For our Artist Spotlight this week we had a chat with Katherine Morton from Long Nose Puppets – if you’ve been lucky enough to see any of their delightful puppetry shows for families in a village hall in our region including Penguin, Arthur’s Dreamboat and Out of the Hat, you’ll know that they create wonderful and magical children’s theatre.

Where are you and members of your company currently working from?

I am working from a studio at home in Brighton and we conduct business meetings through Zoom where we are going to attempt a character development with puppets. I am going to drop  off 2 puppets to each of the puppeteers and we are going to play with them via Zoom next week- there is a hedgehog, tortoise who are both looking for a hug, a shy frog, a berry obsessed badger, a crook of a magpie, a snooty fox, a number obsessed squirrel and a not very wise owl!

What are you doing at the moment?

I am busy making puppets for The Hug coming out in later this year.  You can see photos of the puppets on Instagram and Facebook. We are also releasing our previous shows every couple of weeks on our website. I have also made a lonely sock puppet called Doodle who is looking for sock puppet friends. I have received quite a number of videos from people including one man stuck out in India so that has filled quite a lot of time and made new connections.  Polly Dunbar who started Long Nose with me is working from a studio in Beccles, Suffolk and she has just drawn a sequel to The Hug which is all about things we cannot do if we can’t hug- this is being animated and will be online very soon. Follow our Instagram page for the link.

Is there anything you have seen online for our audiences to enjoy?

My favourite thing so far has been listening to singers and poets make music to the sound of the nightingale. Beautiful!

Do you have any top tips for staying inspired/creative/busy/entertained during lockdown?

As a family we have been drawing one animal or plant we have seen on a walk or in our garden each day and then identifying them- we have a lovely wall of drawings to look at. I am finding listening to audio books is good as it seems to help my focus.  My friend who is a nurse at The County in Brighton is collecting pairs of little knitted or sewn hearts which are given to patients and their families so we have been sewing those. It connects you to the reality of what is happening and why we are all shut in.

Watch a recorded performance of Arthur’s Dreamboat here:

It is the story about a little boy who has a dream.
One night, Arthur has an amazing dream about a beautiful pink and green boat with a stripy mast. He can’t wait to tell everyone about it but no one (not even his dog!) is interested. In fact, they don’t even notice that this very same boat is growing on his head, getting larger and larger by the minute! Soon, Arthur is bouncing along the waves in his very own dream boat. Maybe now his family will listen to him! A magical playful children’s show with breathtaking puppets, so enchanting that everyone will want to sail away with Arthur’s in his dream boat! ​