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Little Angel Theatre Presents Jabberwocky Education and Participation Resource Pack Written by Laura Halliwell and Sarah Schofield Little Angel Theatre 14 Dagmar Passage, Islington, London, N1 2DN 0207 226 1787 www.littleangeltheatre.com

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Page 1: Little Angel Theatre Presents Jabberwocky · Little Angel Theatre Presents ... It was during this time he saw a puppet ... construction, which sometimes left the audience

Little Angel Theatre Presents

Jabberwocky

Education and Participation Resource Pack Written by Laura Halliwell and Sarah Schofield

Little Angel Theatre 14 Dagmar Passage, Islington, London, N1 2DN

0207 226 1787

www.littleangeltheatre.com

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Background Information The history of the theatre and show!

Little Angel Theatre 1

The Little Angel Theatre John Wright, the founder of The Little Angel Theatre was born in South Africa in 1906. He travelled to England in 1935 and worked as an assistant stage manager for the Ballet Rambert while studying at the Central School of Art and Design. It was during this time he saw a puppet performance by Podrecca’s Piccoli and became hooked. John made his very first puppet in 1938. He returned to South Africa at the outbreak of the Second World War and continued to make and perform with puppets in his home country. When the war ended he returned to England, overland, performing with his puppets along the way. In 1961 John and his troupe found a derelict temperance hall in Islington and transformed it into a magical little theatre, specially designed for the presentation of marionette shows. It opened on Saturday 24th November 1961. This was to be the first purpose built puppet theatre the country had seen for many years and the only one with a permanent long string marionette bridge constructed backstage. The bridge was designed for puppeteers to stand on while they manipulate long stringed puppets who perform on the stage below leaving the audience unable to see the puppeteers. The original bridge is used to this day. The theatre has a traditional ‘proscenium arch’ and seats 100 audience members. Over the next 30 years, the Little Angel team created and performed over 30 full-scale shows, with John and his wife Lyndie designing, making, performing and directing as they established Little Angel as ‘The Home of British Puppetry.’ Little Angel shows were taken to 23 International Festivals, representing Britain. John Wright died in 1991 but the work of the theatre continued apace with family, friends and supporters working tirelessly to continue in his footsteps to make sure John’s legacy would delight generations to come.

The Jabberwocky show Jabberwocky was first produced by Little Angel Theatre in 2004, and was directed by the then artistic director of the theatre, Steve Tiplady. The puppets were designed and made by Peter O’Rourke. When the decision was made to reprise the show it was also decided that some changes were necessary and the majority of the original team got together to play around with some alternative ideas of how to present this old show in a new way.

The original cast from 2004 along with the first

incarnation of the Jabberwocky. Something that had puzzled our previous audiences had been the character of Jabberwocky itself. Contrary to common belief the stripy faced character on the front of this pack is not the Jabberwocky, but the Bandersnatch! The Jabberwocky in the 2004 production was represented by a giant shiny geometric construction, which sometimes left the audience bemused, so this and some of the other characters have been redesigned and remade for this new version.

John Wright Theatre founder

The interior of Little Angel Theatre auditorium before it

was re-built in 1961

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Literacy Links – Author Study

Little Angel Theatre 2

Lewis Carroll Lewis Carroll (born Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) was an English author, mathematician and photographer, most famous for writing ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ and its sequel ‘Through the Looking-Glass’ (where the Jabberwocky poem comes from) under the pen name Lewis Carroll.

He was born on 27 January 1832 in Cheshire and was the

third child and oldest boy of eleven children. His father

Charles Dodgson was a clergyman. In 1843, their family

moved to North Yorkshire and young Charles was

educated at home until the age of twelve, when he was

sent to ‘Richmond’ a private school nearby. In 1846, he moved to Rugby School where he excelled in mathematics. He also loved to read, especially William Shakespeare and Charles Dickens. He began writing short stories for his family magazine at a very young age. In 1850 he was admitted to study mathematics at Oxford University. He graduated in 1854, and in 1855 he became mathematical lecturer at the college.

In 1856, his first work, a poem- ‘Solitude’ was published

which became his first landmark success and began his

career as a writer.

On 4 July 1862 Carroll took a boat trip ‘up the River to Godstow’ accompanied by the three eldest daughters of the Headteacher (Dean) of Christ Church, Lorina, Alice and Edith. During the trip he told stories to the girls and the first version of Alice’s Adventures under Ground was born. Alice urged Carroll to write out the story for her. That evening and on a train journey the next day, he started to make a plan of the story. He then started writing out the story on 13 November 1862, completing it on 10 February 1863.

Over time he expanded the book into the full version of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. In November 1864 he presented the first volume of Alice’s Adventures Under Ground, complete with his own illustrations, to Alice Liddell, the Dean’s daughter who inspired it all. In 1872 a sequel of the book was published as ‘Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There’. Lewis Carroll caught pneumonia which turned out to be severe influenza, and died on 14 January 1898. His body is buried in Guildford at the Mount Cemetery.

Jabberwocky in Through the Looking Glass

The book tells of Alice's adventures within the back-to-front world of a looking glass. In an early scene Alice finds a book written in a seemingly unintelligible language.

Realising that she is travelling through a backwards world, she recognises that the verse on the pages are written in mirror-writing. She holds a mirror to one of the poems, and reads the reflected verse of "Jabberwocky". She finds the nonsense verse as puzzling as the odd land she has passed into, later revealed as a dreamscape.

'It seems very pretty but it's rather hard to understand!' Somehow it seems to fill my head with ideas—only I don't exactly know what they are! However, somebody killed something: that's clear, at any rate.'

Lewis Carroll (born Charles Dodgson)

Alice Liddell as

photographed by Lewis Carroll

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The Jabberwocky

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Jabberwocky

By Lewis Carroll

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves Did gyre and gimble in the wabe: All mimsy were the borogoves, And the mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!

The jaws that bite, the claws that catch! Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun

The frumious Bandersnatch!”

He took his vorpal sword in hand; Long time the manxome foe he sought—

So rested he by the Tumtum tree And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,

The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame, Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,

And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through

The vorpal blade went snicker-snack! He left it dead, and with its head

He went galumphing back.

“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock? Come to my arms, my beamish boy!

O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!” He chortled in his joy.

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves Did gyre and gimble in the wabe: All mimsy were the borogoves, And the mome raths outgrabe.

The original Illustrations in the first edition of Alice Through the Looking Glass were drawn by John Tenniel, including this picture of the Jabberwock. This was published in 1872. Originally Tenniel's illustration of the Jabberwock was going to be the title page picture, but it was moved further into the text after Carroll deemed it too frightening for his younger readers and was replaced by the image of the white knight.

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Writing Activities and Ideas

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Mirror Writing

Alice first encounters the Jabberwocky poem in Chapter 1 of Through the Looking Glass where it is written in ‘mirror writing’;

‘There was a book lying near Alice on the table…………she turned over the leaves, to find some part that she could read, ` -- for it's all in some language I don't know,' she said to herself.

YKCOWREBBAJ sevot yhtils eht dna ,gillirb sawT` ebaw eht ni elbmig dna eryg diD ,sevogorob eht erew ysmim llA .ebargtuo shtar emom eht dnA

She puzzled over this for some time, but at last a bright thought struck her. `Why, it's a Looking-glass book, of course! And if I hold it up to a glass, the words will all go the right way again."

Note, in this example only the words are backwards, in true mirror writing the letters need to be backwards too! The ability to do mirror writing is thought to be inherited, but anyone can have a go at it! Mirror writing can be used as a kind of basic code or secret language, although today, the most common modern usage of mirror writing can be found on the front of ambulances, where the word "AMBULANCE" is often written in very large mirrored text, so that drivers see the word the right way around in their rear-view mirror.

Have a go: 1) With a small mirror standing up on a plain piece of white paper, and looking only in the mirror, try to write your name on the paper so that it looks normal in the mirror (tip, do not look down at the page). 2) Draw a simple shape (e.g. a star) on a piece of white paper and stand a mirror behind it. Looking in the mirror only (and not at the paper) try to draw over the shape with a coloured marker.

Not as easy as you might think!

1) Write the story of the Jabberwocky poem.

Include your own detailed descriptions of the

landscape and environments that the Jabberwock

inhabits, as well as passages describing the

journey the boy takes to reach them and the fight

he has when he gets there.

2) Blending words - create your own nonsense

words by blending two words together – you might

create nonsense names for things, or nonsense

adverbs to describe where, how or in what

manner a verb is carried out. Or maybe you’ll just

make up nonsense words for fun – who knows –

they might end up in common usage!

Some of Lewis Carroll’s nonsense words have ended up in the dictionary - for example, Chortle and Galumph. Chortle is a combination of the words ‘chuckle’ and ‘snort’ and means ‘to laugh merrily’. Galumph is possibly a blend of 'gallop' and 'triumphant’ and means ‘to move heavily and clumsily’

If you want to see examples of more nonsense words, you will find some links in the back of this pack.

3) Write your own nonsense poem. Look at the

Jabberwocky, and some other examples of

nonsense poems, rhymes and limericks (useful

links are at the end of this pack) and have a go at

creating your own – try to make your readers

laugh or baffle and confuse them in the same way

an optical illusion would.

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The Sounds of Jabberwocky

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The Little Angel production of the Jabberwocky does not have a script and uses only the poem as text. In fact, there is very little live speech in the production. Most of the sound and text is part of a recorded soundtrack which creates a soundscape for the action. Try this: Creating a Soundscape This exercise could be done with a whole class, or perhaps with half a class at a time.

The group not creating the soundscape could be the ‘audience’ listening carefully for what is effective and what is not working, and feeding back to the ‘performers’. Have the ‘audience’ close their eyes and really focus on what they are hearing - or turn their backs to those making the sounds. You could also try having the group making the sounds lie on the floor with their eyes closed. – this can help people feel relaxed and comfortable with making unusual sounds, as well as helping them to focus only on sound and not what they can see etc.

The group can use their voices, bodies and other materials to create a sound collage. This exercise is

especially good for creating environments (e.g. a rainforest, a factory) and also atmosphere (e.g.

mood/weather conditions).

Choose a setting, such as a rainstorm. You could start by asking the group to slowly rub their hands together

to create the sound of wind, then tap their fingers on the palm of their hand or the floor for light rain, slowly

becoming heavy rain and thunder and so on.

Experiment with different volumes and having different sections of the group making different sounds to build

up ‘layers’ of sound.

You can also try using materials to create sounds – e.g. rustling plastic bags, chains, gravel, dripping water,

tearing paper, jangling coins etc. Depending on the setting, some electronic sounds could also be added,

although you could also try creating these with human voices.

Adding actual words can create a very different feel but might work well depending on the environment you

are trying to create. Experiment with the use of words repeated in whispers, shouted, or even in monotone.

You could also try speaking words in another language.

Other settings to try:

A beach

A factory

A market place

A jungle

A haunted/spooky castle

A busy street

A magical forest

You could record your soundscape to use in a performance, or it could be performed live.

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Interview with Peter O’Rourke, puppet designer and maker part 1

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Peter is a freelance director, designer and puppet maker. He has designed and made many shows for Little Angel Theatre including set and puppets for Fantastic Mr Fox and The Mouse Queen, and set for Macbeth. His director/designer credits for LAT include The Giraffe the Pelly and Me, and Alice in Wonderland. Here, he tells us a bit about his approach and the design process for the Jabberwocky……. Q: How did you start to design the puppets and set for the Jabberwocky? Peter: We had a development week where we played with ideas for the narrative and began to think about the visual world - thinking about how to create a forest on stage very simply, for example – I began thinking about abstract shapes and modernist art – I thought of the forest as a bar code, with thin lines and wider lines representing the tree trunks, and then the canopy of the forest as a series of geometric shapes with holes in. This also led to thinking about the possibilities for the puppets and the styles of puppet we would use, and tying these in with the same visual references. Q: What reference materials and inspiration did you use to help you design the puppets and set? Peter: I was very influenced by looking at movements such as Bauhaus. László Moholy-Nagy, who was the instructor of the foundation course at the Bauhaus, invented the ‘light space modulator’ (a weird machine which created pools of light and shadow) which was a big influence. I also looked at Abstract art and sculpture – so I was looking at the work of people like Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore and Naum Gabo.

Geometric shapes and structures are a major part of the design.

Q: What were the reasons for choosing these types of puppet (i.e Marrionettes, Bunraku) Peter: In the development period we decided we wanted to use the whole depth of the Little Angel Theatre stage, so we wanted to use the bridge and Marionettes and we also had to think about practicalities and different moments we wanted to create. We decided on the puppets styles really early on – in the development week. Q: The Jabberwocky is one of the world’s most famous nonsense poems and the Jabberwock itself an iconic imaginary creature – how easy or difficult was it to settle upon a design for the characters and set, given that you could do almost anything? Peter: It was actually really fun – it was great to have a chance to have a go at creating nonsense figures - there’s a big tradition of this. I started with my ideas and influences and then I worked to find a logic for the design of the puppets and set.

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Interview with Peter O’Rourke, puppet designer and maker part 2

Little Angel Theatre

7

Q: Do you have a particular process when it comes to designing a show – how do you start? Peter: I start by looking for inspiration I suppose, and when I find something that inspires me everything sort of becomes relevant – it’s quite an organic process – there’s quite a bit of experimenting and ideas intermingling. There’s also a practical side –I look for something – an idea and a way of working that will get me through the workload – I might be working to a tight deadline and might not have time to carve lots of puppets. When I designed Fantastic Mr Fox I just started by folding paper for example!

Q: How closely do you have to work with the director of shows you are designing? Peter: After the development week, if we are happy with the direction we are going in, we don’t have too many meetings. It then becomes about me creating the building blocks (the puppets and the set) for the director and puppeteers to put together the show, and building as much potential into those things as possible. Q: How did you get into being a puppet maker and what is your favourite part of the job? Peter: I went to Art College. I decided to do a puppet project on my Fine Art course which didn’t go down that well with the tutors! I think my favourite part of the process is when I start a new design – getting the ideas, I like thinking it through, evolving it.

I might sketch and draw out ideas for the puppets but not make maquettes of them, but I do usually make a model box of the set and play around with provisional shapes and sizes of things in there to make sure that things are working well in the physical space - making sure things are right for the puppets and puppeteers.

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Little Angel Theatre 8

Designing imaginary characters Peter O’Rourke’s designs and the Little Angel Production of Jabberwocky is only one interpretation of the characters and the world of Carrol’s famous poem. In fact some of the character designs have changed completely since the 2004 production – we asked Peter about which characters had changed and why; Q: Which puppets have changed in design since the first production of Jabberwocky and why? Some of the puppets have changed in design since the first incarnation of the show 10 years ago, and that was really about making the puppets have a common language, making things more colourful and making some of the puppets work a bit better. The Mome raths have become more sculptural and that hopefully gives them more character. The Jubjubb Bird was a bit heavy and cumbersome last time, so we’ve changed it - it’s almost like a piece of origami – it can become different things, so there are more games to be had with it – it’s more fun for the puppeteers. Mome raths in the 2004 production

Mome raths 2014

What do you think a Mome rath might look like? What do you think Carrol meant when he said they ‘outgrabe?’ Design your own Mome rathj creatre. Draw a picture, and why not make a puppet too?

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Little Angel Theatre 9

Make a Mome rath Marionette

The Mome raths in our production are short string marionettes. Using the basic idea of a head and a fabric body as the outline for your own Mome rath, design and make your own version of this creature. You can make this puppet with either a cardboard head, or a head made from a polystyrene ball – instructions are given for both methods. To make one puppet you will need the following materials and equipment: • The templates provided (Cardboard head) • A Polystyrene ball (Polystyrene ball head) • One thin cardboard box (at least A4 size) • One piece of light weight scrap fabric or old clothing approximately 50cm X 100cm • Two 2 pence coins for weighting the hands • Approximately 3m of thick cotton/fishing line/string • Masking tape • 3 x small cable ties (optional) • 1x plastic/wire coat hanger • Pencil • Scissors • Ruler Equipment Hot Glue gun & sticks Scissors Extra long needle or Skewer Stapler (optional) Copydex glue To decorate your puppet you might like to use wool for hair, paint or coloured tissue paper for the face and hands, glitter, sequins, feathers, trimmings or anything you can find!

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Assembling the puppet Cardboard head:

1. Cut out the paper template for the head and draw around it on to a piece of card 2. Use a ruler and pencil to copy the markings drawn on the square template on to the cardboard square 3. Cut out the square 4. Use a sharp pencil, scissors or a compass to pierce holes, as marked on the templates. 5. Score along the broken lines with scissors and a ruler and fold them inwards 6. Cut out and discard triangle B 7. Place triangle A over triangle C 8. Use masking tape on both sides to neatly fix the card in place, forming a 3 sided cube shape (the puppets

head) 9. Bring the parallel edges together to make a mask shape. 10. Draw around the hand template twice onto another piece of card and cut both hands out. 11. Stick one coin to the back of each hand with masking tape 12. Decorate the head and hands before you attach them all together

Polystyrene head

1. To start with, you need to make a hole all the way through the ball using a skewer (or extra long needle) If using a skewer, you can leave it through the head to keep the hole from getting covered while decorating. When you have done this, you can use tissue paper/newspaper and masking tape to build up and change the shape of the ball.

2. Next, carefully cover the head with tissue paper (If you have removed the skewer, ensure that when you cover over the holes, you poke through the tissue so you can find them again). When the head is covered, thread a long length of thread through the hole so that it looks like you have a huge bead on a string. You can tape the string tightly to the skewer and use that to pull string through the hole. Bring the two ends of the thread together and use a little masking tape to keep them together whilst you add details to the face.

Attaching everything together

1. Take your piece of fabric and fold it in half so that it is doubled and roughly square shaped, use a pair of scissors to snip two tiny holes approximately 2cm apart in the centre of the folded edge and one hole about2cm in from either of the outside edges

2. Use a cable tie or string to attach the head to the centre of the fabric and one hand to each of the outside edges (thumbs should be facing upwards)

Stringing the puppet It is best to work in pairs when stringing a marionette, the person who will be performing with the puppet must hold the control (coat hanger) at a height that is comfortable for them, the length of the string will depend on the height

of the puppeteer & if you want the puppet to reach a ‘stage’ or float through mid-air.

1. Tie even lengths of string through the holes on each side of the puppet’s head to each side of the coat

hanger.

2. Join the hands together using one long piece of string, tie one end of the string to each hand making sure the hands are at the desired height on the puppet's body. This piece of string should run over the hook of the coat hanger (see diagram on previous page).

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Hand Template

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Head Template

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Useful Resources and Links www.littleangeltheatre.com More information about the history of the theatre and future puppet shows and workshops, including our school menu Visual stories for children on the autistic spectrum Visit our ‘access needs’ page on the website to find a general Little Angel Theatre visual story to prepare children for a visit to the theatre. This is also a useful resource for very young children who may not have visited a theatre before as it explains what happens when you visit a theatre and what you might see there. There is a visual story for the show, which is a useful resource to prepare children on the spectrum as well as a reminder about the content of the show, or as a tool to prepare planning around the show in advance of your visit. Book a Table Top Puppet Workshop! Want to make puppets with your class but don’t have the confidence or time to plan, resource and deliver it yourself? We can come to your school and make puppets with your class. By the end of the day each child will have a finished puppet and we bring all the materials. All stories and themes considered! £350+VAT per class (in London). Contact [email protected] for more information. http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=little+angel+theatre&sm=3 Visit You Tube to watch trailers, clips and behind the scenes films of our shows past and present and see the puppets in action! http://www.bbc.co.uk/learningzone/clips/putting-on-a-puppet-show-pt-1-2/9654.html Two short films featuring Little Angel Theatre about the process of putting on one of our shows. www.facebook.com Make friends with Little Angel Theatre to keep up to date with the latest news https://twitter.com/LittleATheatre Follow us on Twitter! Little Angel Theatre Puppetry Scheme of Work Including detailed lesson plans and templates for delivering puppetry in the primary classroom with links to literacy £7 Contact: [email protected] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-e16bYZaljM Trailer for our production of ‘Alice in Wonderland’.

Angel Theatre

Little Angel Theatre

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Lewis Carroll & The Jabberwocky

http://lewiscarrollsociety.org.uk/ - A site all about Lewis Carroll

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jabberwocky - Wikipedia page on the Jabberwocky

with some other useful links

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-iYArJau8ag – A link to a reading of The

Jabberwocky poem performed by acclaimed spoken word artist Pete the Temp

for Little Angel Theatre

Nonsense Verse

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nonsense_verse All about Nonsense Verse

http://thinks.com/words/nonsense.htm - A selection of Nonsense poems

http://funny-poems.edigg.com/Nonsense/ - more nonsense poems

Nonsense Words

http://users.tinyonline.co.uk/gswithenbank/portmant.htm - A large list of

‘Portmanteau’ – or ‘blended’ words and their origins

http://kidsactivities.about.com/od/CreativePlay/a/Portmanteau-Words-Games-

For-Kids.htm Activities and games relating to portmanteau words

https://www.wordnik.com/lists/words-made-up-by-dr-seuss A list of nonsense

words found in Dr Seuss books

Imaginary creatures and beasts

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0077xv0 selection of short video clips

relating to imaginary beasts - includes a reading of the jabberwocky

http://www.theguardian.com/childrens-books-site/2013/feb/16/cressida-cowell-

top-10-mythical-creatures - an article describing a range of imaginary creatures

http://www.gruffalo.com/world-of/the-story/ - how the idea for the one of the most

famous modern imaginary creatures - The Gruffalo - came about

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flanimals - information about ‘Flanimals’ a series of

imaginary creatures created by Ricky Gervais

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dr._Seuss a link to the Wikipedia page for Dr Seuss

who has created a great many imaginary creatures including the Lorax and the

Grinch

Artists and Ideas that inspired Peter O’Rourke’s design of Jabberwocky http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naum_Gabo Information about Naum Gabo http://www.henry-moore.org/ Information about Henry Moore http://barbarahepworth.org.uk/sculptures/1970/the-family-of-man/ Information about Barbara Hepworth http://bauhaus-online.de/en/atlas/werke/light-space-modulator Information about Bauhaus and the Light Space Modulator http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L%C3%A1szl%C3%B3_Moholy-Nagy Information about László Moholy-Nagy Little Angel Theatre Puppetry Scheme of Work Detailed lesson plans and templates for delivering puppetry in the primary classroom with links to literacy £7

Little Angel Theatre