Ever wondered what it would be like to sit on a polar bear‘s lap? Or ride on its back? Have you ever tried to give a bear a bath?
Probably not. But now you can spend some quality time with an enormous snowy white bear at Leeds Playhouse when Raymond Briggsâ€™ magical story The Bear is brought to life on the Courtyard stage.
One night when Tilly is fast asleep, a huge bearclimbs into her bedroom. It has a long black tongue and a yawn as big as her head. But, still, sheâ€™s not scared.
The Bear is a heart-warming, humorous tale from the team that brought young theatregoers theÂ hugely successful Father Christmas. Pins and Needles Productions are delighted to be sharing another of Raymond Briggs’ much-loved storybooks, including dazzling puppetry, unforgettable music, dreamy storytelling, and more laughs than there are penguins in Antarctica (i.e. a lot).
The cast of The Bear includes:Â
Abby Wain (Tilly) – All thatâ€™s solid Melts into air (Tangled Feet, National Theatre), Aliceâ€™s Adventures Underground (Les Enfants Terribles, The Vaults), A Tale of Two Cities (Red Shift Theatre Company, Hong Kong), Fried chicken (Bounce Theatre, Kingston Theatre), Alice in Wonderland (Derby Theatre)
Elena Stephenson (Mum / Puppeteer) – Wendla in Spring Awakening, Hecuba in Trojan Women. Noted portrayals include Hero in Much Ado About Nothing (Trickster Theatre) and Desdemona in Othello (Trickster Theatre), Elaine in Breathing Corpses (Sweet Venues, Edinburgh Fringe), Netflix US, in the role of Claire Morris in Nurses Who Kill and in the upcoming film Redcoat, which will be available to view on Amazon Prime.
John Winchester (Dad / Puppeteer) – Oi Frog & Friends (Kenny Wax Productions/ Pins and Needles Productions); The Scarlet Pimpernel (Pimpernel Productions); Cinderella (Imagine Theatre); A Christmas Carol and Lovers (Cumbernauld Theatre); Dick McWhittington (Perth Theatre), The Demon Headmaster (CBBC); Anna and The Apocalypse (Blazing Griffin Films); A Long Long Crime Ago (CBBC); Grandpa in my Pocket, The Ha Ha Hairies (Adastra Creative/CBeebies).
The Bear is a not-to-be-missed experience for theÂ whole family and a perfect introduction to theatre for little people with big imaginations.
So, why not bring your very best bear to Leeds Playhouse and join Tilly and her great big white friend on a wild and magical adventure?
The Bear, Courtyard, Leeds Playhouse
18 â€“ 22 Feb.Â
Box office: 0113 213 7700; leedsplayhouse.org.uk
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â€˜Move over War Horse, this polar puppet is magicâ€™
â˜… â˜… â˜… â˜… â€˜The delightful notion of a polar bear about the house is beautifully explored in this witty, inventive productionâ€™
The Review Hub
â˜… â˜… â˜… â˜… â€˜This brilliantly warm production has love and family at its core, with endless enjoyment for little ones and big ones alikeâ€™
â˜… â˜… â˜… â˜… â€˜A visual feast for all the family to enjoyâ€™
Pins and Needles Productions are an award-winning, female-led theatre company in Bristol with a unique, collaborative Director/Designer partnership between Emma Earle and Zoe Squire, who met while training at Bristol Old Vic theatre school. They produce quality theatre for Early Years, Families and Young Adults, developing adaptations and creating original works.
Since 2009, Pins and Needles have created 18 shows, toured more than 150 venues and reached more than 600,000 audience members nationally and internationally. In 2018, they won the UK Theatre Award for Best Show for Children and Young People for Little Mermaid, a co-production with the egg, Bath Theatre Royal. For more details, visit pinsandneedlesproductions.co.uk.
Leeds Playhouse opened nearly 50 years ago. It is a cultural hub, a place where people gather to tell and share stories and to engage in world class theatre. The Playhouse makes work which is pioneering and relevant, seeking out the best companies and artists to create inspirational theatre in the heart of Yorkshire. From large scale spectacles to intimate performances, the Playhousedevelops and makes work for the stage, found spaces, touring, schools and community venues. A dedicated collaborator, Leeds Playhouse works regularly with other organisations from across the UK and engages with some of the most distinctive and original voices in theatre today
Through its Artistic Development programme Furnace, it develops work with established practitioners and finds, nurtures and supports new voices. It cultivates artists by providing creative space for writers, directors, companies and individual theatre-makers to refine their practice at any stage of their career.
The Playhouseâ€™s sector-leading Creative Engagement team works with over 10,000 people aged 0 â€“ 95 every year through a range of weekly workshops and exciting creative projects using theatre to open up possibilities, reaching out to refugee communities, young people, students, older people and people with learning disabilities. At the Playhouse there is always a way to get involved.
Leeds Playhouseâ€™s Spring/Summer 2020 season is taking place back in the redeveloped theatre following a Â£15.8 million transformation. The new building offers improved access to and around the theatre, a new city-facing entrance and a new studio theatre, the Bramall Rock Void.