2011 marks 50 years of the Little Angel, having been founded by John Wright in 1961. Throughout the year we’ll be looking back at some memories from people who have helped to shape the Little Angel over those 50 years. We’ll be uncovering the world of The Home of British Puppetry.

Our first 50th memory comes from Gren Middleton, who was part of the Little Angel Theatre Company. He has since started the Movingstage Marionette Company with Juliet Rogers and they continue their puppetry work at the Puppet Barge.

Thoughts and Memories

Any Little Angel celebration must also be a celebration of the life of John Wright, a farmer from the Orange Free State who created a marionette theatre in London that, we hope, will survive for at least another 50 years. John’s spirit lives on and has been tested by a few people since his death. Fortunately the theatre has survived as a puppet theatre.

Orange Free State Farm

Memories of dimmers two feet tall worked with both hands and feet, clearing leaves off the workshop roof, the boiler, the use of old switches, the exit lamp (out of Collin’s music hall and lit with a candle), whisky in the workshop, Saturday night curry, the grey van, the yellow van, the touring stage, Frank Wells, George Speaight, hand printed leaflets, the little brown pay envelopes (with cash inside), the OBE, the stool with two short legs, Lord Michael Marks, Anne Goosens, the ‘greens’, the skull in the garden, tin-tin, Baby Sweetheart, the block of flats (almost up against the theatre), the hand-made self-closing mechanism on the stage door, the purchase price of the theatre, workshop and cottage, the Revox, the record turn table and valve amplifier, the word tormenter (is it used today?) these and many other things and people are memories and experiences associated with the Little Angel.

Shocking! No one clears the leaves now…

Have a memory of the Little Angel that you’d like to share on our blog? Email Jake with images, text or even a video to be featured here.