A DUCKLING created from old tea utensils 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.
These are just some of the charming characters who will be gracing the Purcell Room stage at the Southbank Centre from Friday.
Rubbish is show with an original blend of puppetry and comedy produced by Theatre-Rites, one of the UK’s most celebrated children’s theatre companies.
Directed by seasoned puppeteer Sue Buckmaster, it is a family show designed to encourage the audience to reflect on the importance of recycling and to engage with the magical potential of discarded materials.
In it, the puppeteers bring to life four inquisitive excavators, fully-equipped with protective gear, who rummage and scavenge through bins brimming with unloved rubbish.
Out of each bag an animated figure will be fashioned entirely from objects that have been discarded showing audiences the skills and processes used by puppeteers to give life to inanimate objects.
"The piece has been inspired by a culture which encourages us to constantly upgrade, update and disregard," explains Sue.
"It aims to show rubbish and waste materials in a new light to children and adults and hopefully get people to think differently about what they throw away and what impact it has on our environment.
"The work we do as a theatre company is object led rather than script led so we start with an object and find out what stories they have got to tell, writing it as we go."
For this show, the team collected 25 bags of rubbish to find a whole array of objects from plastic bottles to vintage items that were no longer needed, useful or wanted.
"We chose six bags which had the most interesting contents and presented what we had found to the puppeteers and asked them to improvise and we went from there," says Sue.
"It was a fascinating process and extremely interesting to see what was in the bags and what was created."
And although the show has a serious side to it, Sue says there is a lot of humour in the piece too.
"It's funny and enchanting and will resonate with anyone aged five and over though in different ways.
"Recycling for children is like breathing though," she adds. "They totally get it and it's great to see their reactions and the amazement when they see what we've created."
Rubbish is on at the Southbank Centre from Friday, April 11 until Monday, April 21. Tickets cost £12 for adults and £6 for children. Call the box office on 020 7960 4200.