Animated Objects Theatre Company Ltd.


In February 2014 Animated Objects produced ‘Orpheus the Mariner’; one of the largest pieces of community theatre that the Yorkshire Coast has ever seen in the wonderful town of Scarborough, involving people from across the region. The performance featured a cast of hundreds of local residents, a small army of volunteers and a host of gigantic puppets. with over 8,000 people involved in the process from start to finish.

Here are a series of images from the production.

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The Production began with the wedding of Orpheus and Eurydice
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Dancers of all generations and young musicians from across the county came together to make the opening scenes of the story.One of our early rehearsals in Scarborough.
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The Snake that spells Eurydice’s doom. Made and performed by local schoolchildren.
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Eurydice is laid to rest underground in a procession followed by thousands of audience members and lanterns.
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A group of heroes arrive to set Orpheus on his quest into the Underworld to reclaim his bride. The diver, Ironhand appeared from beneath the waves of the harbour on a crane.
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Other giants represented different elements of Scarborough’s heritage, including the fishing industry, flither pickers and herring girls, and lifeboatmen.
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The following evening, these giant characters led Orpheus along the sea front towards the underworld to an audience of thousands who followed the adventure.
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Each giant puppet was operated by a different community group, many of whom had also been involved in making the giants for the production.
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They were accompanied by a huge team of wheelie bin drummers, lining the foreshore.
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Over the production weekend, Orpheus the Mariner attracted over 15,000 people to watch, despite the February weather!
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The heroes were face with an army of giant creatures as they battled towards the Underworld, including this octopus made by young people from across the region.
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Finally, the climactic moments of the story came when Orpheus met the titanic Hades, Lord of the Underworld. Hades was represented by a huge puppet, measuring over 29 metres tall suspended by a wheeled crane. He took over a year to build, with over 1,200 members of the local community involved, all of whom placed their signatures upon the structure. He slowly raised up from the ground to tower above Orpheus and the crowds to mark the conclusion of the epic tale.
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Crane rehearsals for Hades early in the morning. Over 2 kilometres of rope and several tonnes of bamboo and flowing fabric to co-ordinate!
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Test lifting in the wind and sleet several weeks earlier. One of the challenges of producing outdoor work in February!
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Over two years of preparation went into the production, based at different community locations. Here, Cerberus the guardian of the Underworld is in rehearsal at the university.
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Giant puppets were turning up in a number of unusual places in the lead up to the production. Here, an ammonite was being constructed in public workshops at the Rotunda Museum.
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Over 8,000 local residents were involved in the production from start to finish, as either makers or performers.
This production was made possible through the support of Arts Council England, Scarborough Borough Council, Create Arts Development and numerous local businesses and organisations who gave their time or services to help their communities.

Since Orpheus, we have produced a number of other projects with members of the community. Here is a brief selection of images from our recent work:
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Lanterns and puppets for ‘The Song of Leviathan’
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Our productions and events have involved participants from 2 - 104 years old!
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Big puppets with big personalities. All operated by members of the local community, who we train for the productions.
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The dance of the Jellyfish
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Insect lanterns against the Scarborough night sky
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Two of our chameleon puppets having a dance before decoration.
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A large part of our audience development work involves taking stories and elements of our productions to audiences in their own settings.
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