We are delighted to be working in collaboration with Tunbridge Wells Puppetry Festival, Age UK Tunbridge Wells and St Barnabas Primary School to sail A Sea of Stories! Taking the theme of the sea as their starting point, the children of Maple Class and the Tuesday guests of Age UK will invent stories, sing shanties and create puppets, culminating in performances at the end of the project. Rust & Stardust are leading the weekly activities at the Age UK Centre.
We aim to deliver an inter-generational art and performance project offering further development of skills in literacy, communication, arts and crafts and independent learning to children, and the opportunity for conversation and craft for adults living with dementia. We are generously supported by Tunbridge Wells Puppetry Festival, Age UK and Dementia Friends.
Read about our experiences in the first two weeks below!
We went into St Barnabas Primary School to meet Maple Class and Mr McRae. We brought along some of our favourite puppets, including Matilda Merpig, Cecil the Sea Dragon and the demon Ludovico from Dr Dee’s Daughter. The children enjoyed meeting the puppets and were very excited to begin designing and making their own!
Later, we were lucky enough to attend a Dementia Friends Information Session, which was invaluable in understanding dementia and promoting action in the community. For more information about becoming a Dementia Friend, click here.
Here are the puppets proudly wearing their forget-me-not badges!
Our first week of the project was a session with the whole of Maple class and the guests of Age UK. Later, the children will be divided into smaller groups to work together on their stories.
We started the session by singing some sea shanties and performing The Tale of Piggy Pirate, then introduced the project to everybody, explaining the style of puppets they will be making and talking about our use of recycled materials to create our work.
The children took time to design their own fish, sharks and mer-people, using their favourite colours. They thought about hair and skin colour, fins and tails, and the sorts of characters they might like to create.
Afterwards, we really enjoyed watching the children show their designs to the guests of Age UK and interacting with them.
We're looking forward to going back to Age UK next week to start the first puppet making session!