From Tunbridge Wells to Tehran, taking in Milton KeynesDate: 18 November 2011
Ten years of touring by the Strangeface Mask Theatre Company, based in Tunbridge Wells, is celebrated this December with a new production of The Amazing Adventures of Pinocchio, based on the story by Carlo Collodi.
Metaphorically, as well as physically, the company has come a long way from Wrest Park, Bedfordshire where it gave its inaugural performance. Last year it took The Last Resort to Tehran, suitably modified to respect Iranian censorship laws, as part of caravan 2010 and won the Mobarak award for artistic excellence and audience enjoyment.
The half-faced masks are designed and made by artistic director Russell Dean, Their style derives from a mixture of Japanese masks and bunraku puppets, the commedia dell-arte tradition and Tim Burton. Russell worked for Trestle in its early days and has created masks for the Brit Awards. Composer Mark Dean is responsible for all the original music which is an integral part of Strangeface’s productions.
The Adventures of Pinocchio is to be “more Dahl than Disney” and takes up a winter residency at The Stables, Milton Keynes between 20 December and 7 January. The company has received support for its work from ACE, Kent County Council, the British Council, Visiting Arts and the Maltings in Farnham.
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