Bishop Street Methodist Church

Art at the Chapel Explorations into Art and Spirituality

Giant Puppets in Leicester, The Full Story!!

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Please click on the following links to watch two fantastic short videos about the puppets!

Watching as some very impressive Giant Puppets wandered around the Christian Arts festival ‘Green Belt’ in the summer of 2014 started Rachel Parkinson from Birstall Methodist Church thinking….it would be fantastic if we could have puppets like this in Leicester!!!  So the journey began! Rachel asked Art at the Chapel if we would like to be involved and we jumped at the chance!

A few weeks later I found myself squeezed into Rachel’s car with a lovely group of people hurtling our way down to Liverpool for a Giant Puppet making workshop. The workshop was held by the group ‘In Another Place’ who had lots of experience in creating and using Giant Puppets and had very generously agreed to show us how we create some ourselves!

After a full day of getting very messy with papier-mache, getting to grips with the structure of the wooden frames and how to create the costumes we were exhausted but happy and filled with the enthusiasm of the ‘In Another Place’ team we felt confident we could create our own set of Giants!

Puppet poster 1

So the process began…. The next few months were a hive of activity as many different groups became involved in creating the puppets!

Puppet Poster 2

At Bishop Street we helped create two of the Wise Men, working on their heads, painting hands and creating robes and hats for them to wear. It was great to be able to work with lots of colours and textures.

The children from the Bishop Street Sunday School also got involved and made the beautiful felt and ribbon cuffs for one of the wise men’s robes.

Puppet Poster 3

Once they were made it was time for rehearsals to begin! At this point we were having a few technical difficulties with the arms so as the first dress rehearsal took place the puppets were completely armless!

Puppet Poster 4

Suddenly the day of the first performance was upon us and despite the terrible weather the puppets took to the streets of Leicester City Center adding a bright splash of colour to the grey rainy day and putting smiles on peoples faces as the saw them!

Puppet Poster 5

We had a great crowd of over 200 people who despite the rain put up hoods and brollies to watch as the Giants brought ‘In Another Place’s’ wonderful re-telling of the Nativity story to life and completely captivated their audience!

Puppet poster 6

The three other performances at the Birstall Lights Switch On, Leicester Cathedral Christingle Service and the Nativity and Carols event at Hallam Fields were all equally well attended and successful!

Puppets poster 7 Puppets poster 8

We would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who helped in the making of the puppets and to the puppeteers for all their hard work and commitment in making the Giants come to life!!

Please click on the following links to watch two fantastic short videos about the puppets!

Author: artatthechapel

Art at the Chapel is full of information on upcoming Art Exhibitions and Events at Bishop Street Methodist Church, Leicester. Art at the Chapel is for anyone interested in explorations into Art and Spirituality

One thought on “Giant Puppets in Leicester, The Full Story!!

  1. I also saw the puppets at greenbelt and have been trying to convince a team from our Church – St Paul’s Pendeford, Wolverhampton – to have a go at making and using some. Your site is a brilliant incentive to us to have a go. Many thanks and all best wishes in the work you decide to do with them. Geoff

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