Stone based Puppet Master, David Leech produces crocodiles for Pantomime.

One-o'crock,-two-o'crock....-these-crocks-rock!
“One o’crock, two o’crock…. these crocks rock!”

When adapting Peter Pan for a professional Pantomime production this Christmas at Sheringham Little Theatre in Norfolk, Director and Writer Nick Earnshaw knew he wanted to include puppetry when thinking about the famous crocodile that chases Captain Hook.

“I came up with the idea” says Nick, “of splitting the character in two and make it Twin brother crocodiles in the story. That way we could have a sibling rivalry contest within the story to add a fresh twist.”

This is where Tick and Tock started, but no easy task designing and building two crocodile puppets for the stage.

The two crocs needed personality but also needed to be practical to use.

Nick-with-the-two-crocs
Nick with the two crocs

Through Rooftop Studios Nick had worked with David during the Stone Puppet Festival last year where the students performed “Lonely Goat Herd.”

He knew David was the man for the job and approached him with the idea.

“David was great, we had a meeting and I described these two crocodiles including their personalities and appearance. David immediately came back with lots of ideas and examples.
It was clear here was a man passionate about puppets and the person to make Tick and Tock for our production”

David-and-Nick-taking-them-for-a-test-drive-in-Stone-High-Street
David and Nick taking them for a “test drive” in Stone High Street (Photo by Jill Hood)

 

David explained,

“I’m always delighted to receive commission for puppets to be used on stage or in TV but I don’t ever recall being asked to make crocodile puppets before so this was going to take a bit of planning.

It didn’t take long to come up with a design and although it took some time to get them right, I have enjoyed the challenge and I’m pleased and relieved to say, that Nick seemed very pleased with them too.

I look forward to seeing the pantomime in December in Norfolk to see the crocs in action. I’m sure whoever is given the task of handling them, they’ll create a “snappy” performance!”