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Puppetry of the Poet Laureate

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I saw The Tear Thief today at North Wall Arts Centre in Summertown Oxford, and am rattling off a quick review as it’s really worth making it too if you can as it leaves Oxford after tomorrow.

Islington’s famous puppetry theatre, The Little Angel Theatre, has taken Carol Ann Duffy’s The Tear Thief children’s book and created a magical, mysterious, even at times slightly sinister play that is as mesmerising for adults as children.

I have to admit that Cassius spent the first 10 minutes whimpering quietly, because the Tear Thief (above) does look very pale and ghostly floating above houses until you get used to her, and the music, a cellist on stage (also picking up violin or harmonica at times) with a ethereal backing track is no Mr Tumble.

But we persevered and we’re both glad we did. The puppetry is clever, slick and really rather moving and the show was a manageable 45 minutes long. Cass as spoken of little else this evening and keeps saying how much he enjoyed the show. The North Wall is a lovely intimate space too – it was the first time I’d been there and I’ll definitely be returning.


If today’s show was anything to go by, it’s anything but a sell-out – I’d say it was a third full – which seems a shame for such a high quality production. So I would suspect you definitely have a chance still to take your toddler, or even better, your, er, sick 5-7 year old out of school (honestly, those chicken pox…).

PS Parking is definitely an issue, a kind of endemic problem in Oxford these days. If you can’t find a park on South Parade where the North Wall sits, park in Majestic instead and buy a cheap bottle of plonk as a ‘customer’. You’ll be right next to Barefoot Books for your 20% off The Tear Thief book and cakey treat too – just present your theatre ticket and utopia is yours.

The Tear Thief, North Wall, South Parade, Oxford, Ox2 7JN. Tel: 01865 319450. Performances tomorrow (Weds) 10am and 1.30pm. £7 for full price ticket.



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