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Talking Climate Change - Spectacular Puppet Show

Council supports and applauds a wonderfully creative project called Talking Forest - which enabled 70 children from the South Hams to express how they feel about Climate Change and biodiversity loss. They then produced a bright and engaging play that we can all learn from.

Talking Forest

This amazingly visual and creative project was led by a South Hams based creative charity called Creation Myth Puppets, which specialises in allowing children to express themselves through the creation of puppets and storytelling.

Tony Gee Artistic Director at Creation Myth Puppets, said: "For this project we wanted to create a piece of work that would make the issues of climate change and biodiversity more accessible to those people who are not as engaged with subject.  We hope that these people might be more receptive to the subject if they can hear about it through the voices of the children.

Over 4 days, 70 local children took part in workshops in Kingsbridge and Totnes, where they were encouraged to express how they feel about the climate crisis.  Between them, they built just shy of 100 puppets and created 4 separate plays.

These plays were then put together to create one story - the story of the Taking Forest, which was performed as a play to over 150 people in the Civic Hall Totnes. 

Cllr Tom Holway, South Hams District Councillor for Climate Change and Biodiversity said: "What a truly inspiring way to help young people understand some of the issues facing the world today.  I am pleased that as a Council we were able to support this through some of the local Members' Locality Funding.  It is so important for us to create spaces like this for children to be able to express how they feel and to bring these issues to new audiences. 

"I was one of the lucky people to attend the Grand Finale and the atmosphere was absolutely buzzing.  The children were totally immersed in the spirit of the production and it was clear that the adults got the message."

Cllr John Birch, South Hams District Council's Ward Councillor for Totnes said: "What a simply marvellous performance! Eight South Hams District councillors were delighted to put some of their locality money towards the creation of this project which will help to bring climate change and biodiversity discussion to life in a new way."

Each Councillor in South Hams has a Climate Change and Biodiversity Locality budget of £3,000 until March 2022.  They can use this money to help not for profit groups or organizations deliver community projects that helps them support the Council's Climate and Ecological Emergency Declarations.

By putting funds towards the Talking Forest Project, the Councillors are providing education and awareness of the Climate and Ecological emergency through direct engagement with hard to reach groups and individuals.

South Hams Councillors who supported this project included: Cllrs O'Callaghan, Cllr Jackson, Cllr Brazil, Cllr Hodgson, Cllr Rose and Cllr Sweett, Cllr Birch and Cllr Holway.  This project was also supported by Totnes Town Council.

Catherine Marlton, Town Clerk, Totnes Town Council said: "This was a brilliant event which we were proud to support. It truly showcased the creativity and passion of the people of Totnes whilst highlighting the urgency of tackling climate change and supporting improved biodiversity. Hearing the positive comments from participants of all ages, it is clear what an inspiring day this was for all." 

A film of the full play is being produced and the creative team hope to be able to bring the messages within it to a much wider audience.  Here is a short teaser of the wonderful creations as the children were workshopping their stories.

Tony Added: "In their story the children created creatures from all over the world ranging from penguins to giraffes and orangutans to the dodo.

"The magnificence of the modern environmental tale that the children constructed and created was reflected in the huge standing ovation they received from an audience of over 150 people.

"For my part, it was just as magical as when we first made a huge show at the Civic back in 1989. It was simply blooming marvellous!" 

https://vimeo.com/680643623/457cbc5343 
 

COMMENTS FROM THE AUDIENCE - TALKING FOREST 

We went to the Talking Forest this afternoon and I loved it, almost brought tears to my eyes at times and I was completely in awe of the amount of work you had done in such a short time. Thank you so much for the invaluable gift you have given my grandchildren.

I so enjoyed yesterday's performance - in turns amusing, moving, poignant, thought provoking. The puppet creations were fab. Loved the soundtrack too. Thanks for bringing it to fruition.

Thanks so much to Tony and crew who made this half term so fun for my two boys. What lucky kids.

Such a wonderful workshop and performance and thanks as well to the councillors who funded this and made it possible for children in the area to have this experience.

Brilliant! We loved it 

It was fantastic in every way.

Totally life enhancing, a great show and the kids were so happy, more of your magic. Wonderful!

Thank you so much for giving my daughter such a wonderful experience! She loved every minute of the two days she spent in the Talking Forest workshops and the production at the end was so moving. What a very special thing you all created!

It was truly wonderful! Our kids are so lucky to have had this experience. Thanks to Tony and crew - what a great thing to have happened over the half term for our young people. 

A stunning performance

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