Saturday, May 14, 2016

The Tale of Jack Sheppard in London’s East End

From Past Tense:-
Otherstory Puppetry company celebrate the story of a local hero in London’s East End

Otherstory, a puppetry collective from Bristol, bring their table top paper theatre show, Escape was on Everyone’s Mind – The Tale of Jack Sheppard to London’s East End from 19th to 21st May.

 It tells the story of the notorious 18th Century jailbreaker and popular local hero Jack Sheppard. 18th Century London, its raucous mobs, rapacious merchants and well-fed judges, are brought to vivid life on a table. The use of simple cut-out puppets and zigzagging set lead the audience through unexpected turns among the characters, institutions, and dodgy deals of a time of upheaval; a time with parallels to our own. Jumps in scale, audience participation and the textured use of sound and song add drama and depth to the story. A playful, political, visually stunning tale of daring and resistance.

Trevor Houghton from Otherstory commented: “We were inspired by the engravings of William Hogarth. We have taken on his picture-storytelling style: the vibrant detail, the satire, the use of one character's story to map and critique a society on many levels; and we have attempted to translate this into puppetry. Jack’s story travelled worldwide - evolving with each generation. A prime reason for bringing this show to the East End is to reanimate this process by bringing the story to a new generation.”

View the trailer at

Two members of Otherstory have recently trained with the Curious School of Puppetry a ground breaking new puppetry course based in Bethnal Green – see

Performances last 70 mins, suitable for adults and older children (10+) will be followed by a post-show discussion led by radical history group – Past Tense

Where and When to see it:
19th May – 7.15 pm. Cardboard Citizens  - 77a Greenfield Rd, E1 1EJ

20th May – 7.15 pm. Brady Arts Centre - 192-196 Hanbury St, E1 5HU

£10 (£6 concessions)
to book go to

21st May - 3.00 pm. Special show for local residents at Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives, 277 Bancroft Road, E1 4DQ
For more info on reserving places for this performance please phone 07501614256

May 22nd – 7.15 pm – London Action Resource Centre (LARC)
62 Fieldgate St, London E1 1ES
For more info on this performance please phone 07501614256

Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.
There are a number of other performances around the country from May to July
For further information contact: Trevor Houghton – Otherstory - 07501614256

Past Tense have now also produced a poster commemorating Jack Sheppard, available from publications page.
Featured in The Newgate Calendar, Panther Books 1962 pp.55-65.

"The burning of Newgate on the night of 6 June 1780"
(during the Gordon Riots)

Original title page.
n.b. This is not necessarily a 100% reliable source.

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