Part of our 50th Memories series looking back at the history of the past 50 years of the Little Angel.
Glyn Edwards was a puppeteer at the Little Angel Theatre. He has since gone on to continual his family tradition of playing Punch and Judy in Brighton. Find out more here.
John and Lyndie used to throw great parties in the auditorium. I can still feel the hangovers half a century later. Clearing the fumes away for the subsequent day’s performance or rehearsal must have been a superhuman task. Or maybe – being the sixties, man – London always felt as if a party had either just finished or one was about to start.
John and I also had a spell at home made wine making which yielded some interesting results. The rice wine turned out like saki-flavoured bootleg moonshine whilst the honeysuckle wine gained extra body from the greenfly we couldn’t dislodge. We cracked several bottles of it in celebration the night Sarah was born.
But that was playtime. Work was a far stricter affair with John overseeing each element of his productions with rigour and precision. I wasn’t part of the marionette team (to this day my marionette operating has my family in hysterics) but part of the glove/rod team that performed the Saturday morning shows of Wonder Island, Lancelot The Lion and their ilk. John also let me perform my Punch and Judy show as the second half of the bill as I’d originally auditioned for him by doing a Punch routine from behind a makeshift playboard fixed across the entrance to the auditorium. Later Mary and I would perform Saturday morning seasons whilst John was on tour, mixing Punch & Judy with our Kippers the Cat Vaudeville Show of variety turns.
When the glove/rod team were put to work on Noah I got to play Noah with Barry Smith as the (on tape) voice of God and Joyce Wren as Mrs. Noah. Later we performed at a festival of mediaeval arts on the Greek island of Zakinthos with Christopher Leith playing Noah and me as Mrs. Noah (or Mrs. Noah in the style of Mrs. Punch anyway). No home made wine to accompany these performances but – as they were given outdoors acoustically in the town square at night – plenty of reviving retsina and no-need to clear the fumes away the next morning.
Have a memory of the Little Angel that you’d like to share with us? Please email us, and we will put it up on our blog.