Six and seven year olds from Ewing Primary School, West Didsbury, will climb aboard the Manchester City Libraries ‘Reading Voyager’ mobile library this Monday.
They will be eagerly anticipating their very first viewing of the bus's new storytelling puppet theatre that they've helped to create.
The puppet theatre is the end result of an art project run by Manchester Art Gallery and Manchester City Libraries with Ewing Primary School. For the project, the pupils were asked to create a storytelling resource that other children could use when on the 'Reading Voyager' or when visiting Manchester Art Gallery with their families.
Following a number of visits to Manchester Art Gallery, accompanied by visual artist Katy McCall, the children came up with a series of creative ideas that led to the development of the theatre. They chose their favourite people from paintings at the gallery and turned them into puppets. They also drew and painted backdrops for the theatre; these included a seaside scene, a spacescape and even a football ground. The children selected objects from the gallery's craft and design displays to replicate for use as props and prompts for storylines too.
And now the children's ideas for the puppet theatre have been turned into a reality. A celebration party at Ewing School on Monday is being held for the children involved and their families, when they will see the theatre and puppets made-up and ready for use for the very first time. The puppet theatre then hits the road later in the week, when other school groups will be able to play with the puppets while developing their interest and enjoyment in both reading and art. A second version of the theatre will also be available for use by children during family workshops at Manchester Art Gallery.
Speaking about the project, Assistant Executive Member for Arts and Leisure, Councillor Mike Amesbury said: "It's great to see that the pupils of Ewing Primary School have had so much fun helping create these puppet theatres. I'm sure they're all very excited to see the finished result. I hope this very special new storytelling resource will now go on to inspire many more children as the Reading Voyager visits schools across the city, and also at the free family events held at Manchester Art Gallery."
For further information please contact Jenny Beard, Communications Manager, Manchester City Galleries. Tel: 0161 235 8864