Puppet show based on environmental allegory coming to Hawick

Edinburgh's Puppet State Theatre Company staging The Man Who Planted Trees.
Edinburgh's Puppet State Theatre Company staging The Man Who Planted Trees.

An environmental allegory from the 1950s turned into a puppet show can be seen at the Heart of Hawick this week.

Live Borders is presenting a production by Edinburgh’s Puppet State Theatre Company of The Man Who Planted Trees, a theatrical adaptation of French author Jean Giono’s 1953 short story of that name, this Friday, October 11.

Billed as a multi-sensory blend of comedy, puppetry and storytelling, it’s been touring schools, village halls, theatres and festivals across the UK and Ireland since 2006, winning numerous awards over that time.

Set from 1913 to 1947, it tells the story of Elzéard Bouffier, a French shepherd on a mission to plant a forest to transform a barren wasteland into Provence’s answer to the Garden of Eden.

Becki Hodgson, activities and programming development officer for Live Borders, said: “In a world of younger and younger clued-up, activists and environmentalists, The Man Who Planted Trees tells the tale of how one person can truly make a difference if they really believe in something.

“The production is beautiful and sensitive, offering a wonderful adaptation to enthral and inspire, keeping in mind our ethos here at Live Borders of healthier, happier and stronger individuals and communities.

“We are over the moon to welcome Puppet State Theatre Company back to the Borders to play a part in this autumn’s live touring programme.”

The Man Who Planted Trees starts at 3.30pm at the Heart of Hawick. Tickets cost £6 for adults and £4 for children under 16.

To book, visit www.liveborders.org.uk/book/whats-on/the-man-who-planted-trees-at-heart-of-hawick

This week’s show is the only one in the Borders the company has lined up at the moment and one of just four in Scotland for the remainder of 2019.

It can also be seen in Blyth, Ashington and Hexham in Northumberland, however, and on this side of the border at New Galloway, near Castle Douglas in Dumfries and Galloway, as well as Glenrothes in Fife and Uig on the Isle of Skye.

Giono’s book was also turned into a half-hour-long animated film by Frédéric Back in 1987, winning the following year’s Academy Award for best animated short film.

It came out in two versions, one in French and the other in English, narrated by actors Philippe Noiret and Christopher Plummer respectively.