The Devil, The Tsar & The Three Dry Biscuits
A fairytale for families with children aged 8 years and over
The Tsar’s winter palace has a demon problem, and there’s only one man with the wit, the will, and the peculiar equipment needed to solve it...
World renowned for his dynamic and lively performances, Ben Haggarty tells this romper-stomper fairytale with infectious charm and deceptive ease. Having left the Imperial Russian army with nothing but a twist of tobacco, a pipe and three dry biscuits, our hero promptly improves his prospects by getting his hands on some rather more useful items - a magic sack and a pack of playing cards with which you can never lose. Adventures ensue as he sets out to rid the Tsar’s winter palace of its demon infestation; tries his hand at the medical profession, and then has the (not so) bright idea of trying to prevent death from getting on with her job...
This is a perfect example of what a family storytelling show can be. Fast paced, brimful of rich metaphorical imagery, sometimes dark, very magical, and laced with humour, it’ll have children and adults alike practicing their Russian salutes, and some of them up on the stage to help with the proceedings.
Production is highly versatile. The show has been performed in black box theatres, village halls, pub theatres, and at literature & arts festivals. It is devised to appeal to parents and children (8+), but is unsuitable for younger children.
Artist fees are negotiable, in the region of £300 (expenses may apply). The show is available to venues in Herefordshire & Worcestershire at £250 all inclusive.
Combined fee for an adult show (Fairytales for Grown-ups) and a family matinee the following day (The Devil, The Tsar & The Three Dry Biscuits), in the region £500 (plus expenses).
The artists will accept hospitality and has access to accommodation in Kendal, London, West Sussex, Herefordshire and Worcestershire.
The Devil, The Tsar & The Three Dry Biscuits is in permanent repertoire. It is initially touring Jan – July 2012 (tour dates may be extended into autumn 2012)
Press for Ben Haggarty
‘I was spell-bound – I don’t use the word lightly’ The Times
‘... and what a story this one was – it unravelled itself mischievously in Haggarty’s quietly skilful telling.’
The New Statesman
‘Haggarty tells his stories with enormous relish and gusto.’ The Independent
‘Haggarty’s telling is an adroit mixture of the imposingly epic and the reassuringly rhythmic,
tempered by a twinkle that admits to the story’s heightened nature, without mocking it’
‘He knows how to harness the audience’s imagination offering up the story’s epic twists and turns
in a way that animates them without over selling them’
A master of improvisation and renowned for his playful and energetic performances, Ben Haggarty is a world-class performance storyteller, whose work charms, delights and subverts audiences across the English-speaking world.
Having been trained in mime and theatre direction, and apprenticed as an image-maker with Welfare State, Ben became a central figure in the re-visioning of storytelling as a contemporary performing art in the UK. He co-founded the Company of Storytellers, with fellow members Hugh Lupton and Sally Pomme Clayton; created the Crick Crack Club; co-founded Beyond the Border International Storytelling Festival, and is a promoter, programmer, and a much sought after director and trainer.
Ben has performed in venues ranging from caves to the Carnegie hall. He works in theatres, art centres, festivals, museums and galleries across the UK, the USA, Canada and Northern Europe, and has featured as guest storyteller representing Britain, in over 45 international storytelling festivals in 23 countries. Ben’s performances, including ‘Gilgamesh’, ‘Frankenstein’, ‘Mr Sandmann’ ‘Midir and Etain’, ‘Beauty and the Beast’, and his programmes of ‘Fairytales for Grown-ups’ have earned him international acclaim.
Ben is the official storyteller with Yo Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble and Honorary Professor of Storytelling at the Berlin University of the Arts (UDK). His extraordinary graphic novel, MeZolith, was published in April 2010, by David Fickling Books.
The Crick Crack Club Presents:
The Devil, The Tsar & The 3 Dry Biscuits
Performance storytelling by Ben Haggarty
The Tsar’s winter palace has a demon problem, and there’s only one man with the wit, the will and the peculiar equipment needed to solve it...
Ben Haggarty embarks on a rumbustious tale of outwitting and trickery. In this Russian fairytale a magical sack can solve all your hunger problems, doctors wield drinking glasses in place of stethoscopes, and a soldier determined to outwit death, learns that a good game of cards can get you both into, and out of, a whole lot of trouble.
Ben Haggarty’s romper-stomper performances of wholehearted wondertales have earned him an international reputation (a good one!). His shows are energetic, always playful, sometimes dark, and unashamedly magical.
Copy for press releases / sample press release
Production is highly flexible and if any of the stated technical requirements present a difficulty or query, then please do contact us. The artist will happily work in non-performance venues, provided there is a point of focus for the performance and minimal noise intrusion from adjoining areas (please contact us to discuss your situation).
Minimum get-in (prior to house opening): 1 hour
Performance length: 1 hour (no interval).
Target audience: families with children aged 8+ (unsuitable for younger children).
Performance area: dimensions minimum: 4 metres width, 3 metres depth, 3 metres headroom.
Set: Performance to take place in front of black drapes where possible.
Performance to take place on black painted floor where possible.
1 plain old wooden armless chair or old wooden stool (artist can supply if necessary)
Lighting: There are only two states: a preset and a performance state.
Preset to include forest break-up (gobos and gels can be supplied by artist).
Performance state is a warm wash.
Beyond this requirement, the artist is happy for technical staff to be creative – in negotiation with the artist during technical get-in.
More details can be provided.
Sound: In smaller venues (up to approx 180 seating capacity) the performance can be performed acoustically.
In larger venues, where audience capacity and venue demand full amplification, a lavalier type radio microphone will be required, and a sound technician will need to be present.
PA for walk in music
Contact Details – The Crick Crack Club
34 Hartington Road
07791 157 437