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Rubbish - artsdepot and Stratford Circus


Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

THEATRE-Rites’ production of Rubbish will visit London’s artsdepot (February 15 to February 17) and Stratford Circus (March 7 to March 9, 2013) as part of a national tour.

Theatre-Rites, one of the UK’s most celebrated theatre companies for children, imagines a world that celebrates its rubbish; where at the touch of a puppeteer’s hand, the contents of a bin bag can come alive before your eyes.

Inspired by a culture which encourages us to constantly update and disregard, Rubbish will show children waste materials in a new light, celebrating all those unloved objects left behind.

A duckling formed from old tea things that have lost their shine, a bin-bag boy, and a jovial shoemaker crafted from old leather and the tools of his long lost trade; all are valuable scraps from Rubbish‘s magical junkyard brought to life onstage.

Four excavators will don protective gear as they rummage and scavenge through a mound of bin bags brimming with unloved rubbish. Out of each bag an animate figure will be born, discordantly composed from discarded objects, and sometimes helping to build itself. The performance will show young audiences the skills and processes puppeteers use to give life to inanimate materials.

In the spirit of reparation and re-invention, Rubbish is inspired by a cabaret format, introducing the re-invented form for a younger generation, as each bin bag tells its own tale in a series of vignettes.

By exploring old forms in new ways, Rubbish aims to jettison the economic notion of value, and to re-discover time honoured ways of respecting and keeping. By representing and re-creating scrap as characters onstage, Rubbish will allow children to engage with contemporary problems of national wastage in a fun and curious environment.

Since forming in 1995, Theatre-Rites have become one of the UK’s leading theatre companies making work specifically for children. Influenced and inspired by their audiences, they aim to create work which feeds the imaginations of young people and gives them a memorable theatrical experience.

Some of their previous productions and exhibitions include Houseworks (1998), Sleep Tight (2001), Finders Keepers (2003), In One Ear (2004), Lighten Up (2008), Hang On (2009) and Mischief (2011).

A co-production with Warwick Arts Centre, in association with artsdepot, Rubbish will directed by Sue Buckmaster, composed by Jessica Dannheisser and designed by Lise Marker, with lighting by William Reynolds and puppetry design by Yvonne Stone and Sue Buckmaster.

Rubbish is suitable for ages: 6+ and accompanying adults.

Running Time: 75 minutes.

Tickets (artsdepot): £8 – available on 020 8369 5454 or online at

Times (artsdepot): February 15 at 5pm, February 16 at 3pm and February 17 at 12pm and 3pm.

Tickets (Stratford Circus): £7, £5 concessions – available on 0844 357 2625 or online at

Times (Stratford Circus): March 7 and 8 at 10.30am, March 9 at 11.30am and 3pm.

The tour will also visit Warwick Arts Centre, Warwick (February 20 to February 23), Lakeside Arts Centre, Nottingham (February 26 to February 27) and Harworth and Bircotes Town Hall (March 1).