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Rubbish visits two London venues

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

RUBBISH, a show in which puppeteers show children aged 5+ and their adults how to create magic with the contents of a bin bag, giving new life to discarded items whilst engaging with the ideas of recycling, will visit two London venues – The Southbank Centre (April 11 to April 21) and The Albany (May 24 and 25, 2014) – as part of a national tour.

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.

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

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

Four inquisitive 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 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. And by representing and re-creating scrap as characters onstage, it will allow children to engage with contemporary problems of national wastage in a fun and curious environment.

Presented by Theatre-Rites, Rubbish is 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.

Running Time: 75 minutes.

Tickets (Southbank Centre): £12 Adult, £6 Child – available from the box office on 0844 8750073 or online at

Times (Southbank Centre): 12 noon and 3pm (not Tuesdays).

Tickets (The Albany): £10, £8 concessions, £32 Family ticket – available from the box office on 020 8692 4446 or online at

Times (The Albany): 1pm and 4pm.

The tour will also visit Oxford, Wellingborough, Liverpool, Canterbury, Bath, Leicester, Manchester and Rossendale.