Newsletter #17

Some Good News

We are so very happy to tell you that we were lucky enough to be awarded an emergency funding grant from Arts Council England. It means we have an opportunity to find our way in this new environment. The future is still grainy but we are hoping that our little theatre company can be agile and flexible enough to continue to make heartwarming memories for families.

So many questions! If you have any thoughts on this then please get in touch. It’s not too late to help shape our new project. Either hit reply to this email or contact me on We look forward in hearing  your opinion.

The grant will enable us to create a series of online story making sessions with you, our wonderful audience. Now more than ever we need your input. We are hearing from people that they are all Zoomed out and often the last thing they want to do is engage in more screen time. So what’s our best option? We are making a set of tutorials that our audience can access anytime but we are also thinking….
Is there scope to run some story-making sessions live?
If so which platform is the easiest to use?
What time and day would suit the majority of our audience?
Is this an experience that people would pay for in the future?

sofa on the beach in the waves

Thursday Throwback 

This year we celebrate two decades of working together, so I thought I would celebrate our work by sharing a photo from the past twenty years every month. We feel blessed to have met so many wonderful people along the way and to have formed a great many friendships.

In 2002 we toured a production that was entirely told with shadow puppets. It was titled “The Shadow of the Firebird” and it toured to theatres, schools and rural venues across the East Midlands. The best thing about this production was that some children thought it was a film. Then when we took down the shadow screen after the performance and revealed how we did it all the look on their faces was brilliant!

puppeteers holding shadow puppets on a screen

Babbling Vagabonds Blog

We are creating more content for our blog so head to our website and have a read. There are a couple of headings “Let’s Create”, where we will share some craft activities and “Our Process” where you can find out about how we write the story,design for the stage,puppet making and songwriting.

How To Create Cute Toilet Roll Characters

This week we have had fun creating characters from empty toilet rolls. There’s so much inspiration online here’s what we came up with.

You Will Need:

  • Toilet roll tubes
  • Pens, pencils
  • Paint and paintbrushes
  • Scissors
  • paper
  • Tape/glue

Renn really wanted to make a butterfly so we started by drawing out some wings on a coloured piece of paper. We folded it in half so we had symmetrical wings. We used the cardboard tube to make sure we made them the right size.

drawing butterfly wings on paper

After we cut the wings out we put blobs of paint on them.

Paper butterfly wings covered in blobs of coloured paints

We then carefully folded the wings in half and pressed down. We carefully peeled open the wings and it revealed a beautiful mix of all the colours.

Painted paper butterfly wings

As the wings were drying we set about making the body of the butterfly. We painted it and stuck on pipe cleaners for antennas. Once it was dry we added eyes and stuck on the wings

Painting a toilet roll for the butterfly's body

Toilet roll butterfly

We then had lots of fun making other characters. Then we were able to make up stories with the characters we created.

Monster, owl and a fox toilet roll cardboard tube character
Alien, butterfly and owl toilet roll cardboard tube characters