Issue date: Fri 27 May 2016
A STORY-telling puppeteer and musician has switched from a gypsy wagon to a barrow to entrance family audiences at The Tramshed in Woolwich on Friday, June 3.
Ed Wren - whose own nomadic lifestyle has included living in a converted ambulance - will perform Jessie and the Cloud Machine as The Barrowman for the Greenwich Children’s Festival on Friday 3 June.
Ed, whose home is in a Hampshire village when he’s not on the road, has a long association with Greenwich Theatre as one of the founders of The River People, a company long supported by Greenwich Theatre and seen on stage at the venue and around the borough.
“I’ve been formulating this show for a long time,” said Ed. “I wanted to make a show that was very different from what I’m used to doing, which has been quite word-heavy story-telling. Now I am doing my own thing.
“This time it is mostly music and puppetry. There are fewer words because the show is designed mostly to be performed outside. And it’s very hard to tell stories outside.
“The River People has worked regularly with Greenwich Theatre over the last six or seven years. The theatre and James Haddrell in particular are great supporters of new artists and new shows.”
Jessie and the Cloud Machine tells the story of a little girl who lives in the clouds but has to battle the giant machine that comes to take all the clouds away.
“The reason I’ve always loved Ed’s work,” said Greenwich Theatre’s artistic and executive director James Haddrell, “is that he doesn't see fairy tales as belonging to children alone, he tells magical stories for people of any age. This new show is coming to Woolwich as part of this year's children's theatre festival, but I know that parents are in for as much of a treat as their children. ”