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Our round-up of 2023 has been slow to emerge due to Indigo Moon Theatre’s co-artistic director Haviel Perdana being involved in a terrible accident in January 2024, involving a young motorcyclist who did not see him walking in the street.  He is thankfully on the mend, making an extremely brave recovery, albeit slowly.  All our team, family and wider extended family of friends are rooting for him to make a full recovery and invite you to join us in sending positive healing energy his way.

Returning to 2023, one of our highlights was finally being able to announce our involvement in the spooky shadow theatre elements of Sir Kenneth Branagh’s latest film, A Haunting in Venice, filmed in 2022.  The film launched on 15th September and we were all pretty starry eyed seeing our names in the credits.  Anna was the puppeteer, and assisted in making scenery, which was otherwise mainly designed and made by Haviel Perdana, while Susanna Samanek designed all the characters. It was a pleasure for us to have been able to join Sir Kenneth’s appreciative team in Twickenham.

In late Summer into September, our same team enabled TV presenter Hannah Fry to use shadow puppetry to demonstrate Elisha Otis’ invention of the safety brake in passenger lifts, for an episode of BBC2’s, Secret Genius of Modern Life.

Aside from our recorded media commissions, 2023 was a steady year for live touring, with SeedHeart continuing to visit diverse venues around the country. Our little puppet, Grey travelled to Barnes,  Oldham’s Illuminate Festival,  Worcester, Ulverston, The Scottish Mask & Puppet Centre in Glasgow, Up Front Puppet Theatre near Penrith, Newcastle Puppetry Festival, Bedford, Thetford, Brighton Fringe, Portsmouth, Keswick, Harold Hill, Beverley Minster Eco-Fair, and market hubs in Blackburn and  Darwen. Phew! Our interactive shadow installation also accompanied SeedHeart to the Oldham Illuminate Festival, facilitated by Thomas Byrne who joined us that day.

2023 also saw us bid farewell to Cecil2 the Citroen, who like Cecil1 the Citroen (both named after Anna’s 2 grandfathers), served us well for 10 years. We were very lucky to welcome Flossie the Ford in March 2023, who despite being slightly lower can still fit three shows inside. Unfortunately, Flossie suffered a hit and run incident on Christmas Eve while parked – which caused an inordinate amount of not immediately obvious damage via the rear corner but can still be driven and will be receiving full repair treatment in April 2024. Our tip to anyone purchasing vehicle insurance is that an, “uninsured driver promise” may not include hit and run!

Indigo Moon Theatre’s first ever act, Saraswati, returned to dance again at the Oriental Museum’s Diwali celebrations in Durham, and Anna attempted her first ever PowerPoint presentation when invited to talk at a Beverley Heritage Open Day, alongside artists John and Philippa Naylor, to celebrate arts and culture in Beverley.

Anna’s continued work as co-artistic director of Beverley Puppet Festival involved her in facilitating Beverley Puppet Festival’s interim year activities. This saw Animated Objects of Scarborough and puppeteer, Liz Dorton of Hull – with colleague Graham Johnson, deliver residencies in two Beverley schools. The residencies resulted in giant puppets, which will appear at the next Beverley Puppet Festival in July. Anna and her co-artistic director (of Beverley Puppet Festival) Kerrin Tatman, also submitted another successful funding bid for Beverley Puppet Festival 2024.

In Autumn 2023, thanks to funding from Arts Council England, and the support of our producer Darren Walter, Indigo Moon Theatre was able to remount two of our classic shows – The Lost Forest (originally made in 2005) and Jungle Book (originally made in 2013). We welcomed Hal Neumann to the team, who experienced our performance process and helped Susanna Samanek greatly with laser cutting while upgrading the puppets and making them more robust. He was followed by Malik Morgan-Murphy who continues to tour The Lost Forest and Jungle Book, having learnt Haviel’s performance role in both these shows. This enables them to be performed even if Haviel is unavailable.  We are grateful too to: Steve Stevenson for helping us capture film footage of this process; Bev Richmond who joined the team for the marketing of this project and continues to support with social media in 2024; Tam Gilbert for her consultancy on accessibility; Manju Gregory for her work on our resource activities and Satish Pujji for our re-designed print.

ndigo-Moon-Theatres-Anna-Ingleby-and-Haviel-Perdana-L-R-with-back-L-R-Steve-Stevenson-film-Susanna-Samanek-puppet-design-and-IMT-technician-Hal-Neumann.jpg After the Autumn rehearsal period, in 2023 Jungle Book toured to Ulverston, Thetford, Norwich Puppet Theatre, St. Albans, and Bedford, and The Lost Forest went to Malvern Festival of Storytelling, Applecart Arts in London, and Westacre Theatre in King’s Lynn…… with both shows continuing to tour into 2024.

Anna completed the year by working for a fifth Christmas season performing outdoor nighttime lanterns for Wild Rumpus – this time not at Chester Zoo but instead at Tatton Park – where she operated the yule goat most of her evenings, seeing out the year in festive spirit.

Wishing everyone a much belated Happy New Year 2024 – and a happy Springtime, with continued hope for a more peaceful, humane and understanding world.

Anna Ingleby, March 2024