Angelo Through the Years

With its first performance at Little Angel Theatre in 1974, our stage adaptation of Quentin Blake’s book Angelo has remained one of our most popular productions. Although a lot has changed in the world since then, this timeless production of beautiful puppetry remains fresh and exciting as it returns to the Little Angel Theatre stage this Christmas. We decided to look back through the years at some of the previous productions of Angelo, and what was happening in the world in those years.

Photo: Ellie Kurttz

1974

The first production of Angelo is performed at the Purcell Room at the Southbank Centre. The production is directed by Little Angel Theatre founder John Wright, and the puppets are made by Lyndie Wright, who can still be found in the theatre workshop making puppets today. These performances use a recorded soundtrack – among the voice artists on the soundtrack is a very young Sarah Wright, John and Lyndie’s daughter and director of this year’s production of Angelo.

Also in this year…

The first ever extraterrestrial message is sent from Earth into space.

ABBA wins the 19th Eurovision Song Contest held in Brighton with their song ‘Waterloo’.

The novel Jaws by Peter Benchley is published by Doubleday, later to be turned into an iconic film.

Photo: Ellie Kurttz

2005

Angelo is reproduced and directed by Sarah Wright. By this time, Angelo has been on Little Angel Theatre’s stage several more times since it was first performed in 1974, as well as at Polka Theatre in Wimbledon. Quentin Blake has also come to see the show and loved the theatre’s interpretation of his story. In this 2005 production, the recorded soundtrack is dropped in favour of using live voices, meaning a carefully chosen cast who could not only operate the puppets but speak the lines too. Little Angel Theatre Honorary Associate and puppeteer Ronnie Le Drew, who performed in the first ever production of Angelo, becomes the narrator for this production.

Also in this year…

The video and music sharing platform YouTube is launched in the USA.

Ellen MacArthur becomes the fastest person to sail solo around the world, taking 71 days, 14 hours, 18 minutes and 33 seconds.

Angela Merkel becomes the first female Chancellor of Germany.

Photo: Ellie Kurttz

2018

Angelo returns to Little Angel Theatre, once again directed by Sarah Wright. Many members of the cast are graduates of The Curious School of Puppetry, which was founded by Sarah Wright. Hailing from Italy, we have the wonderful Sara Celeghin here to narrate this story which takes place in the town squares of Italy. It has been a long time since Little Angel Theatre has been able to put on a show with such a large cast of puppeteers, and we are so grateful for the donations from Jane Tyson-Eve & the Stanley Thomas Johnson Foundation which have made it possible to bring back this much-loved show.

Also in this year…

Streaming music services such as Spotify overtake worldwide sales of CDs and vinyl for the first time.

Beyoncé is the first black woman to headline the Coachella Music Festival, with her performance on this day being the most-watched performance ever on YouTube.

American actress Meghan Markle marries Prince Harry at a ceremony in Windsor Castle, becoming the Duchess of Sussex.

Thank you to Ronnie Le Drew for sharing his knowledge on the history of Angelo for this blog post. Angelo is on at Little Angel Theatre until 30 December 2018. To buy tickets, click here.