A giant blue puppet of a monstrous tadpole, lit up from the inside. Around it are several children holding smaller lights hanging from rods.

Monster Soup

An illuminated big puppet community parade

Meet: Monster Soup

Illuminating the microscopic world of the rivers, waterways and oceans through objects, music and big puppets.

The Monster Soup illuminated big puppet parade was a participatory outdoor theatre event that examined the microscopic world of the River Thames in Nine Elms – Wandsworth. Local pupils from St George’s Primary and Griffin Primary schools participated in a workshop series at the Rose Community Centre.

Young people designed and created their very own river monster lanterns, which they paraded alongside a giant toothy tadpole puppet called Arthur.

Throughout the project the young people investigated the microscopic world of the Thames, a world unseen and a place that we all need to care for. The project encouraged local residents to explore newly regenerated public spaces and places unknown to them in their local area.

The initial inspiration for the project began with a satirical Victorian image called Monster Soup, which highlighted the pollution in London’s drinking water. We were interested in “highlighting the ongoing issue London still has with its air and water pollution” in an engaging and positive way.

Cast and Creatives

Artistic Director: Ivan Thorley
Designer: Pip Herbst
Workshop Facilitators: Vicky Hancock, Ivan Thorley and Charlotte Quartermaine
Puppet Makers: Ivan Thorley, Pip Herbst, Charlotte Quartermaine, Caroline Bowman, Alison Alexander
Cast: The awesome community and kids of Savona, Patmore and Carey Gardens in Nine Elms Wandsworth

Find out more about Our People

Commissioned and managed by Pump House Gallery, part of the OutHouse programme, delivering off-site activities and workshops across the borough of Wandsworth. Funded by Pump House Gallery, Wandsworth Council and Battersea Power Station Foundation.