Then they came back

Then they came back

2021

Devised and directed by
Tim Benjamin
Music Director
Ellie Slorach
Designers
Andrew Kim & Sue Walpole

“What will happen ... when they come back?”

Then they came back is a film and live event featuring giant puppets, a choir, and a contrabass clarinet - questioning whether our relationship with the natural world will change, once we come out of post-Covid isolation, to be released/launched in Autumn 2021.

Supported by funding from Arts Council England


A girl plays in the field near the old wood with her friends. Their toy plane crashes into the trees, but they don't dare enter, and return home empty-handed. But one night during the dark days of 2020 the little girl has a dream about the Beast that lives in the forest... as it wonders, no longer hiding from human-kind in the silence of lockdown, what will happen when they come back?

“I want to capture on film a magical forest, incredibly lush and vibrant colours, which will contrast with the bright artificial colours worn by the young girl and provide a suitably enchanting backdrop for the Beast”
Tim Benjamin (writer and director)

A test shot of a potential film location
A test shot of a potential film location (by Tim Benjamin)

Making The Beast

The character of "The Beast" is a key figure in this production - inspired by the legends of Herne the Hunter and the Wild Hunt, along with more recent apparitions from fiction such as Tolkein's treants. The costume is built on a giant scale, designed to be worn by a stilt-walker yet agile enough to interact with other actors.

Starting with a "mood board" - a collection of images gathering together the production's visual inspiration - the costume is then built by Andrew Kim of Thingumajig Theatre.

Moodboard for 'Then they came back'
Part of the moodboard for the production's design, showing the inspiration for The Beast

Expert giant puppet makers Thingumajig Theatre will be creating and performing the Beast - which is a combination of a large mask, antlers, and an elaborate costume to fit over a stilt walker.

“The head is sculpted on a clay mould and will be formed with a heat-formed material. Meanwhile, fabric is hand dyed to an earthy palette”
Andrew Kim (designer, costume-maker, and stilt-walker)

Work in progress - making The Beast (by Andrew Kim)
Work in progress - making The Beast (by Andrew Kim)