TURTLE KEY ARTS HAVE WORKED WITH SLOT MACHINE THEATRE TO PRODUCE A NEW FAMILY SHOW (5-9 YEARS OLD) CALLED "YOUR TOYS". THE CHILDREN BRING THEIR OWN TOYS TO THE THEATRE AND SLOT MACHINE THEATRE USE THEM AS PUPPETS TO TELL THIS GIGANTIC ADVENTURE, BRINGING THE TOYS TO LIFE ON STAGE USING THEIR UNIQUE STYLE OF PUPPETRY, ORIGINAL LIVE MUSIC AND QUIRKY HUMOUR. IT WILL TOUR SEPT - NOV 2017. DATES TO BE CONFIRMED SOON.
"Magical, an ideal introduction to the theatre for children" The Stage
A monstrous force rules the land. Only the bravest can defeat it. But the challenge is perilous - will everyone survive? On this epic journey, we're all in danger, and only the toys can save us - your toys.
A family show suitable for 5-9 year olds and their grown ups.
“Once in every childhood there should be a show that you remember for life: this will be my children's”
“We loved the way all the toys were used in the show it was amazing”
“The children LOVED seeing their special toys in the show - and the live music was brilliant”
“Imaginative, inspiring, fun, interactive - the children didn't want to leave”
SLOT MACHINE THEATRE ON YOUR TOYS
A toy is a powerful object. Even as adults, we can remember a favourite toy and what it meant to us.
Having made a number of shows over the last few years that included puppetry of one kind or another, we at Slot Machine HQ had spent a certain amount of time animating all sorts of creatures.
However, we were struck over and over again by how strongly both children and adults relate to these make-believe beings - especially if the object being animated has some relationship with them already.
An instance that springs to mind is of a young family member who could be persuaded to go to bed by the Donkey Hot Waterbottle (known as DonkeyHottie) but not directly by the parent.
So we began to experiment with the idea of a piece where all the puppets were people's toys brought on that day to the theatre. How might this work? How would children feel about seeing their well-loved toy in a new context? Through workshops with children - in schools as well as during research and development for the piece - we began to experiment and put together some ideas.
Many children imagined their toy going on an adventure - and we loved this idea. Some children had fantastical suggestions about where these adventures might take place - in the mountains, a storm at sea, in the desert, flying with eagles. Someone said "we want a boy who cries a lot". Someone else said "talk gobbledygook". We also loved the idea of unlikely characters being thrown together and having to work as a team.
However good an artist you are, it's almost impossible to replicate the charm and energy in a child's drawing, and coming away from workshops with fistfuls of these, it seemed clear we should find a way to build these images into the piece.
We wanted to create a world that reflected children's energy and their delight in all things surreal, but which was also delicious to watch as an adult.
We at Slot Machine have our roots in collaboration. We all met and worked extensively at The People Show, one of the UK's longest-established experimental theatre companies, and the centre of Slot Machine's practise is collaborative.
Our excellent cast came up with endless suggestions for text, staging and character and both our technicians gave invaluable insights and ideas. The result is a piece that has been made from the heart by a wide group of people of all ages. Together we have come up with a story that in many ways is an anthem to the strength of a group powering on through adversity - a story that will now be shared with an even wider group of people.
We hope none of you ever have to battle a huge and hungry monster, but we hope you enjoy Your Toys.
Your Toys was written by the three members of Slot Machine, Nicola Blackwell, Fiona Creese and Nick Tigg, and developed in collaboration with the original cast of Matt Coulton, Nadia Morgan and Isy Sharman.
Supported by Norden Farm Centre for the Arts, The Goldsmiths’ Company Charity, Unity Theatre Trust, Arts Council England & The Slot Machine Angels.