Told through the language of insects, Du Iz Tak? is a story about the cycle of life and all its impermanence. Come and peer into a miniature world of little puppets to see a delightful group of friends exploring their ever-changing home. Adapted from the award-winning and beautiful book by Carson Ellis.
Du Iz Tak? is an enchanting, unusual and magical theatre show for young families, performed in unusual spaces. As you peer into a miniature world insects pop up from hidey holes and go about their daily tasks, chatting in their own special language. This delightful group of friends busily inhabit their ever-changing home as the seasons come and go, creating a gloriously visual feast of a show. Du Iz Tak? has been performed in parks, a wood, and on the main stage at Theatre Royal, Brighton.
‘Funny, imaginative and thought provoking. A show for all the family’
Running time 30 minutes. Watch the video HERE.
Du Iz Tak? will be touring in 2022.
Du Iz Tak? was made as a labour of love during 2020 lockdown by Annie Brooks and Katherine Morton - created from leftover scraps, dolls house remnants and an old suitcase found in the loft. We were overjoyed to get the rights to the book from the writer and illustrator, Carson Ellis. With support from Arts Council, Annie and Katherine worked on bringing the characters to life as puppets, and the tiny props and sets to life...as even tinier sets and props.
We then joined forces with talented puppeteers Sophie Powell and Lisa Mills to bring the troupe of little critters alive: It really kept us sane through 2020 making each other laugh at ladybirds drinking tiny cocktails and woodlice doing the hoovering.
Theatre Royal Brighton welcomed the company in to develop and rehearse the new show during the closure of the venue and to present initial performances when lock down eased. The joy that audiences felt when they met these tiny insects telling a timeless story led to the invite to return for Christmas!
If you are interested in booking the show, please contact us for a tech spec.
"A tiny tale told by tiny creatures about BIG ideas. Told though the language of insects, Du Iz Tak? is a story about the cycle of life and all its impermanence. A stunning visual aesthetic combined with clever puppetry make this new adaptation of Carson Ellis’s picture book a total delight."
"There are secrets in the undergrowth. A ‘gladdenboot’ is peeking up from the soil, a bug buzzes above and a large ladybird bustles about self importantly. Beneath a broadcloth sky, to a music-box tune, insects in hats or with spectacles emerge, chatting their own insect language, getting ready for whatever the new day brings.
Carson Ellis’s popular picture book is brought truly alive in this exquisitely made and beautifully paced show for children. No action lacks a purpose; with deft hands two puppeteers manipulate their tiny charges, building the landscape as they go. Attention is firmly focused on the set, cleverly built from a suitcase and table with a rolling canvas backdrop. The grandeur of the Theatre Royal’s interior retreats as insects pop up from hidey holes to go about their daily tasks. The detail in the making is extraordinary, with cries of “Henry Hoover!” when a centimetre small version appears.
There’s a touch of magical realism to Ellis’s story; the cricket plays a violin, damsel flies build a tree house, the ladybird likes to relax in a deckchair and read a book (in her own language we assume.) Whilst there isn’t a moral as such neither is there sentimentality. A giant spider spreads it web over the plant only to be picked off by an even bigger bird. Night falls and with it snow and another dawn in the garden. The work and the play goes on.
Most children in the audience are familiar with the book, have a favourite character and know some of the lingo. But even for the novice like me the creative text is understandable and the piece a predominantly visual feast.
The combined talents of Annie Brooks, Katherine Morton, Sophie Ellen Powell and Lisa Mills elegantly blend design and function. Even backstage is beautiful, with the puppets nestling in an old fashioned sewing box, and the exit corridor decorated with rag-bunting and little Du Iz Tak? scenes. The performers (at this show Annie Brooks and Katherine Morton) wear matching dungarees and top-knots, engaging the kids whilst they settle with an easy and charming rapport.
With its compact set and pool of performers this miniature epic is perfect for touring to all kinds of settings. If you see it listed book quickly; the kids will love you for it.
One thing is certain; I’ll never look at a woodlouse the same way again. Ta ta furt."
Published June 7, 2021 by Lisa Wolfe