In miniature scale, before your very eyes, an epic tale about the power one person's choice will materialise. Dragons, magical amulets, missing cows, sibling camaraderie - DRAGON is 55 minutes adventure expertly puppeteered, beautifully scored, and masterfully animated.
DRAGON was created by an Australia and UK combined team who wanted to make a work which would get Dads to bring their sons to the theatre, young people to feel powerful and courageous, and do it without spoken language so anyone, anywhere could enjoy the work.
DRAGON follows two siblings, one Older, one Younger, trying to deal with the intense responsibility that comes with growing up, and running afoul with a dragon. When the Older brother decides he will slay the dragon to save the village he sets off a chain of events which sees everyone’s lives transformed.
The work can be a little scary at times, and because it doesn’t use spoken language can leave very young audiences a little nervous, but children ages 7+ and grown ups have praised its epic nature, innovative storytelling, and beautiful design. “It’s like watching your favourite D&D campaign happen live on stage”- Adult Audience UK 2022 season. “Its scary, its funny, its very very cool”- Young Audience member 2022 UK season.
The work explores themes of growing up, responsibility, community, sacrifice, and why it’s never a good idea to slay a cow that isn’t yours. Although the work explores some darker themes, such as sacrifice and loss, there are moments of great levity and humour, which carry our audiences safely through allowing them to ask what they would do faced with choices the characters in the show are up against.
Form and Style
A 55 minutes piece made by combining small scale puppetry with animated projection, and a moving soundtrack, all contained in a set 3 metres wide and 2 metres high.
The puppets are a special design of puppets, by WA Puppeteer Chloe Flockart, which combine glove puppetry with tiny mechs to create incredibly expressive little figures as tall as your hand. This work is designed to be intimate, suitable for small venues and blackboxes.
The work is presented with no discernible spoken language, using pictographs and expressive performance to “narrate” what the characters are experiencing. This allows the work to be interpreted by audiences who may not come from an English speaking background, or are hard-of-hearing.
The puppets are approximately 15-30 cm tall, and are encased in a fully animated world, designed to look like a story book come to life. The mixture of animation and puppetry help to make the world very bright- often touring table top puppetry finds itself trapped in quite a dark or black-out landscape to disappear the puppeteers from view. We have instead opted for a very bright projector!
This show is designed for small venues, and intimate audiences, with the option to conduct 2 shows a day with a Q+A, or a show and workshop, to allow audiences the time to ask questions and have conversations about subject matter that may have come up during the show. We also have a small “before the show” A4 guide which can be provided to audiences.
Puppet making workshop- a 1.5 hour workshop where young and old can learn how to turn an old glove or sock into a puppet like what you see in the show, and gain the basic skills required to create a table top puppet show. Minimum workshop size 6 people, maximum 15 people.
We work on a 2 things a day schedule, so are happy to offer 1 workshop and 1 show a day, but not a show, bump out, workshop on the same day.
Masterclass for artists- a 3 hour workshop where existing artists in your community can learn about creative collaboration for visual story telling. Learn how the show was made, why we had the hard-of-hearing and a refugee migrant group consult on our show, have a go at the story writing exercises we use in the room when devising new works, and have a go performing with junk to discover when you need to kill your darlings.
Q+A post show, up to 20 minutes- Meet the puppets, see how they work, meet our tech crew, and ask us all the weird and wild questions your heart desires, from “where does the dragon sleep” to “how on earth did you make the puppets?”
Small print and go activity for venue- Print out on stiff card and hand them out to the audiences as a pre or post show activity. With a few split pins and a bit of tape you can have your very own leaping deer, or walking puppet. Colour them in! Cover them in glitter! We provide the template, you provide the artistic magic and bring it to life!
NEW TESTIMONIALS ARE COMING SOON, we are currently collating our audience feedback from our 2022 season in Newcastle Upon Tyne earlier this year.
The work has been picked up for a season at the Beverley Puppetry Festival, and a small tour of the UK, which will occur just prior to and during CircuitWest. Please see review and testimonial below
“I recently was able to see DRAGON at Alphabetti Theatre… The work was akin to the quality and style of the leading puppetry shows touring in Europe currently – merging clever setting, faultless puppetry and a visceral score. We have approached the DRAGON team to program this work for Beverley Puppet Festival 2022, which I am also the Co-Artistic Director of.” – Kerrin Tatman, Beverly Puppet Festival UK
“Whilst (animation is) used in this presentation, I felt it had the charm and simplicity of an early television animation. The original music was used to great effect and clearly portrayed the emotions of the characters and contributed to the mood of the story. It is also testament to the skill of the puppeteers that such small puppets were able to convey emotions so clearly primarily by their body language”
Available Marketing Collaterals
Show Trailer (Video 1 minutes, video 30 seconds), poster, photographs from past performances, at-home print and go activity.
We are also happy to film short Social Media spots such as Meet the Puppets, Meet the Cast, Meet the Crew.
“Before the Show” A4 audience primer. This contains a brief introduction to the story, contains answers to some of the most asked questions, and information on the show team, and post show conversation starters. It is designed to help parents explain the show to young people before and after, and help out any audience members who might feel a little lost by a non verbal show. At this moment the document is available in English, but we are happy to chat about translating the document if your community has other needs.
Our Directing team Chloe Flockart (AUS) and William Steele (UK) met at the Curious School of Puppetry in Edinburgh, at this point both had nearly a decade of experience working in theatre. DRAGON is Chloe’s 4th work as puppetry director or Dramaturg, with past credits including A Christmas Carol, Valentine, In a Dark Dark Wood. She also mentored in puppetry on Barking Gecko Theatre’s Premier season of Bambert’s Book of Lost Stories, was a co-deviser of Spare Part Puppet Theatre’s FARM, and one of the touring performers of The Last Great Hunt’s New Owner.
Luke Thomas, composer, and Chloe Rodham, Animator, are well respected in the UK for their incredible work as musicians and designers, and the pieces they have created for Dragon are outstanding.
The Australia touring cast has yet to be finalised, but St John Cowcher, Daniel Buckle, and Rhiannon Petersen have all been approached and are excited to be involved, however it will be dependent on dates.
Our Touring Stage Manager will be Hannah Portwine, who is an experienced touring and festival SM from Perth. Hannah was chosen for this role based on her work on New Owner, where she proved to be an incredibly flexible and forward thinking team member in the peak of a pandemic.
ArtformsChildren / Family
AudienceFamily audiences with minimum age being 7+, particularly targeting areas that struggle to get dads and young boys to the theatre
Duration55 mins, no interval
Bump In2 hours
Bump Out2 hours
CostsRemount Cost: We aim to have our remount cost covered by an under $15k grant, as we need to train a new batch of Australia touring puppeteers meaning our remount cost is approx $13,500 including venue hire to rehearse.
Weekly Fee: $6300. Live performance award for 3 performers and 2 touring crew plus a small budget for repairs to puppets
Company ContactsChloe Flockart
0437 214 453
Tell me more
Venue FormatBlack box/ complete black out space
Touring Party3 cast, 2 crew
Maximum performances a week: 4, working on the following model: Day one, arrive, Day 2: Bump in, Show 1, Q+A, Day 3 Workshop, Show 3, Day 4: Show 4, Bump out, Day 5: Exit
Does this show require a remount? Yes
First Possible Performance: 2 hours after bump in
Minimum Break Between Shows: 2 hours
Minimum stage dimensions: Depth of 2 metres for show stage, plus 2 meters between front of stage and first audience, stage width minimum of 4
Staging and Set Description: The set is a black box frame with black drapes, and a projector. The set width is 3000, height 2100, depth 2000. Side of Stage is small table with a laptop and our SM, who we hide behind a pop up drape. This show works best on the same level as our audience, if you are a large venue with only a big stage, we are happy to look into different ways of performing- I.e. on your stage with the curtains closed etc. This show does NOT work on raised stages (over 0.5 metre), or with the audience set far back. This show does NOT work outdoors, or in well lit rooms. For some towns this means we work great as a Night Time show, in a community hall, with all the lights turned out.
Lighting requirements: Complete black out in space required. The rest of the lighting is self contained. 2 240v power outlets
Audio requirements: 2 speakers, Left and Right of stage, we travel with audio cords, but will call ahead to check what cords we need to bring.
Other technical or performance notes: We need access to power to run this show, with 4 outlets close to the staging area. 1 for projector, 1 for show laptop, 2 for lighting