This year we received funding from Applause Outdoors to develop and tour a new family show in rural venues and festivals across Kent and Sussex. Inspired by our love of vintage fashion, pretty birds and all things tea and cake, we created Tweethearts!
When Miss Maisie and Miss Daisie have to close the Sweethearts Tea Room, the birds who live in the eaves and feed on leftover cake decide to open for business as usual. Mayhem ensues as Wren and Sparrow battle baking, fight with flour and tinker with tea leaves – and deal with some very cross customers!
A heart-warming interactive adventure, with live music, beautiful puppets and an enchanting tea shop setting. Tweethearts is a perfect relaxed introduction for young children to the magic of theatre.
We had a great time creating everything for the show. The most important part were of course our feathery stars, Wren and Sparrow. Katie built the puppets from wood and foam, with mechanisms to make their beaks open and close and their wings flap. The birds’ heads were sculpted from Worbla, and hand-painted feathers individually stuck all over their bodies. Of course, they’re much larger than real wrens and sparrows, but they have a much greater capacity for cake!
Wren and Sparrow have become a much-loved addition to our huge family of over 50 puppets...although they were a menace with the Rust & Stardust Easter chocolate!
Sparrow's base body and mechanism
Individually hand-painted feathers
Wren and Sparrow enjoy Easter
Eleanor designed the costumes for Miss Maisie and Miss Daisie based on 1940s style tea dresses, in bright floral patterns, with little details including bluebird shaped buttons, and flowers and birds in our hairstyles.
Our favourite part of the costumes are our bright yellow dancing shoes!
Designed to be portable and easy to put up for rural outdoor touring, our set for Tweethearts still had to be bright, eye-catching and suitable for the baking chaos.
Katie transformed an old doll’s house (previously a haunted mansion) into a sweet-as-candy tea room, complete with prop cakes and baking ingredients.
We’ve had a great time over the summer taking Wren and Sparrow and the Tweethearts Tea Room all over Kent and Sussex, and there are still a few more chances to catch it before the end of the year!
We’ll be at Woking on 22 August, Pulborough Harvest Fete on 28 September, and Tunbridge Wells Puppetry Festival on 13 October.