Faeries: production shots and podcast
Stuart Angell as Gluck, Drone, Femi Oyewole as Johnny, Laura Cubitt and Avye Leventis as Anak in Faeries © Johan Persson/ROH 2011
Following acclaimed performances of Faeries in 2008, Will Tuckett’s spell-binding family show for children (aged 6+) and adults returns to the Royal Opera House this December for the festive season. Re-staged for the Linbury Studio Theatre, Faeries uses a combination of puppetry, dance and old‑fashioned storytelling to propel its audience into a world of mystery, magic, imps and fairies.
The story by writer Rebecca Lenkiewicz is set during World War II and centres on a young boy and his twilight adventures when he finds himself alone late one evening in Kensington Gardens. With a cast of sprites and fairies hovering between the London parks lakes and monuments, and the shadowy realm that beckons through the fairy ring, he discovers not only that fairies really do exist but that they are rarely how we imagine them. The story jumps from the magical and charming world of Anak, the faerie who’s lost her wings, to the shadowy, more sinister realm of Dolour, the evil faerie.
Taking the visual world of Arthur Rackham as the starting point, actors, dancers and puppets draw the audience close up to the action as choreographed puppets manipulated by dancers switch to become fairies, changing scale and perspective in an absorbing piece of live theatre.
Puppetry is by acclaimed puppet company Blind Summit Theatre whose highly original approach to puppetry has won them widespread praise. Choreographed puppets are manipulated by the cast of dancers who then switch to becomethe fairies they manipulate. This play between scale and perspective creates a highly theatrical yet intimate world as reliant on the imagination as any props and scenery.
For more details on Faeries, please head over to the ROH production page.
You might also want to take a listen to our podcast from last month, where we hear from director Will Tuckett and members of the cast – [listen]