Home Musical play Watch theater artists bring life-size puppets (bigger than) to life in the new 101 Dalmatians musical

Watch theater artists bring life-size puppets (bigger than) to life in the new 101 Dalmatians musical

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Watch theater artists bring life-size puppets (larger than) to life 101 Dalmatians Musical

Kate Fleetwood is Cruella de Vil in the Limited Engagement at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre.

The Regent’s Park Open Air Theater production of 101 Dalmatians officially opened in London on July 22 after previews that began on July 12. Starring Olivier and Tony contestant Kate Fleetwood as Cruella de Vil, performances continue until August 28.

In the video above, puppet designer and maker Toby Olié, who also helped develop the jaw-dropping puppets for Tony’s winner Battle horsediscusses his process for bringing the title canines of this new musical to life.

“I think the kind of different shapes that we have in the show keep that sense of playfulness and fun about the dogs and their relationship with their owners,” says Olié.

Timothy Sheader directs 101 Dalmatians with choreography and movement direction by Liam Steel and musical supervision and orchestrations by Sarah Travis. Read the reviews here.

Fleetwood is joined by Stuart Angell as Captain (Head), George Bukhari as Jasper, Sonya Cullingford, Karen Fishwick as Danielle, Tom Peters as Captain (voice), Eric Stroud as Dominic, Jonny Weldon as Casper and Grace Wylde as Madame Gifted.

The set includes Jamil Abbasi, Sonya Cullingford, Joseph Fletcher, CJ Johnson (who will play Cruella on August 10 and matinees on August 18 and 25), Kody Mortimer and Courtney George with swings Jade Davies, Taofique Folarin, Tash Holway (also the dancing captain), and Simon Oskarsson.

Dalmatians Pongo and Perdi are performed by Danny Collins (Pongo Voice), Emma Lucia (Perdi Voice), Yana Penrose (Perdi Head) and Ben Thompson (Pongo Head). Young company alternating as Dalmatian puppies includes Rebecca Bennett, Charlie Man-Evans and Harmony Cover-Allicock for Button; Darcey Fryer-Bovill, Rhiya Rasalingam and Paul Sarte for Lucky; Oscar Cox, Charlie McGonagle and Albie Salter for Patch; and George Clarke, Hadlee Snow and Howard Webb for Spud.

Musicians include Ollie Boorman, Sam Edgington, Tom Harrison and Liam Spencer-Smith, alongside Susanah van den Berg, Helena Gullan, Mischa Jardine, Liz Kitchen, Sam Morgan Grahame, Sioned Saunders who also feature in the ensemble.

The newly commissioned musical, based on the book by Dodie Smith, features music and lyrics by Douglas Hodge and book by Johnny McKnight from the stage adaptation by Zinnie Harris. This new adaptation is distinct from both the 1961 Disney animated film and an earlier musical adaptation by BT McNicholl and Dennis DeYoung which toured the United States in 2009 starring Rachel York as Cruella.

The creative team also includes casting assistant Shanaé Chisholm, associate director Josie Daxter, casting director Jill Green, associate choreographer Tash Holway, associate voice and text and season director Barbara Houseman, lighting designer Howard Hudson, assistant puppet director Maia Kirkman-Richards, sound designer Nick Lidster for Autograph, costume designer Katrina Lindsay, season associate/intimacy support Ingrid Mackinnon, music director Tarek Merchant, children’s casting directors Verity Naughton and Nick Hockaday for Verity Naughton Casting, puppet designer and director Olié, set designer Colin Richmond, sound designer Ella Wahlström and creative associate Nic Wass.

Visit OpenAirTheatre.com.

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Check out production photos from London’s 101 Dalmatians musical