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Build a Puppet campaign to raise funds for Little Angel Christmas show

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Islington-based Little Angel Theatre has launched a campaign to raise cash for its Christmas show, after it was turned down for Arts Council England grant funding for the first time in five years.

The company – one of the UK’s few remaining dedicated puppet theatres – needs to raise the remaining £10,000 of a £35,000 gap that was left in its funding after ACE declined to supply cash for its production of Roald Dahl’s The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me, which runs from November 22.

According to general manager Lynette Shanbury, Little Angel’s Christmas productions require subsidy because they are brand new and the company has to make the puppets – 15 in the case of the forthcoming show – from scratch.

She said: “The nature of our organisation is we’re not revenue funded, so it’s very important that we can apply for project funding. We’ve been successful with that before, but this year we’ve not been able to achieve that – we’ve been turned down. So we’ve got to raise money in other ways. Obviously we need to make cost savings across the organisation to help make it happen as well, but we felt that we had a very strong Christmas show and it should go ahead.

“It’s very important to us that we should have at least one brand new show a year, rather than having to resort to doing revivals.

“It’s pretty expensive making a new puppet production. The nature of puppets is that while you might change costumes on an actor, you can’t do that on a puppet, you have to create a whole new puppet – so one character might have three different versions.”

The company has launched a Build a Puppet Campaign in which members of the public can sponsor marionettes, giving anywhere from £50 to more than £2,500 in return for a range of benefits, including a chance to train with Little Angel’s puppeteers.

For more information see the Little Angel Website: www.littleangeltheatre.com

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