Handprint Theatre

A peek into the world of the sometimes crazy, but mostly lovely Handprint Theatre

Month: July, 2013

Handprint Blog Holiday…

by Sarah

The Handprint Team are extremely busy bees this summer, and the lucky blog is going to have a holiday! We all hope you have a wonderful August, and we will be back on the blog in the Autumn – with lots of exciting summer stories to recount to you all! 🙂

Have yourselves lots of Happy Mondays (and Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays!), and don’t hesitate to get in touch via email if you have any fun theatre experiences that you would like to write about. We are always on the lookout for blog contributors – do get in touch!

Go and have yourself a marvellous summer!!

“Wherever you are – be all there.” ~ Jim Elliot

Superhero 2


Email: handprinttheatre (dot) projects (dot) gmail (dot) com

With love and hugs from the Handprint Team x


Happy Monday Soapy Sam!

by Liz Ward

Happy Monday! We hope you’re either outside enjoying the sunshine or inside with a fan or the air-con on full blast.

A while back, I wrote a review of Handprint Theatre’s Soapy Sam, when it was performed at the Warehouse Theatre in Croydon last year. It was the first time I had seen it and I fell in love with the ball of cute that is Soapy Sam! I hope you enjoy reading the review…

A Flight of Imaginative Fantasy

By Lizzie Ward

Handprint Theatre are a brilliant and accessible new theatre company, using a combination of physical theatre, BSL (British Sign SS27Language), puppetry and the talented array of performers and artists in their stable to create performances that strive towards a new vision of inclusive theatre. They create both performances aimed at adult audiences and they also run workshops and produce plays for children.

Soapy Sam is the adorable little puppet boy who hates bath time and loves to have interesting adventures – often down the plughole! There he meets an array of imaginative and colourful characters – some stranger than others. This weird and wonderful tale of a smelly little boy who will do anything to escape being scrubbed by soap delighted and charmed the little (and big) children in the audience, not least those of us who love imaginative flights of fantasy.

Marian Hoddy, Lucy O’Keeffe and Laura Goulden (also of SignDance Collective) bring this story alive using mime, physical theatre, expressions and puppetry. Their expressions are absolutely brilliant, conveying the highs and lows of Sam’s adventures below the plughole. The puppets are entire characters in their own right – the movements the cast use to bring the puppets alive are spot on. The performance made me wish I could have brought along some of the little kids I know so I could see their reactions and enjoy the puppet making workshop after the performance!

The scenery and set enhances the story – just sparse enough for the audience to imagine, yet also adding to the story. For example,SS4 when Soapy Sam eventually escapes the soapy underworld, the use of shadow puppetry was inspired. Dwayne Drain was also a fearsome character with huge eyes that gave me some nostalgia for a certain drum playing puppet on a certain TV show…

The show also balanced performance with audience participation, ensuring that children (and adults of course!) will feel connected to the story. Handprint truly are an inclusive company, and I for one can’t wait to see more of what they have to offer.

The Sunday performance is followed by a workshop – where children can create something inspired by Soapy Sam’s adventures. They also have a new book out – so that you can take the Soapy Sam story home. It is beautifully illustrated and brought to life by the talent of Alex Bennett, a professional illustrator!

Photography by Sarah Ward.

Happy, Wicked Monday

by handprinttheatreblog

Well, our loves, you’re in for a treat today! Our lovely Lucy has some words to impart with you all…and it’s very green… Happy Monday!!


Helllooooooo downnnn therrrreeee…!!

I am currently imagining I am painted green and flying on my broomstick. Can you think which West End Production I am thinking of?


YES, you’ve got it, Wicked the Musical.

Handprint Theatre have just finished working with Mousetrap Theatre to deliver accessible workshops to D/deaf children, in relation to their theatre trips to see Wicked at The Apollo Victoria Theatre, in London’s West End. It was a very special project for Handprint, because every child deserves the right to access, no matter whether they are D/deaf or hearing.


The day started off by meeting our students in the foyer of the theatre. The students where from all over London, Surrey, and some had even travelled all the way down from Manchester up north!

We then had an introduction of everyone who was working on the project. This consisted of Mousetrap productions, the lovely NDCS volunteers, and a variety of very talented Handprint facilitators. It was a rather large team but it could not work without everyone pulling together.


We then split off into three different groups where the students took part in a theatre workshop delivered by Handprint Theatre. As a team we decided it was important to look at themes linked to the show, such as: friendship, judging, differences in people, and our beliefs. We played lots of different drama games to break the ice and then went on to discuss these themes through practical work.

After a very thoughtful hour of drama the students had the opportunity to learn a sign song of Defying Gravity…


‘Something has changed within me,

Something is not the same…


Its time to Try defying gravity….lalalalala’


…which later on they performed on the stage in front of the cast of Wicked. WOW… all I can say is watch this space, Elphaba and Glinda, we have some very talented young people – just show them the way to the Emerald City.


Within the day the students also had a touch tour of the stage, demonstrating how it worked with scene changes and lighting. They also got to see up close some of the very expensive props used within the show. (We even got to touch the wigs… made out of REAL hair…ewwww).

On second project day we were lucky enough to have a performer join us for the talks…I think we had some fans at the end of the day. Finally, the students took their seats to watch the show!


I feel very lucky to be apart of such a fantastic project. Discussing the show in detail before the students see it, and also having the opportunity to see the behind the scenes workings of a show is enlightening, and reignites my enthusiasm for theatre as an adult, so I can not imagine the effect this project has on the students.


When asking a student whether she had enjoyed her day she replied:


‘It’s been such a fun day, I have also made some new deaf friends and taken their numbers. I liked seeing deaf and hearing people working together and meeting new people..’

On that note…I’m off to dig out my witches hat and find me a wizard…


Lucy aka Luchia of the North (my witches name)


Happy Monday

by Sarah

July is in full bloom at the moment, what with all the beautiful sunshine we’re having…and it has brought a birthday with it. Yes, our very lovely Lucy celebrated her birthday yesterday! Lucy is a true Handprinter, through and through, and the rest of us want to take this opportunity to wish her a truly Happy Birthday!!! (after all…it is her birth-week…) We love you, Lucy!!

As usual…we’re enjoying the small things. Things like afternoons in the garden…taking notice of all the colour around us. And self-love; we think that is important.













“Say yes to the adventure of life.”

Happy Monday from us all x

Happy Monday

by Sarah

Monday has rolled around again…hey there, Monday, how you doing? What has made you smile today?

The Handprint team received something wonderful today:

Handprint Thank You


There can’t be a better way to start the working week then to receive a big envelope full of thank you letters and drawings from children who have enjoyed our workshops! Certainly put a big smile on our faces and Soapy Sam has a lot of new fans!! – what we said earlier on Facebook.

“I was really happy playing in the rainbow” – said by a child in a nursery we worked at recently.

Need more reasons to smile today? How about the lovely sunshine?!

Or news about the Deaflympics Flame Relay? 

Or a competition to win a pair of Eyelash Sunglasses?

Or an extremely interesting article about the “many faces of the Creative Performer”?

And, in the spirit of Canada Day, how about this list?

Now…go and do a little sunshine dance…you know you want to!

Happy Monday from us all: the giddy-on-sunshine-Handprinters!


P.S. Our wonderful Jennifer Wilson is flying home today – we can’t wait to see her! (She has been in Sri Lanka since January!!)