Pulling STRINGS

Cardboard Joe and the Book of Mysteries. Live animation, music and stroytelling in a new family adventure. A production by the 154 Collective with Dan Mallaghan as Cardboard Joe the storyteller, and animation by Fabric Lenny and music by Nick Lewis. Photo by Tim Smith.
Cardboard Joe and the Book of Mysteries. Live animation, music and stroytelling in a new family adventure. A production by the 154 Collective with Dan Mallaghan as Cardboard Joe the storyteller, and animation by Fabric Lenny and music by Nick Lewis. Photo by Tim Smith.
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Theatre maker Dan Mallaghan strongly believes the arts should be accessible to all; especially children. He is keen that barriers which make theatre inaccessible should be banished where possible.

To prove his point, his latest work Rabbit Girl and The Search for Wonder will premiere in small community centres in Dewsbury and Batley during half term, before going on tour nationally next year.

Dan, 38, is the director of a group of artists, performers and musicians from West Yorkshire called 154 Collective.

With an office in the Live Art Bistro (LAB) in Leeds, they are a theatre company and so much more.

He says the way in which Rabbit Girl was created reflects precisely how they like to work and develop ideas and literally tell good stories, the oldest form of entertainment on earth.

“It is certainly important to us to bring professional theatre into the heart of communities.

“As a collective we try to make work that is co-authored with people who hopefully will then come to see the finished work, recognise their contribution and take pride in that - regardless if it is shown in a real theatre or community space,” says Dan, a father-of-three children.

“We create all of our projects in collaboration with other artists; with venues and arts organisations; and most crucially with audiences as well.”

This is fitting, as the inspiration for the play was the idea of an eight-year-old girl attending a library workshop in Dewsbury.

From there, the