Zannie Interview

Zannie Fraser is a puppeteer specialising in making, producing and performing shows for family audiences. Since 1998 with her own company, Ripstop Theatre, she has made 8 productions and regularly tours around the country performing in theatres and festivals.

She also teaches in schools, collages and universities running workshops in puppet making and performance for both adults and children. 

She has also worked with a wide variety of other puppet and theatre companies including Theatre Centre, Theatre sans Frontieres, Trestle Theatre, The Little Angel Theatre and Indefinite Articles.


For those who are not familiar with the story, what is 'Rumpelstiltskin' about?

It’s all about spinning! There those who can spin and those who can’t. The girl in this story can’t spin and it gets her into a whole lot of trouble. Rumpelstiltskin can spin but he is a trickster and will only help out at a price. It’s also a story about greed. The Royals love gold and always want more while Rumpelstiltsking can spin straw in to gold but he always wants something more…..


What was your inspiration for the show?

I’ve always loved knitting and sewing and making clothes and one day I had the idea to knit a whole show and Rumpelstiltskin seemed like a good story to tell in wool. I’ve also been inspired by some amazing artists/craftspeople who use textiles in their work.

I’ve taken spinning lessons and taught myself crochet and so, hopefully, this show will be as wool, fleecy and fluffy as a sheep.


How did the collaboration with Norwich Puppet Theatre come about?

We first worked at Norwich Puppet Theatre 23 years ago and have visited and worked there on and off ever since. Now that we live in Norwich, Joy, the Director, asked us if we’d like to work as associate artists on a project with the Puppet Theatre. This all began last year and it has developed from there.


What is the best thing about telling a story using puppetry? 

Puppets can do things that human actors can’t so they express themselves differently, more visually. For example the girl puppet is make from a woollen blanket so when she is excited she doesn’t change her facial expression but she can spin, bounce and do flips. Then Rumpelstiltskin is like a spinning machine so he looks like he’s made out of bits of an old spinning wheel. He can move like a person but he can also quite literally spin as well as becoming un-spun. All these possibilities give a wonderful visual accompaniment to the spoken narrative.

You can book tickets online for this event via the UEA ticket office*, or by phone through our box office.

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*Please note that an additional booking fee will be added to the ticket price