Children's TV favourite Bing and his friends are coming to Lighthouse from 28-29 July in the first ever live Bing stage show. Writer Helen Eastman describes here how she tackled the tricky process of adapting the adventures of this much-loved character into a memorable and captivating first theatre experience ...
How do you bring a TV animation to life for the stage?
It is really important to remember how well our audience know these characters, and our responsibility to bring them to life in a way that feels instantly familiar. However, theatre is a very different medium to television, so it is an opportunity to take exciting new directions. I started to write 'Bing Live' by thinking about the exciting experiences our characters could have in a theatre, which they could share with an audience. And things which our audience could participate in, because this is a live show. For many of our audience this may be their first trip to the theatre; we want them to love it as much as we do!
So, I started by spending lots of time with the characters (I've watched every episode of Bing multiple times and it helps that I have a three-year-old who wants to watch with me). I also explored the books, website and all the ways that our children have come to love Bing. Then started to think of the right story to tell.
Why are you using puppets for Bing Live?
Well, as all Bing lovers know, Bing is much bigger than Flop, his carer. The size dynamics of the characters are important, and puppets allow us to get that scale right (otherwise all the characters would have to be human size). Puppets are magical and allow us to create our characters without having to turn them into people. Children have such huge imaginations they will be swept up into Bing's world straight away.
Who will love Bing Live and what can audiences look forward to?
If you love Bing, you'll love Bing Live! You can look forward to seeing your favourite characters come to life in front of you and join them in their story. There'll be plenty of interaction and fun to be had, and lots of music and songs. We are sure that “Bingsters”, parents, grandparents and siblings will love the show too... truly a great experience for the whole family.
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- Bing Live - Bing - credit Johan Persson.jpg
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- Bing Live - Sula, Coco, Pando, Bing 2 - credit Johan Persson.jpg