Running Wild – Grand Theatre

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Who are the real stars of this fantastic show?  Young Lilly has oodles of lines to learn and performs brilliantly.  Her mum, dad, gran and whole cast put on an amazing show.  Life-size puppets are magnificent.  Puppeteers, who bring to life Oona the elephant, a roaring tiger, snapping crocodile, and rowdy gang of orangutangs are, for me, the stars of the show.  The puppeteers are awesome.  It takes 4 to operate Oona.  Her ears flap and her trunk moves like that of a real elephant;  she snorts and trumpets (from both ends!);  her tiny eyes sparkle. The croc lurks in the swamp and snaps at Lilly’s ankles; the tiger slinks across the stage, stalking Oona; a family of orangutangs, inquisitive, playful, hang from trees, scamper across the stage, and make authentic orangutang noises.  The sound, lighting, props all add up to Running Wild being a visual feast with twists and turns, hilarious bits, scary bits, nasty bits, and an underlying ecological message.  Maybe a bit deep and dark for under-8s?

It was a remarkable performance. I was glad to have had plenty of space around me so I could snivel into my tissues without anyone noticing.  On leaving, I did notice the lady behind me had red eyes!

As with all theatre performances, taking photos isn’t allowed.  But I managed a pic before the show began – to set the scene for what was to follow.

Grand Theatre Blackpool

The stage is set

 

Look a little closer

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I often glance and glimpse at things
without taking much notice
Preoccupied with stuff
and nonsense
tumbling around in my head

Window notices

Just passing

I look closer
The notices in the window tell a story
I’m amused

The stained glass window
in Central Library Blackpool
invites me to take a pic

 

Central Library Blackpool

Central Library Blackpool – stained glass window

 

I look closer
A seagull comes to life in the stained glass
How lovely

Seagull

Seagull

March of the Mouldies

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March of the Mouldies

Plastic Army

Once neatly packaged in twos and threes with a bucket and spade in a string bag, the Mouldies were free. 

Their lives had been diverse.  Loved one minute, rejected the next, chewed by the dog, washed away with the tide, returned to another place. 

Bea Pool, an obsessive collector of beach treasures, rescued Mouldies. She had a knack of spotting colourful shapes hiding under clumps of seaweed, or half-buried in soft, silvery sand.  Her ever-growing assortment lived in a bucket in the garden shed.  Bea would do something with them one day.  Maybe make a mobile, hang them in the lilac tree, glitter-spray them as Christmas tree decorations. 

Today, there was an inkling of spring in the air.  Daffodils and tulips bobbed their heads in the breeze.  Excited blue tits were ecstatic to find the nest box on the garden wall still available.  Bees buzzed in glee at the weak warmth of the first sunny day in ages. 

Pottering in the garden shed Bea looked down at the bucketful of Mouldies.  She felt sorry for them, and had an urge to return them to the beach.  Once liberated, they might have a new life.  Little people playing in the sand, with their families close by, might adopt the Mouldies to make intricate sand patterns (even though Mouldies were pretty useless at moulding sand, according to Bea’s disappointing efforts).  

It was worth the gamble.  Bea pedalled down to the beach with the Mouldies shuffling around in her rucksack.  She released them. 

The Mouldies were overjoyed.  They had the freedom of the beach.  In the distance the King and Queen of Spades and their courtiers were waiting to welcome them. 

 

King & Queen of Spades

King & Queen of Spades & Courtiers

The March of the Mouldies set forth.  The happy gathering posed for Bea.  

Mouldies get together

Mouldies together

Bea took pics of her plastic friends so she’d remember.  The time had come to leave them to their fate.  But she couldn’t.  She scooped them up, shoved them into her rucksack and took them back to the garden shed.

Back in the bucket, that’s where they’d stay … … … until the next instalment.