‘Mermaid’ production is going swimmingly

Liz Butler, Carrie-Ann Wilson and Tasha Rennoldson prepare for a production of Todmorden-based StoryMagic's 'The Little Mermaid'
Liz Butler, Carrie-Ann Wilson and Tasha Rennoldson prepare for a production of Todmorden-based StoryMagic's 'The Little Mermaid'

A magical fairy tale is being brought to life thanks to talented designers and seamstresses from the upper Calder Valley.

Todmorden-based theatre company StoryMagic, which tours Lancashire and Yorkshire, has called on local talent to create costumes and puppets for its new production of The Little Mermaid.

StoryMagic’s director Katrina Heath said: “When I started planning our production of Hans Christian Andersen’s famous story I knew it was vital to get the magical ‘under the sea’ quality right.

“Representing swimming is very difficult on stage. I realised that if we used puppets we could get that all-important floating quality. When I met Liz Butler and saw her beautiful, detailed creations I knew she would be able to make me a mermaid to be proud of.

“Tasha Rennoldson was part of the team that made costumes for the West End production of The Lion King so I went to her to create the puppeteers’ outfits and The Little Mermaid’s dress for when she finally gets her legs. Once she becomes human she is then played by Carrie-Ann Wilson, a talented actress new to the area.

“We use as many local suppliers and artists as we can. Juliet Breese, an illustrator based in Cornholme, does illustrations for our post-show resources. Local website designer Jayne Wild runs our website, Hazel Bragazzi from the ScallyMag designs our posters, John and Janet Spooner who now teach but are still regulars on the stage recorded voice overs and Paul Cheesbrough, my husband and professional illusionist, has created us a magical cavern for the Sea Witch.”

The pantomime version, The Mermaid and The Prince, is at Hebden Bridge Little Theatre on December 29, 30 and 31. Tickets: 01706 810788.