Ages 3+
Last toured Spring 2016
Co-production with Luminous Tales

The Show

Rumpelstiltskin, a fairytale favourite, spun before your very eyes.

Auntie spins as hard as she can to make the wool for the King’s special jumper. But the royals are out of cash, the girl who is helping is useless at spinning and the Prince just wants to be a shepherd. Everyone gets their threads in a twist and then Rumpel-you-know-who steps in. Who is he, where does he come from and can they guess his real name before he gets them all in a spin?

A woolly wonderland of a show with spinning, weaving, lively puppetry, music and storytelling.

Performance Images

Creative Team

Co-directed by Zannie Fraser & Bob Percy

Designed by Zannie Fraser

Performed by Gemma Khawaja, Gretchen Maynard-Hahn (Tour) & Sam Arends (In House)

Music by Adrienne Quartly

Puppets made by Jan Zalud & Iain Halket

Additional making by Addya Panayiotou & Pete Butler

Basket made by Jonathon Carrie

Interview with Co-director Zannie Fraser

For those who are not familiar with the story, what is ‘Rumpelstiltskin’ about?

It’s all about spinning! There those who can spin and those who can’t. The girl in this story can’t spin and it gets her into a whole lot of trouble. Rumpelstiltskin can spin but he is a trickster and will only help out at a price. It’s also a story about greed. The Royals love gold and always want more while Rumpelstiltsking can spin straw in to gold but he always wants something more…..

What was your inspiration for the show?

I’ve always loved knitting and sewing and making clothes and one day I had the idea to knit a whole show and Rumpelstiltskin seemed like a good story to tell in wool. I’ve also been inspired by some amazing artists/craftspeople who use textiles in their work.

I’ve taken spinning lessons and taught myself crochet and so, hopefully, this show will be as wool, fleecy and fluffy as a sheep. 

How did the collaboration with Norwich Puppet Theatre come about?

We first worked at Norwich Puppet Theatre 23 years ago and have visited and worked there on and off ever since. Now that we live in Norwich, Joy, the Director, asked us if we’d like to work as associate artists on a project with the Puppet Theatre. This all began last year and it has developed from there. 

What is the best thing about telling a story using puppetry? 

Puppets can do things that human actors can’t so they express themselves differently, more visually. For example the girl puppet is make from a woollen blanket so when she is excited she doesn’t change her facial expression but she can spin, bounce and do flips. Then Rumpelstiltskin is like a spinning machine so he looks like he’s made out of bits of an old spinning wheel. He can move like a person but he can also quite literally spin as well as becoming un-spun. All these possibilities give a wonderful visual accompaniment to the spoken narrative.

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