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Bluebeard's Castle
A Giant Puppet Opera
Directed by Oliver James Hymans and Nick Connaughton
Puppet design and direction by Oliver James Hymans
Performed by the Arcola Community Theatre Company
Presented at Queen Elizabeth Park, London
Part of Arcola Theatre's Grimeborn Festival of Opera 2015

On Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th August 2015, Bela Bartók’s masterpiece came to life with large-scale puppets made from majority recycled materials, and operated by a cast of community performers drawn from across East London. The puppeteers spent 5 weeks working with new puppets designed by Oliver James Hymans, learning how to bring inanimate objects to life with breath, focus and movement.


Music, dance, movement and puppetry collided, as Judith and Bluebeard ventured deeper into the castle…


The performance was majority powered by hybrid and environmentally conscious solutions, managed by the experts from Arcola Energy. The Arcola Theatre is working towards becoming the world’s first carbon-neutral theatre and showcased some of these solutions onsite.





Directors: Oliver James Hymans and Nick Connaughton
Movement Director: Katie Grube
Assistant Director: Jennifer Begley
Production Assistant: Harry Hoke


Puppet Design: Oliver James Hymans
Puppet Design Associate: Georgia Jacob
Design Assistants: Holly Rollinson, Elise Robinson, Beth Lomax, Jack Castle, Marcus Crofton, Sadie Haque, Julie Howell and Will Bock

Set Design: Amelia Jane Hankin
Judith’s Costume: Jenna Rossi-Camus
Make Up Artist: Talia Jordan
Scenic Art: Joe Cochrane
Set Build: David Todd


Technical Manager: Geoff Hense
Technician: Martin Young

Arcola Energy Engineers: Simon Mylius and Enrico Varrone
Arcola Energy Sustainability Consultant: Feimatta Conteh
Workshop Leaders: Laura Rolinson and Arlan Harris


Poster Image courtesy of Brent Eviston

Performance photos: Anthony Charlton


Producer for London Legacy Development Corporation, Local Programme: Anna Godsiff


Brian Innes
Jermaine King-Kabali
Laurynas Mikalauskas
Kate O’Sullivan
Özlem Tunçil
Jennifer Begley
Judy Frumin
Isabelle von Maltzan
Vix Dillon
Caroline Lee
Sue Loder
Carole Railton
Mariam Rasekh
Queenie Saoul
Ashleigh Loeb


Opera in the East was part of the Local Programme at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. It was presented as part of Go East Fest!


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