On the other side of Upper Street from the King’s Head Theatre, tucked away behind St Mary’s Church, is a little enclave of Islington that time forgot. It is here that you will find the Little Angel Theatre.
Unlike all of our previous Fringe Benefits venues — and future ones too — the Little Angel Theatre specialises solely in the wonderful art of puppetry, and has done so since 1961, when John and Lyndie Wright, along with a handful of other enthusiastic puppeteers, took over a derelict hall and turned it in to a puppet theatre.
Only one of three building-based puppet theatres in England, the Little Angel has a 100 seater theatre and adjoining workshop and has been delighting audiences with high quality family orientated puppet theatre for 50 years. They also take touring productions all over the world and work closely with schools, youth and community groups in Islington and surrounding boroughs through their education programmes.
John Wright died in 1991, and although Peter Glanville took over the artistic directorship in 2006, it’s still very much a family run affair. John and Lyndie’s son Joe Wright, who grew up immersed in the magical world of puppetry is now most widely known as a director of film and television; his adaptation of Ian McEwan’s Atonement brought him quite a bit of recognition.
The Christmas holidays are almost upon us and particularly if you have young children, you might like to pop down to the Little Angel Theatre and see what they have to offer. The current shows, which both run until 29 January 2012 are A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings (age 6yrs and over, which we saw and highly recommend) and a 35 minute table-top puppetry take on the classic story of Goldilocks (ages 2-5).
By Jonnie Fielding
Find out more at the Little Angel Theatre website.
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