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Cultural Diversity

Water, Moon and Sun shadow puppets at the 2005 Plymouth Respect Festival

Armchair Puppet Theatre’s main cultural diversity work is based on shadow puppetry, an ancient form of storytelling for many different cultures. We are regularly employed by schools, as part of their cultural studies, to adapt our shadow puppet performance workshops for stories from around the world. (see shadow puppets)

Our annual shadow puppet performance workshop at Plymouth’s Respect Festival uses stories that reflect the diverse cultures of the city. In October 2003 we adapted a story about "Amma's Creations" for this festival and in November we used this same performance workshop at two schools during One World Week and the Portsmouth and South East Hampshire Multi Cultural Group. We now have a range of stories that we have adapted for shadow puppetry.

We have adapted a wide range of stories from around the world for our shadow puppet performance workshops, as we work with a different story at the Respect Festival each year to celebrate the many cultures represented in Plymouth city. We are looking forward to this year's tenth anniversary where we will be adding another story to our Respect repertoire - "The Lizard in the Fire", "Handa's Surprise", "The Love Flute", "The Four Corners of the World", "Amma's Creations", "The Fire Children", the Nigerian story of "Water, Moon and Sun" (see above) and the South American story of "How Night Came" (see News Page).

We often collaborate with Tony Gee ’s "Far and Wide" puppet company to retell Creation Myths from different cultures with large groups of school children and their puppets. (see Creation Myths/World Record News)

Our Printmaking Workshops will enrich cultural diversity projects, by helping participants to bring alive stories and themes from around the world, through the process of producing colourful original prints and storyboards. (see Fine Art Printmaking)

The Lizard in the Fire shadow puppets

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Viv Naylor
Whitegate C.E. Primary School, Cheshire.

We derive much pleasure and inspiration from our regular attendance at the World Of Music And Dance (WOMAD) Festival in Reading and were inspired by the collaborative Australian/ Indonesian “Theft of Sita” shadow puppet performance at Warwick University.