Puppet Tree Community Arts
"The children had a WONDERFUL time - your enthusiasm and humour are infectious, Ian."
"Thank you for making us laugh til we cried - a real tonic!"
"Very impressed by the way you cope with difficult students."
"A thoroughly energised workshop..."
"You are wonderful with the children..."
"Made an ordinary day very special"
"Your encouragement and positive attitude saw the whole thing through."
"The drama was excellent and really captured the group's imagination - we were still talking about it the next day!"
Ian is an experienced community arts worker -
A graduate of Dartington College of Arts where he studied Theatre, Ian worked in Community Theatre in Liverpool before leading Northumberland Community Arts. He came to the Midlands to run Community Development in West Worcester, ending up as the assistant Community Development Manager for Worcester City Council before setting up and establishing Sure Start in the city.
Ian holds current Enhanced CRB checks through both Worcestershire County Council AND Worcester Volunteer Bureau and can provide written references if required.
Ian is a member of Equity and holds £10m Public Liability Insurance.
Ian is an associate artist with Worcestershire Resource Exchange & uses recycled materials from them and elsewhere to create costumes, puppets, giant structures, environments, musical instruments, masks – anything that suits the needs of the groups he works with; scrap material offers so much variety!
A skilled musician and Advanced Skills music teacher, Ally is famed throughout the county for her dynamic presentation, enthusiasm and ability to lose things! She is much in demand in the primary sector for her abilities in leading whole school singing sessions; class music in folk, classical or pop genres; project work; after-school music groups and special needs music education.
Theatre of ShadowsTheatre of Shadows
'twas the night before Christmas'twas the night before Christmas
the children were nestled all snug in their bedsthe children were nestled all snug in their beds
while visions of sugar plums danced in their headswhile visions of sugar plums danced in their heads
Mama in her 'kerchiefMama in her 'kerchief
and I in my capand I in my cap
had just settled downhad just settled down
for a long winters napfor a long winters nap
when out on the lawn there arose such a clatterwhen out on the lawn there arose such a clatter
I jumped from my bed to see what was the matterI jumped from my bed to see what was the matter
away to the window away to the window
I went with a dashI went with a dash
tore open the shutters tore open the shutters
and threw up the sashand threw up the sash
the moon on the breast of the new fallen snowthe moon on the breast of the new fallen snow
gavea lustre of noonday to objects belowgavea lustre of noonday to objects below
when what to my wondering eyes should appearwhen what to my wondering eyes should appear
but a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeerbut a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer
with a little old driver so lively and quick I knew in an instant it must be St Nickwith a little old driver so lively and quick I knew in an instant it must be St Nick
now Dasher! now Dancer, now Prancer & Vixen!now Dasher! now Dancer, now Prancer & Vixen!
on Cupid and Comet, on Donner and Blitzen!on Cupid and Comet, on Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch, to the top of the wallTo the top of the porch, to the top of the wall
now dash away, dash away, dash away all!now dash away, dash away, dash away all!
And then in an instant I heard on the roofAnd then in an instant I heard on the roof
the prancing and pawing of each tiy hoof!the prancing and pawing of each tiy hoof!
Recent Projects include:
Wildgoose Storytelling Festival
Ian helped to coordinate this vibrant event for the second year running. Top storytellers from around the country entertained and enthralled the crowds. The first year was captured on a DVD produced by Wildgoose students with the help of Tom & Una from Flying Machine Media
Fiona Eadie spinning a yarn
- Puppet Tree is delighted to be working with the Close Connections project at Hereford Cathedral to develop a series of OneDayToDoIt workshops. Each workshop will take a different period in the history of the Cathedral Close and bring it to life through story, costume, music, dance and multi-media and ending up with a public performance.
BREAKING NEWS - Live from the battle field.
OneDayToDoIt! were at Hay on Wye running a Civil War Siege workshop as part of the Hay Festival.
- Mayhem in the Middle Ages: pilgrims, plague & royal rage
- Civil War Siege: royalists rumble with roundheads
- Three Choirs & the TumbledownTower: concerts and collapses
- Victorian Empire – building, business & bombast
- When I were a lad: world wars, women’s lib and Wembley
James Atkinson of JDA Media is part of the team, helping participants to use DVD recording & editing on the day, pre-recorded projections, animation and scenery. Visit our website www.onedaytodoit.com where participants can start gathering inspiration and ideas for the workshops. One participant wrote afterwards, "It wasn't how I expected it to be; it was better! I really enjoyed the day!"
The FREE workshops havebeen runningin venues all over the diocese of Hereford.
The Ariconium Mystery Play –Come on in, the water’s fine!
The Ariconium Mystery Play was performed at The Alma Tavern, Linton. Changeable weather allowed Friday to go with a real swing but the Saturday crowds had to be brave in the face of a real downpour - such are the challenges of outdoor shows! Audiences were enthusiastic, praising the quality of the music and musicians, ably led by John Frith; the scenery and props; the fantastic acting and singing by a large cast; and above all the wit and energy of the script, created by a team of local people. Children from both local schools took part following five weeks of workshops led by John and Ian.
The audience gathersThe audience gathers
Expectant cast prepareExpectant cast prepare
In full swingIn full swing
Gabriel & LuciferGabriel & Lucifer
The ChoirThe Choir
Conducting with gustoConducting with gusto
Exotic conga!Exotic conga!
Salome's danceSalome's dance
This is my SonThis is my Son
The ScapegoatThe Scapegoat
Examples of past projects
The Adventures of Hatty and Sonny
Charford Children's Centre in Bromsgrove wanted something to interest and engage young parents. Following up on a fun but soggy trip to Hatton World at Easter, Ian worked with the group to write, illustrate and publish a book. The Adventures of Hatty and Sonny is full of photos of the day and images created by parents and childre. The story, devised by parents, incorporates letter and number recognition with a truly entertaining narrative. Copies can be puchased or downloaded through online Print-on-demand specialists Lulu.com
More story creating action went on at Oldbury Park Primary in Worcester. Two Year 1 classes enjoyed learning how traditional stories are constructed and used the basic rules to create their own 'Once Upon a Time' books. Children choose from 'Add on', 'Magical Beings' and 'Enchantment' story types and their imaginations went wild!
Building on his years of experience in Community Development work, Ian collaborated with Gairnswood Ltd to carry out a very successful Community Engagement exercise for the Tewkesbury Healthy Town Partnership. A final report and video captured the results of workshops and open days in schools, community venues, youth groups, stay & play groups and the street! Using Giant Maps, games and group work activity Ian his collegues enabled over 300 local people to comment on and significantly influence the direction of thinking regarding use of nearly £2million of government funding, aimed at improving health in the town.
Tewkesbury Healthy Town consultation
Extract (no sound) from a dvd made as part of a community engagement project on behalf of Tewkesbury Healthy Town Partnership and carried out by Gairnswood Ltd. Shows Ian Craigan working with primary ...
December is Lantern Pageant time in Ronkswood, Worcester and groups all over the estate get busy making giant lanterns & puppets. The 2009 event centred round St Matthews Church at the heart of the estate and told the story of Ronk and his adventures. Students from Perrywood Primary and Nunnery wood High School used shadow play, masks, music and drama to bring the tale to life and it ended with giant lantern 'seeds'taking a message of hopefrom Ronkswood to the whole world!
In 2008 Little Light, star of the 2007 pageant was back and this time he'd lost the Treasures of Heaven - luckily he got them back in time!
Perrywood Primary's Rainbow of HOPE
The Pageant for St Wulfstan's 1000th birthday. Commissioned by Worcester Cathedral (Wulfstan founded the Norman cathedral), Ian wrote and produced a seven part street theatre show which was performed by students from Bishop Perowne CofE College & Blessed Edward Oldcorne RC College; after just one day of rehearsals! Visit the Cathedral site for more details of Wulfstan's incredible life and works.
St Wulfstan Street Pageant
Street Theatre depicting scenes from the life of St Wulftan to mark 1000 years of Worcester Cathedral performed by students from Bishop Perowne CofE and Blessed Edward Oldcorne RC high Schools, devise...
Wulfstan brings peace to warring neighbours
A Mystery Cycle for rural Herefordshire
The first Mystery Play, "The Creation & The Fall of Adam and Eve", was performed at the end of October 2008. It was written, performed and promoted by members of the Archenfield Group of Ministries with music by local people and local composer John Frith. A DVD is available and also producing a short 'Making of...' film to give others a flavour of the process.
God busy creating with a dustpan and brush!
Have you got an idea for a community event or in-house project that requires drive, patience and creativity to bring to fruition?
Please get in touch.