Andrea Sadler stars in The Paper Dolls, which plays in Polka’s Adventure Theatre until 7 August.
This major revival sees Glanville return to direct his adaptation of Julia Donaldson and Rebecca Cobb’s much-loved book of the same name, in a co-production between Polka Theatre and Little Angel Theatre.
You’re starring in The Paper Dolls, what can you tell us about it?
It’s a visually stunning show with puppetry, song, comedy and excitement. Our audience can really enter into the imaginative world of a little girl at play.
It’s adapted from Julia Donaldson and Rebecca Cobb’s much-loved book, why do you think Julia Donaldson’s work translates so well to the stage?
She’s very good at engaging young people with vivid characters, brought to life so well by her collaborations with great illustrators. Both these things make breathing life into her stories on stage a joy.
And what impressed you most about Peter Glanville’s adaptation?
The adaptation has remained true to the heart and the look of the book, so fans will be very happy, but it has also added in rich layers of detail about the world of this little girl, her family, her toys and her beloved paper dolls. We are so invested in her world that the turning point packs a huge emotional punch, both for young audiences and their adults.
Tell us how puppetry features in the production?
The piece is packed with gorgeous puppets. There’s Rosie, the little girl who makes paper dolls with her mummy, her naughty brother Tommy, a dinosaur, a tiger, a crocodile, mice, a ladybird, the paper dolls, Rosie’s future daughter and all manner of objects that magically come to life. As performers, we step in and out of being characters or narrators, but the stars of the show are definitely the puppets.
What do you enjoy most, and find most challenging about performing for young audiences?
Young audiences take no prisoners. They are very upfront about enjoying or not enjoying a show, which can be daunting but also hugely rewarding when they react in the way we are experiencing with this show. Our audiences comment on what they’re watching. They scream with laughter or with the thrill of a bit of peril. They see themselves reflected in the behaviour of the child characters and they’re delighted by that.
What would you say to anyone thinking of coming to see The Paper Dolls?
This is a heartwarming tale of childhood, love, loss and forgiveness, told with wit and charm. The fusion of puppetry, music and song in a world of magic realism will appeal to young audiences and their adults alike.