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Curious Cargo has a selection of highly visual, comic, intriguing, interactive strolling acts which are available
for bookings throughout the year (Lollipop Patrol, The Lost Luggage Porters, The Temperance Society, The Temperance Society at Christmas, Busy Lizzy , Winter Rose & The Winter Sprites)

Click on an image to find out more

Curious Cargo creates street theatre & visual theatre pieces for unconventional settings. As a performance company Curious Cargo has worked at festival & events across the country including Showzam Festival, Blackpool, Glastonbury & V festivals. Curious Cargo has also performed in settings such as the Children's Hospital in Birmingham, Manchester Art Gallery, Royal Horitcultural Society Flower Shows, Henley Arts Festival, Liverpool Museum & Early Years settings.

Curious Cargo offers bespoke workshop and training packages in physical & visual theatre techniques.
Curious Cargo also undertakes site-specific/event specific commissioned shows.

To view images of events click on the buttons below:


Current Strolling Shows: available for bookings

Lollipop Patrol

With excessive enthusiasm and a slippery grip on reality, the Lollipop Patrol are here to help and hinder.
Fluorescent and effervescent, the 64th emergency service, the luminous hand of the law, they are a veritable flurry of fluoro.
Experience their traffic-trauma, delight in their neon neuroisis, and cross them at your peril!

A comic character walkabout show with two performers.

Quotes about the Lollipop Patrol:

"And watch out for those officious lollipop ladies who seem intent on helping people get to places they just don't want to go"
The Guardian, Lyn Gardner, review of Streets of Brighton Festival.

" Curious Cargo's Lollipop Ladies were an asset to the Art Car Parade, and the audience loved their mischievous redirecting of traffic and people, and their banter delighted passers-by." Liz Pugh, Producer - Walk the Plank

"The work of the company is always of the highest quality, and they are reliable and easy to deal with from a production point of view, as well as being creative and playful when performing." Liz Pugh, Producer - Walk the Plank

"The Lollipop Ladies went down an absolute treat at the Feel Good Festival. It was a delight to see you encourage such a wide variety of people to play and laugh - this is exactly what we wanted to achieve! Your antics really brightened up the day and gave unsuspecting passers-by full permission to be silly. I particularly liked it when you propositioned one of the council staff who was there to empty the bins - I'm pretty sure you made his day!"
Kelly Allen, Arts Development Assistant, Rochdale Council, 2009.

"Curious Cargo entice you into their extraordinary world with grace, humour and a touch of anarchy. The Lollipop Patrol created just the right amount of consternation and mayhem to gather a loyal following in just a few hours. Accessible and high quality, both shows were hugely popular with people of all ages and the company were a joy to work with - positive, professional and fun".
Julie Tait, Director, Kendal Arts International (Lakes Alive & Mintfest)

"You two are absolutely the best Lollipop Ladies ever! You're awesome!" member of the public, Ricoh Womens Golf Championship, St Annes 2009.

"I have no idea why you are here but you've made my day, thankyou!" member of the public, Worcester Street Festival, 2008

"Larger than life and thoroughly entertaining", member of the public, Worcester Street Festival

"We loved you! The act was brilliant, marvellous". Jennifer, Organiser, Batley Festival.

"We saw footage of your Lollipop act on YouTube and we thought we've got to have them!"
Mandy, Organiser, Batley Festival.

"Those Lollipop Ladies are fab; they're hilarious, so entertaining!"
Spectator feedback via Adelle Jackson, Events Team, Kirklees Council.

Visit the curious cargo gallery and video clips to view images from a range of performances.



Lost Luggage Porters

Travel back in time with the Lost Luggage Porters to a world of monochrome, wonderment and curiosity. Join these silent movie characters in their quest to find the railway station, and experience their puzzlement and predicaments as they try to navigate their way through our modern-day metropolis. Accompanied by a soundscape of steam trains, watch as they explore the bizarre contents of their cargo ….. weird and wonderful tales unfold. Expect the unexpected!

A strolling show with static sequences, incorporating visual/physical theatre techniques, suitcase puppetry, dance/movement, & music/soundscapes.


Quotes about Lost Luggage Porters:


"Curious Cargo were a huge hit with all ages. They are completely professional and polished with fantastic crowd-drawing appeal. We all loved them!"
Barbara Lloyd, Link4Life, Rochdale Boroughwide Cultural Trust, 2009.

"Curious Cargo entice you into their extraordinary world with grace, humour and a touch of anarchy. The Lost Luggage Porters created an intriguing and poignant experience which mesmerised our audiences.
Accessible and high quality both shows were hugely popular with people of all ages and the company were a joy to work with - positive, professional and fun".

Julie Tait, Director, Kendal Arts International (WoW, Lakes Alive & Mintfest)

"An utterly enchanting show, I didn't want it to stop" member of the public, Garden of Delights Festival.

"On Sunday (27 August) I wandered into the Liverpool World Museum with my god-daughter and caught the last few moments of a wonderful mime act, which I'm told was your Curious Cargo show. I just wanted to write and say that the show looked wonderful! The costumes, make-up and mime were perfect, and the whole concept was really magical - as if the actors had walked straight out of a 1900's film - brilliant stuff!" K.Simmons (by email)

"Educational, entertaining, inventive and a joy for all the family" member of the public, Sheffield Snooker Festival.

"It certainly brightened up my shopping experience", member of the public, Worcester Street Festival.

"Curious Cargo performed the Lost Luggage Porters, which was very well received by staff and visitors in the gallery. I was extremely impressed with the engaging quality of Curious Cargo with our visitors, and their attention to artistic detail and their creativity". Zoe Renilson, Family Programmes Manager, Manchester City Galleries.

Visit the curious cargo gallery and video clips to view images from a range of performances.



The Temperance Society

Is your deportment dreadful? Has your etiquette evaporated? Are your morals meagre or missing? Then never fear, the Victorians are here to help you mend your ways. They’re frightfully proper, sombre and stern, with a terribly stiff upper lip. They’ll dust down your decorum, straighten your backbone, and sort out your p’s from your q’s! A whirlwind of petticoats, crinolinned crusaders; they’re the model of virtue you need!

The premise of The Temperance Society act is restraint from fun & frivolity, and a return to Victorian values & decorum (all done with tongue firmly wedged in cheek). The characters are passionate campaigners bestowing the fruits of temperance & moderate behaviour on all and sundry. They have pledges to be signed, tracts to be read, advise on etiquette and deportment, and aparatus to ascertain the extent of ones moral turpitude. In The Temperance Society act the Sisters of Sobriety join forces with the cravatted campaigners to create a two to five person walkabout act. (Also available as a one person act)."




Quotes about The Temperance Society:

"Thank you for your performance at this year's Blues Festival in Colne -
The Temperance Society was perfect street entertainment and the interaction with the crowds spot on, we have had loads of positive feedback.
A really professional and funny act, appreciated by all - thanks once again".
Dave Morton, Colne Rhythm & Blues Festival.


"The pair of them provide a beacon of restraint in an otherwise unruly world. I loved it."
Timothy Taylor, Head of Dance, Morley College, London.


Visit the curious cargo gallery and video clips to view images from a range of performances.




The Temperance Society at Christmas


Ever fearful of the festive frivolities The Temperance Society is on a mission to keep you on the straight & narrow this Yuletide season.
So if you're drowning in a sea of depravity then clamber aboard the lifeboat of morality!
With a rustle of crinoline and a crackle of starch they'll dust down your decorum, stiffen your backbone, and sort out your p's from your q's.
Arriving in a whirlwind of petticoats, these Victorian crusaders are the very model of virtue in these times of excess! Available as a two-five person walkabout show.

Quotes about The Temperance Society at Christmas:

"That was superb, I loved it, and you can quote me any time on that!" Dave Morton, Development Funding Manager, Pendle Council.

"It's fabulous and you look really great" Mr Walker, Landlord, Weatherspoons Pub, Kendal (Mintfest event)



Visit the curious cargo gallery and video clips to view images from a range of performances.





Busy Lizzy - The Flower Woman

Meadow sweet and balmy in both scent and nature meet this colourful wayfarer as she journeys on through the garden of life. She's a woman with flower power from long, long ago, and though ancient she maybe, going to seed she certainly is not. So weed out your woes and partake of her wildflowers and wise words, rituals and remedies, and befuddlement and bemusement. Lift your gloom with a bloom, calm your hysteria with wisteria, snore no more with herbivore, learn to chuckle with honeysuckle, and find your power in a flower! Her bloom is everlasting for you'll forget-her-not!

A delightful puppet walkabout show featuring the 'ancient flower woman puppet Busy Lizzy', carrying her cargo of flowers & foliage and interacting with the public.

Quotes about Busy Lizzy:

It was a pleasure to meet and work with Curious Cargo and Busy Lizzy - the act was, innovative, engaging. Her quirky and witty quotes brought a smile to everyones faces!
Curious cargo was thoroughly professional at all times and I wouldn't hesitate booking and working with them again in the future for other events."
Angela Moxham, 'Fusion', Girl Guide Centenary Event.

"Lovely face, lovely character and presentation. It will remind people that one can be an old crone and still be beautiful." Judith Taylor, Growing Old Disgracefully Network, Harrogate Annual Meeting/Event.


"When I first saw Busy Lizzy I thought she was a pure delight. She has a mischievous twinkle in her eye and is extremely humorous;
indeed she created much mirth as she walked about dispensing gardening tips and wise saws.
I would have expected this to be an act that appealed to adults, so was fascinated that children were intrigued and interacted with her too.
I've seen many street entertainers fall prey to unruly and uninterested youngsters, but she was enchanting and seemed to draw them into her wonderfully fragrant world.
This is a beautifully costumed, extremely skilled performance and I would have no hesitation in recommending the character for festivals and events."
Caroline Gannon, Silk Purse Entertainment


"Busy Lizzy went down a storm with the public at Birmingham's St George's Day! She was unique, engaging and totally fabulous. Her amazing costume would brighten up any event. The crowds loved her and we would definitely have her back again".
Pam Renoata Event Officer - Birmingham City Council.

"Busy Lizzy is one of those beautiful, soft-centred but highly quirky acts that takes you gently by surprise. The costume itself was fabulous, and the audience interaction really charming." Stewart Collins, Festival Director, Henley Arts Festival.


Visit the curious cargo gallery and video clips to view images from a range of performances.





Winter Rose

A Winter Rose of yesteryear,
Is here to share her festive cheer,
Her cargo decked with things that grow,
Holly, ivy, mistletoe.
She'll summon up traditions past,
And leave a memory sure to last.
So banish winter's cold and gloom,
And delight in this Yuletide bloom.


A delightful puppet walkabout show featuring the ancient wayfarer puppet 'Winter Rose', carrying her colourful cargo of festive flowers & foliage and interacting with the public.

Quotes about Winter Rose:

"Charming, mysterious, ethereal and gentle". Nick Carver, Jersey Tourism.

"I thought she was great, brilliant, I'd never seen anything like it before, well I suppose most people wouldn't have seen anything like it.
You know, you see a snowman whizzing past but you know what that is don't you, but this is something completely new, different. It's brilliant."
Nina, 'Spirit' staff, Whinfell Centre Parcs, Penrith.

"She's wonderful.....it's everything about her, the way she looks, the way she smells, everything's lovely". Emma, 'Spirit' staff, Whinfell Centre Parcs, Penrith.

"What an amazing imagination to create such a fabulous puppet." Amy Pitt, Braintree District Council.

"Brilliant! What a marvellous idea. She is magnificent!" Verna, Events Team (volunteer), Ipswich Borough Council.

"She's really very good indeed; a very entertaining act!" Lisa, Events Team (volunteer), Ipswich Borough Council.

"Fantastic costume. I've never seen anything like it. She's something truly different & so realistic." Kerri Green, Sandringham Hotel, Cardiff.

"Winter Rose is astonishing! What a marvellous creation." Heather Lesley, Director, Eco Office Supplies.

"I love seeing everyone's faces. She's a groovy, spectacular, entrancing crone. Bring back the crones!" Rachel Lindley, Manchester

"You're lovely! I took my son to see Santa earlier and he cried and cried, but look at him now, he's mesmerised by you!
" Passer-by, Centre Parcs, Penrith.

Visit the curious cargo gallery and video clips to view images from a range of performances.



New for 2015!


The Meadow Sprites

Charming, cheeky & thoroughly engaging these magical creatures have flown in from the meadow to explore the human world. Watch them as they fly & flit about, spreading summer's warmth & tales of their woodland habitat. Now you see them, now you don't! These characters will bewitch & beguile your audience. The Meadow Sprites is a strolling/walkabout street theatre show consisting of 2 puppeteer/performers operating 2 bunraku-style puppets, (the puppeteers are visible, veiled, & are behind the puppets animating their movements, giving them voice). Each puppet stands approx. 3ft tall & is costumed in glorious shimmering greens & golds that are illuminated with led lights integrated into the costumes, (perfect for daytime & evening events alike; festivals and parades). The show is a strolling visual spectacle involving spoken interactions with the audience/public & accompanied by a magical 'summer meadow soundtrack'.

 

 



The Winter Sprites

Released into the human world in the months leading to Christmas these spirited & mischievous creatures float, fly & flit from person to place; investigating & exploring as they go & spreading festive cheer, quips & yarns of winter's past, & stories galore.

"Not of air and not of earth, we come to bring you winter mirth.

Not of earth and not of air, we come to bring you winter cheer.

Lights and sparkle, stars and moon - Brighten frosty winter soon!

Though days be dark and short of light, let our radiance be your light!"


The Winter Sprites" is a strolling/walkabout street theatre show consisting of 2 puppeteer/performers operating 2 "Winter Sprite" bunraku-style puppets, (the puppeteers are visible, veiled, & are behind the puppets animating their movements, giving them voice, & making them fly, flit & leap around the performance area). The puppets are approx. 3ft tall & are costumed in glistening, icey colours that are illuminated with led lights integrated into the costumes, (perfect for daytime & evening events alike; festivals and parades). The show is a strolling visual spectacle involving spoken interactions with the audience/public & accompanied by a magical 'winter soundtrack'.

Visit the curious cargo gallery and video clips to view images from a range of performances.

Past/Commissioned Shows:

Team Lollipop for 2012

The Great British Lollipop Ladies bring fluorescent finesse to the Olympic Games in 2012. Cross them at your peril!

Going for gold in 2012 with Team Lollipop. On your marks, get set, STOP, LOOK & LISTEN!
Our fluoro coaches are out on the streets of Britain spotting Olympic potential in the new sport of "road crossing".
Fine tune your athletic prowess and find out if your style, technique, agility & reaction times qualify you to join the GB team with fluorescent finesse.

A comic character walkabout show with two performers.

Quotes about Team Lollipop:

"Curious Cargo entice you into their extraordinary world with grace, humour and a touch of anarchy. Accessible and high quality, both shows were hugely popular with people of all ages".
Julie Tait, Director, Kendal Arts International (Lakes Alive & Mintfest)

Visit the curious cargo gallery and video clips to view images from a range of performances.

Imperial War Museum, North - masked character The Artist



In 2013 we were commissioned to create a masked walkabout character 'The Artist', who performed a 20 minute interactive & participatory theatre piece within the main exhibition space at the museum. Laden with easel, canvas, art equipment, picnic & background music, our Artist focused the audience's attention on the fine art pieces within the space (paintings & sculptures), and encouraged the crowd to participate in drawing exercises whilst wining & dining specific members of the public (he was a romantic loveable rouge artist after all)!

Imperial War Museum - WW2 masked characters





The Imperial War Museum North commissioned Curious Cargo to create two WW2 masked walkabout characters to animate their 'Once Upon a Wartime' special exhibition.
The exhibition featured 5 children's fiction books: War Horse, Silver Sword, The Machine Gunners, Carrie's war & Little Soldier.
Having researched the books we decided to create 2 walkabout characters that would 'echo' some of the characters portrayed in the books: a 1940's house wife & an evacuee boy.
These characters strolled within the exhibition space, interacting with the public, before settling in the 1940's kitchen reconstruction, & the den/shelter reconstruction, where they set about their daily activities.

"Brilliant, I loved it! It encouraged families to interact, it was inclusive for people with different languages, & it also unleashed peoples curiosity!" Jennifer, Interpretor, Visitor Programmes Dept, IWMN.

"They were enthralled throughout, and even though there was no verbal dialogue, they were really drawn in." Caroline, Interpreter, Visitor Programmes Dept., IWMN.



Trade Super Troopers

The Super Troopers were created as the result of an 'Awards for All grant' which funded a safe sex project instigated and managed by Trade Sexual Health, (the gay and bisexual sexual health charity for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland). Through a series of workshops, facilitated by Tess Hills and Carrie English, the project participants experienced a range of drama games and exercises and from this devised & developed their superhero characters & performance pieces. In the run up to World AIDS Day 2008 the Super Troopers performed on a number of occasions in the city centre's gay venues, spreading the word about safer sex with practical sexual health advice and urging the audience to always 'Rip, Roll & Ride'!




Quote about Trade Super Troopers:


"In the wake of the Super Heroes Night, Trade received a huge amount of positive feedback for the project, which was held to be a massive success. Personal evaluations showed that each team member applied to be a Super Trooper with a different aim in mind; from giving something back to the community, to simply meeting new people. In each case, the individuals thought that the project had helped them to achieve those goals." Trade project evaluation.

"Thankyou for making the Trade Super Troopers a success". Sal Khalifa, Trade.

"It was really fun and informative working with Trade and Curious Cargo. What surprised me is that I've actually become more confident as a result of the workshops. I've had a great time, and learnt a lot about safer sex. I hope it's been as useful to the LGBTQ community in Leicester as it's been for us". Super Trooper participant.

"I couldn't put on a condom before. I unrolled it and tried to put it on like a pillowcase. Now I know how to 'Rip, Roll & Ride' safely!" "I loved every minute of it. Would jump at the chance of doing it again."
The two teachers were absolutely great." "My confidence has blossomed". "Through the workshops with Curious Cargo we developed an exciting new approach to creative volunteering. It's been great to see people from different age groups and backgrounds working together to promote sexual health in the gay community in such a fresh and exciting way."

Sal Khalifa, Trade Sexual Health Operations Manager Trade Super Troopers:


NHS Pride Nurses '1960s Nurses'

Costumes by Charlotte Newsome

This street theatre piece was created as part of the NHS float & parade entry for Manchester Pride 2008. Curious Cargo performers (Tess Hills, Carrie English & Jana Kennedy) collaborated with float & costume designer Charlotte Newsome to bring about these larger than life characters: nit nurse 'Nurse Poppit', sexual health nurse 'Nurse Scratchit', and dental nurse 'Nurse Yankit', to animate the space around the float & interact with the crowds along the route. Diagnosis's were made, prescriptions given & treatments delivered to the unsuspecting audience!



Manchester Art Gallery Art Treasures
(BAFTA nominated website)

Photos by Sharon Tait

Manchester Art Gallery commissioned Curious Cargo performers, Julian Waite & Tess Hills, to create a piece of strolling theatre inspired by the painting 'Work' by Pre Raphaelite painter Ford Maddox Brown. Our brief was initially to develop two characters, the Campaigner and the Navvy, for a walkabout show to be performed in and around the art gallery for the opening of the 'Art Treasures' exhibition, and for regular performances for the duration of the exhibition. We were then asked to further our research and develop an additional four characters from the painting which are featured on the gallery's interactive website. The Campaigner character has since been further developed into 'The Temperance Lady' & 'Temperance Society' street theatre show.

"Curious Cargo supply a truly professional and enjoyable working experience. The expertise and passion they have brought to projects has been inspiring.
It was a delight to work with Curious Cargo to develop the character of the Temperance Lady and Navvy found in Ford Maddox Brown's Art work 'Work'. Tess & Julian had a real understanding of the needs of the project and the audience for the characters. Their thorough research, attention to detail and will to make the a success of the project resulted in a script and performance that was truly memorial."

Emma Carroll, Senior Manager Schools and Colleges, Manchester City Galleries

"Curious cargo is a joy to work with: their creativity, skills and enthusiasm always shine through. It was fantastic (and great fun!) to work with Tess Hills and Julian Waite on the development of characters from Ford Madox Brown's Work interactive at Manchester Art Gallery which was nominated for a Children's BAFTA award in 2008. They researched a variety of different characters, created monologues for them, and developed their personalities into a promenade performance for the temperance campaigner and navvy in the gallery. I would have no hesitation in recommending Curious Cargo!"
Alex Woodall, Interpretation Development Officer, Manchester City Galleries

The Manchester City Art Gallery education departments creation of the Ford Maddox Brown 'Work' website was nominated for a BAFTA Children's Award in the Primary Learning category: Visit the BAFTA site





Manchester Art Gallery Masked Curator & Caretaker

The Education Department at Manchester Art Gallery asked Curious Cargo to create 2 masked characters and devise an interactive performance piece in and around the gallery setting. Children visiting the gallery 'happened' upon these characters as they went about their daily jobs in the gallery …… soon the children were involved in unpacking art works, curating an exhibition, and trying to work out how on earth to install the work ….. and throughout this interaction all communication by the masked character was non-verbal.

 

 

Find out more about The Lollipop Patrol See details of Curious Cargo Shows Find out more about The Lollipop Patrol You are here! What is Curious Cargo? Find out more about our workshops and training See video footage of performances Curious Cargo in action Connections to other organisations Getting in touch with Curious Cargo Find out more about the Lost Luggage Porters