Watermans Hosting Free Online Family Show

Live theatre meets animation in work based on best-selling book by Michael Forman

Illustration from Dinosaurs and All That Rubbish

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Dinosaurs and All That Rubbish, Michael Foreman’s classic picture book about space travel, dinosaurs, and ecological balance gets a new lease of life in this free online theatre production for young children and their families.

Commissioned by Watermans, adapted by Roustabout and performed by Robin Hemmings and Shaelee Rooke, this three part series is a mix of theatre and animation with song, puppetry, and digital wizardry, set amongst the book’s original illustrations.

Featuring an environmental message, Dinosaurs and All That Rubbish is an online treat for all ages.

Roustabout has had a lot of practise creating ways for audiences to connect with theatre over the last year. Dinosaurs and All That Rubbish is a cross media mash up which aims to reflects the way young children tell their own stories today. With the use of puppetry, music, narration, dance and live action the book is brought as close to real pandemic life as possible and is accessible for all.

The show’s director, Toby Hulse, says “Since the first lockdown, Roustabout has been pioneering new ways to tell stories online, that are every bit as theatrical as a traditional production. I have loved this book since I was young, read it to my own children, and shared it with many pupils in schools. I am thrilled that, with the support of Watermans, we are able to share this wonderful tale in a whole new way with families across the world.”

This is the third of Michael Foreman’s books that Roustabout has adapted (previously The Amazing Tale of Ali Pasha for The Story Museum, Oxford and War Game for Bristol Old Vic) and they are thrilled that he gives them full trust and support in bringing his stories to life.

Michael Foreman adds, “When I wrote, and illustrated, Dinosaurs and All That Rubbish in 1972, it was because of the growing threat to the environment. I never imagined the book would be even more relevant fifty years later, and I am delighted that Toby Hulse and Roustabout are bringing it to a wider audience.”

On the cusp of the book’s 50th anniversary, there will be a lot of parents and grandparents out there who have been enjoying this story for years. Both Roustabout and Watermans hope that the show will spark intergenerational conversations about how we can protect the planet.

From Shaelee Rooke, one of the performers, “There is no greater shared experience than life on planet Earth. By engaging a multi-generational audience in a shared online theatre experience, we hope this production will inspire people to work together, within Earth’s ecological systems, to protect our fragile home.”

Jan Lennox, Watermans’ Director says, “We’re delighted to have commissioned this show with a story that is more relevant now than ever. We’re releasing it for free so that the broadest range of children possible can discover it and, in the process, perhaps discover a love of theatre too.”

Dinosaurs and All That Rubbish will premiere on YouTube on Wednesday 7 April and will be available to watch for at www.watermans.org.uk free for 6 months.

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April 2, 2021

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