THE magic of shadow puppetry will bring the Giant to life in CentreStage’s panto Jack and the Beanstalk which opens in the Belltable this week.
The girl responsible for the stunning creations in the Mike Finn-penned production is Castleconnell’s Emma Fisher, whose work is highly imaginative, beautifully crafted and should wow audiences with its impressive scale.
Fisher, who studied theatre in Wales before specialising in her art at the London School of Puppetry, created the puppets for the show - Gabby the Golden Goose, Milky White the cow, and the Giant, who is imposing in stature to say the least.
“He is quite large,” laughs Emma. “He appears behind the screen so he looks even bigger - he is about 20 foot - quite tall! He appears and disappears in camouflage.”
Director Richie Ryan says Emma’s work on the panto, the first to open in Limerick this Christmas, is “fantastic and magical”.
“This is the first time we have used puppets as a integrate part of our panto production,” he says.
“The shadow puppetry is fantastic and magical as large puppets can be seen as part of the Beanstalk and the Giants’ Castle with Gabby the Goose, Harpo and bags of money for the not so bright Mr Giant. We are fortunate to have in Limerick one of Ireland’s most accomplished puppeteers in Emma.”
Emma adds: “We have gone for a fairy-tale type theme, so it has that feel to it with the puppets and the shadows.”
“It is big part of the show, all of the scene changes happen through shadow puppetry. Some of the CentreStage guys are operating some of the puppets, and the panto performers themselves will operate others.”
Jack and the Beanstalk, which opened this Wednesday and runs until Saturday, January 5, features Jared Nadin as Jack, with singer Raquel Rocca as Finola Icecream and Darren Shine as Dame Potty.