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Meet Fred Tour 2017

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by Tony Collins (subscribe)
I am a freelance writer specialising mainly in health and education and living in Staffordshire. Find me on Linked In
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He's Only Two Foot Tall But He's Made Of Strong Stuff
Forget A-list actors or award-winning singers - the star of this particular show is a two foot tall cloth puppet called Fred. The production by Hijinx Theatre in association with Blind Summit is all about a witty, mouthy puppet who is beset with real life problems. And audiences will get a chance to see the star in action when Meet Fred continues with a UK tour that includes an appearance at the Lichfield Garrick theatre on Saturday 18 March.

Meet Fred
Meet Fred the puppet at Lichfield Garrick. Credit Tom Beardshaw

Fred just wants to be part of the real world, to get a job and meet a girl, but when threatened with losing his PLA (Puppetry Living Allowance) his life begins to spiral out of his control. Meet Fred, which enjoyed a sell out show at last year's Edinburgh Fringe Festival, is packed with leading theatrical invention but with an urgent human story at its heart. But despite the central character being a puppet, audiences are warned that the show is not suitable for those under the age of 16 due to the apparent strong language as well as 'puppet nudity'. Hijinx is a professional theatre company, based at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff, which tours small scale theatre throughout the UK and Europe. What makes the theatre company different is that their casts always include actors with learning disabilities who are placed at the heart of every show they produce. To further this commitment the company has established Hijinx Academies, the only professional performance training in Wales for actors with learning disabilities.

Meet Fred
Fred set against a storm screen. Credit Tom Beardshaw

The production of Meet Fred also involves Blind Summit, a London based, internationally touring producer of puppet based theatre who have been making shows for the last 20 years. The shows are put together under the vision of Artistic Director, Mark Down, who is one of the world's leading puppeteers. Meet Fred is part of the Lichfield Garrick's introducing programme, which showcases some of the UK's most exciting and critically acclaimed emerging artists and theatre companies. It will be performed at the Lichfield theatre on Saturday 18 March at 7.45pm. Tickets cost 15.50 and can be booked by calling box office on 01543 412121 or online.

Meet Fred
Fred under a cloud. Credit Tom Beardshaw

Forthcoming UK dates

28 February South Street, Reading

1 - 5 March Little Angel Theatre, London
7 March Theatr Mwldan, Cardigan
8 March Newbury Corn Exchange
9 March Old Fire Station, Oxford
10 March Attenborough Arts Centre, Leicester
14 March Artrix, Bromsgrove
15 March Arena Theatre, Wolverhampton
16 March Carriageworks Theatre, Leeds
17 March Junction, Goole
18 March Lichfield Garrick
21 March The New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich
22 March IMPACT, Perivale
23 March Hertford Theatre
25 March Norwich Playhouse
29 March Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre, Taunton
30 March The Roses Theatre, Tewksbury
31 March Theatr Brycheiniog, Brecon

1 April Hafren, Newtown
3 April The Place, Oakengates Theatre, Telford
4 April Aberystwyth Arts Centre
5 7 April The Albany, Deptford
8 April Ffwrnes, Llanelli
26 April Queen's Hall Arts Centre, Hexham
27 April Square Chapel Centre for the Arts, Halifax
28 April The Grand Theatre Blackpool

2 May Mumford Theatre, Cambridge
3 May ARC Stockton
4 May Barnsley Civic
5 May Rosehill Theatre, Whitehaven
6 May Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal
9 May mac birmingham
10 May Borough Theatre, Abergavenny
11 13 May Theatr Clwyd, Mold
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Why? The Star Of The Show Is A Puppet - Why Else?
When: 28 Feb to 13 May 2017
Phone: 01543 412121
Where: Lichfield Garrick, Castle Dyke, Lichfield WS13 6HR
Cost: Lichfield tickets 15.50
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