Houseworks
Previous Show
Ages Under 5's
Dates 1996 London and 1998 Belfast
"The legendary Houseworks, a show that would certainly make my list of desert island theatrical experiences"
- Lyn Gardner, The Guardian

About the Show

Commissioned by the London International Festival of Theatre in 1996 for Out of Lift, their special season of work by and for young people.

Puppetry, performance and installation art for under-fives. Set in an old house in Brixton, where every room was a different world, Houseworks was a ground-breaking piece of theatre for young audiences. The audience was greeted by Ernie, an old man puppet who then welcomed them into his house. Small groups were guided around the building and as the house revealed its secrets the children were engaged in each room by puppets, performers and installations.

Behind each door is a magic world: the upside-down room, where the furniture and other motley objects hang from the ceiling, and the audience helps Ruby Blue, the puppet who lives there, explore. In the string room hundreds of pieces of string hang from the ceiling for children to walk through and play with, while a jungle soundtrack plays. In the soft white room the audience make themselves cosy while a puppet forms itself out of a pillow and interacts with the children. In the dark sparkly star-lit room, the stars swirl around as children try to catch them.  It’s exciting being in the dark. In the blue room a little man takes a shower, puts on his underwater gear and dives into the ocean, swimming amongst the audience. In the last room the children can draw on the walls and Ernie arrives to see the drawings before leading them out of the house.

 

"Release your imagination and these places will surrender rewarding secrets." - The Sunday Times
Robert Stephenson

London, 1996

Steve Tiplady

London, 1996

Marleen Vermeulen

London 1996 and Belfast 1998

Caroline Evans

London, 1996

Rebecca Hurst

London, 1996

Philippe le Moine

London, 1996

Sean Myatt

Belfast, 1998

Ashraf Myat

Belfast, 1998

Bronwin Herron

Belfast, 1998

Noel McGee

Belfast, 1998

Chris Robinson

Belfast, 1998

Penny Bernand
Director
Sue Buckmaster
Director
Stephen Williams
Installation Artist
Ansuman Biswas
Composer
Sarah Collins
Composer
"The legendary Houseworks, a show that would certainly make my list of desert island theatrical experiences"
- Lyn Gardner, The Guardian
"Release your imagination and these places will surrender rewarding secrets."
- The Sunday Times
"The intimacy of the experience makes it ideal for very young chidren but older children and adults will be equally entranced."
- Time Out
"Theatre-Rites' Houseworks is a mix of avant-garde art installation and puppet theatre. It's also a refreshing, fun hour of entertainment and eploration for kids. by Python Terry Jones"
- Evening Standard
"It is cheering to see a visionary work that respects the power of the young imagination. As one tot exclaimed as we went on our journey: "This house is alive."
- The Guardian
"Staff returned to school saying it was the best visit ever for young children. It worked on their imagination and sense of wonder. The use of puppets was excellent"
- Head Teacher
"Children were completely enthralled, they almost became unaware of adults around as they were so taken with room contents and characters they met around the house."
- Audience Member