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Video: Chance to see Leeds theatre group’s magical show

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A Leeds-based theatre company which has been wowing audiences across the world has returned to the city for a rare performance of its latest magical show.

Mimika Theatre is currently at Left Bank Leeds to perform ‘Landscapes’, which takes children on a dramatic journey through the desert, rainforest, ocean and Antarctic using puppets, special lighting and sound effects.

Children enter a purpose-built white domed tent to be transported into another world for the hour-long non-verbal show, created and performed by Jenny Ward and partner Bill Parkinson.

The pair met at college in Leeds while training to be teachers and formed Mimika in 1981. Their popularity has since soared and seen them travel all over the globe to perform at children’s theatre festivals in the likes of America, Singapore, Canada, Germany, China and Hong Kong. But now the duo have returned to their hometown to set up in the former church on Cardigan Road for a four-day stint, offering local children and families the chance to see their impressive work.

Jenny said: “It’s been lovely and a great opportunity to perform here. Left Bank is great - it was a real surprise to me. It looks like a boring red brick church from the outside but when you come in, it’s this fantastic, Victorian space with high vaulted ceilings and stone pillars. And with no pews, you really notice the architecture - and our tent looks great here.”

Mimika have performed this week to schoolchildren during the day and families at an evening performance, every night at 7pm. The talented Meanwood-based duo make all the puppets and sets themselves - using household items such as a colander for a jellyfish, a tumble dryer tube for an eel and wooden lollipop sticks to create a fully-articulated scorpion.

Relying on just lighting, puppets and music to tell the story, Landscapes has been captivating children aged three to 11 and of all abilities - as well as adults.

Jenny said: “We want it to be something that’s magical. We want it to leave impressions on people’s heads and hearts.”

And it seems they have been doing just that. Jenny added: “We go into schools with a show and then go back a year later and the children remember so much about what they saw and the experience. We are always amazed by that.”

Some spaces are still available for the evening performances, which end on Thursday June 19. Tickets from £4. Contact Aaron Christie at Left Bank on 07553 988698 or whatshappening@leftbankleeds.org.uk.

For more information on Mimika Theatre visit www.mimikatheatre.com.

 

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