Summer Puppet Adventure in New Play ‘Phoenix...

Summer Puppet Adventure in New Play ‘Phoenix and Turtle’

We’ve featured the fantastic work of theatre director, writer and performer Ian Nicholson for some years now, you may remember the play ‘Tender Loving Care’ Ian directed back in 2014 by Vickie Donoghue for D-Day’s 70th Anniversary for New Theatre Royal plus I’ll Keep Waiting for the Ice Cream Van to Come. Ian Nicholson’s latest project is supported by Portsmouth Library Service and called Phoenix and Turtle, a new play for children from acclaimed playwright Stewart Melton about the adventures of two very opposite animals and their friendship, despite their differences. It is aimed at a 4-8 year old audience and created with beautifully performed puppetry and originally composed music.

Performance in Libraries

Supported by Arts Council England and Little Angel Theatre, Phoenix and Turtle, celebrates that we all have more in common with our neighbours than we may imagine, and how unlikely and fantastic adventures can spring from these friendships. The play is inspired by Shakespeare’s poem ‘The Phoenix and The Turtle’.

It is incredibly exciting to be creating a new play in my home city again and working on such an ambitious project with Portsmouth Libraries this summer. Stewart and I loved the idea of making Shakespeare’s stories more enjoyable and immediate for children by telling them through the eyes of the animals in them. Phoenix and Turtle will be a playful and funny adventure for young children, and their families.” – Ian Nicholson

The production will be held at every library across Portsmouth from July 28th to August 10th, specific dates and times below:

10am 28th July: Portsmouth Central Library
10am 30th July: Carnegie Library
10am 31st July: Cosham Library
10am 1st August: Paulsgrove Library
10am 2nd August: North End Library
10am 3rd August: Beddow Library
10am 6th August: Portsea Library
10am 7th August: Alderman Lacey Library
3pm 9th August: Portsmouth Central Library
10am 10th August: Southsea Library

Ticket are Pay What You Want, a scheme designed to encourage new audiences to try new work. The audience voluntarily pay an amount determined by them after the show, based on their experience. The performance lasts 30 minutes, with an opportunity to meet the actors and puppets after the show.

For more information please contact Ian Nicholson, Director: iandgnicholson@gmail.com

Creatives Behind The Play

The play is directed by Ian Nicholson, current Lab Associate Director at Nuffield Southampton Theatres, and previously Associate Director for the National Theatre’s we’re here because we’re here by Turner Prize winner Jeremy Deller and Rufus Norris. He was director of Othello at the Unicorn Theatre, and the The Stage Award winning The Ingenious Gentleman: Don Quixote of La Mancha by Little Soldier Productions.

The play is written by Stewart Melton, his commissions include an adaptation of Dave Shelton’s award winning novel A Boy and a Bear in a Boat (The Spark Arts for Children), an adaptation of Stan Sakai’s cult graphic novel series Usagi Yojimbo (Southwark Playhouse, London); and Seesaw, an original play for under 5s (Unicorn Theatre, London).

Artwork for the production has been created by local illustrator, Stu Linfield, of Sea Dog Print Studios.


Phoenix and Turtle


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