Puppetry comes to Retford

by | 7 June 2024 | Children's Group, Performing Arts, Retford

The award-winning MOB will be taking to the stage with their annual musical theatre production in July, performing The Wizard of Oz. This is the third time in the youth group’s 30-year history that they are performing this timeless classic and are promising a real whizbang of a show.

The role of Toto, Dorothy’s faithful pet dog, is being played by a puppet with two of The MOB’s young actors taking the role of puppeteer. This is the first time The MOB have included puppetry in one of their shows and they are very excited to introduce Toto to their audience. Designed and built by Nottinghamshire-based puppeteer and community artist Bryony McCombie-Smith, who trained in theatre design at Nottingham Trent University and graduated in 2014, this will be Toto’s debut performance as he was specially commissioned for the show.

The MOB are extremely grateful to Butternut Box, the dog food company based in Blyth, for sponsoring Toto for the show with a very generous donation which has covered the cost of design and build of the puppet.

Carolyn White, Chairman of The MOB, said: “The costs of amateur theatre have escalated hugely over the last few years, with the average show cost for us being about £25,000. This means that we have to actively fundraise for all of our productions to ensure our young people get the very best of their theatre experience. We really appreciate all the support we have received from local businesses and organisations.”

The youth group have also received funding from Focus on Young People in Bassetlaw to hold a puppeteering workshop in the autumn so that their 60-strong membership can all experience this fascinating and ancient theatre art.

To reciprocate their support, and to help raise funds for both Focus on Young People in Bassetlaw and The MOB’s own show this summer, The MOB entered a team of 30 members into Focus on Young People’s sponsored 10K at the Welbeck estate in May. A fantastic day was had by all, and several MOB children were singing songs from The Wizard of Oz while walking along the route (where do they get the energy?!).

Why not go and watch their magical performance at The Majestic Theatre in Retford from 12th to 14th July? Tickets can be purchased at the Majestic Theatre Box Office (01777 706866), or online: www.majesticretford-tickets.ticketsolve.com/ticketbooth/shows/1173632083.