The first episode in the children's TV show, Puppet Planet, is about a 9-year-old girl called Thandi who lives on a farm in the Great Karoo. She has an isiXhosa speaking father, Afrikaans speaking mother, English-speaking teacher, and a magical dog! With her trusty satchel, magnifying glass and butterfly net, she and her dog Oogies explore the wild Karoo near their house. They discover the fossil of an ancient mammal relative called Lystrosaurus. Oogies sings a magical song that takes them 250 million years back in time to when the Lystrosaurus was alive. They meet the animals and plants of that time and find out more about climate change, fossils, and prehistoric life. On their way back home in the present, they accidentally travel to 70 million years ago and meet a giant frog who shows them how her life cycle works. They find a dinosaur’s egg and manage to take it home with them. Hiding the egg from the adults, they take care of it, so it will eventually hatch and lead them into their next series of adventures!
This theatre video explores magical realism and evocative puppets to share the rich natural history of South Africa with primary school children and their families.
It is relevant to a broad audience of isiXhosa, Afrikaans and English speakers, appealing to their curiosity and providing engaging educational material about the natural heritage of South Africa.
The Puppet Planet series is supported by an interactive website, activity books, lesson plans, video clips, and workshops.
The pre-launch of this programme will take place on 24 june at the Iziko Museum, Cape Town with the main launch to follow in October (date TBC) after which the first episode will be broadcast on CCTV and radio.
Jungle Theatre Company and its partners are currently fundraising for the production of a 2nd TV episode and the construction of a shadow theatre.