to play with. I have a place at Rose Bruford drama school next year, studying European Theatre Arts. The experience of this year really helped me in my audition and interview. The course gives students the chance to look at directing as well as less traditional forms such as physical theatre and puppetry, so I can keep honing these skills which is really exciting.
Little Angel Theatre is proud to have established its first ever Youth Board. We are pleased to welcome 8 enthusiastic 13-16 year olds to the Little Angel Family, all of whom are living or studying in our local community. The Youth Board aims to uncover the world of working in the arts, by providing genuine insight into the careers of the theatre. The programme involves gaining Arts Award, networking opportunities, as well as employment skills workshops covering areas such as CV writing, work experience, interpersonal and interview skills. As the year progresses we look forward to the group implementing the skills that they are most interested in through a self-devised project. Depending on the interests across the group, there may be one or multiple end products – watch this space! “I heard about the Youth Board through Spectrum Youth theatre which allows Autistic teenagers to have a great experience of theatre. I have been going to the Little Angel Theatre since I was two years old. I applied to the Youth Board for the insight that it can give as to how a theatre works and I am hoping to gain a career in theatre from my experience.” - Dexter Drew “I am hoping to gain a slight idea of what it would be like to work there full time....I hope to have the experience of working and spending time with the people I have got to know there, and how they go about organizing an event, course or show.” - Thomas Watson
ANGEL CENTRAL We are very pleased to announce Angel Central as a new sponsor. Angel Central is a strong supporter of the local Islington community and we are delighted for their support which will contribute specifically towards our outreach scheme. Angel Centre Manager Lynne Glover says: “We are thrilled
to be able to sponsor one of Islington’s most prized assets. Little Angel Theatre provide a great environment for local children to engage with the arts and we are proud to be able to support this.” session themed around Chinese New Year and a Spring COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT Time Crafternoon in May. Both PROGRAMME UPDATE have had great turn outs of Little Angel Theatre has over 80 people per day. launched a new programme of Crafternoons for families SUMMER PARTY in our most local postcodes. Pencil September 9th in your Free to attend, these Thursday diaries for our annual Summer sessions are a chance to get Party in St. Mary’s Gardens. We crafty, play games and socialise. will be celebrating the shows in Additionally, our monthly our upcoming season. As usual Crafternoons welcome there will be a puppet parade, residents from anywhere within plus puppet demonstrations, the borough. To date this has face painting, outdoor theatre, included a ‘Dad’s get Crafty’ music and plenty of cake.
CELEBRATING OUR HERITAGE
Little Angel Theatre has used puppetry to share inspiring stories since opening its doors in 1961, igniting the imaginations of the youngest minds. We wouldn’t be where we are today without the help of our longstanding supporters. This year’s Christmas production Angelo is sponsored by Jane Tyson-Eve. Jane first got involved with the theatre in 1950 after leaving school and deciding to attend John Wright’s evening classes in operating marionettes: What was Little Angel Theatre like when it was first established? The building was a temperance hall before being converted to a theatre. The temperance hall was left shattered after local bombing. I remember taking photos of the teapots, cups and broken chairs. The hole in the roof was very evident. The atmosphere was full of sadness and yet hope. Can you tell us about a favourite memory you have of performing at the theatre? My most performed performance was the ‘Little Mermaid’. We played it for several months on tour in South Africa. ‘The Fisherman and his Soul’ was my favourite alongside ‘Amal and the Night Visitors.’ It is wonderful that the production of ‘Angelo’ is being revived, it is such a special production and the puppets are so mobile and appealing. What do you think is so special about puppetry as an art form? Puppetry is both a performing and a sculptural art and can be interpreted in so many ways Imagination is so important for children, and puppetry allows children to see imagination turning into 3D reality. If you have any Little Angel Theatre stories you would like to share, please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Little Angel Theatre Fundraising Newsletter