British puppet theatre company based in Bristol, England and the Ardennes, France, founded in 1978 in Tenby (Wales) by Terry Lee, joined in 1986 by illustrator Chris Pirie. The company specializes in grotesque, comic latex glove puppets, very well operated, in absurdist plots. During the 1970s and 1980s, Lee worked extensively in television and film, notably on the successful TV series Spitting Image, and for the cinema in Jim Henson‘s The Dark Crystal in 1982 and Labyrinth in 1986, and Frank Oz’s Little Shop of Horrors, 1986. Green Ginger first became famous in Europe for their street shows such as “Gaston”, a body puppet which sketched instant caricatures of the spectators, and “Madame Zero”, a puppet clairvoyant.
Green Ginger’s theatre shows present darkly comic and controversial re-workings of popular stories such as Frank Einstein (1993), Slaphead: Demon Barber (1996, adapted from Sweeney Todd), and Bambi: The Wilderness Years (2001). The anarchic humour of these is supplemented by experiments with video and digital technology exploring new forms of expression. The 2005 show Rust saw the company fusing puppetry of all scales with stop-motion animated film and a departure from veiled puppeteers lurking in shadows. The company has held exhibitions of their puppets and sets, taught puppetry all over the world and enjoyed close and long-lasting collaborations with Aardman Animations and Welsh National Opera.
Green Ginger has received numerous awards for its work, among them the prize for Best Production at the World Festival of Puppetry Arts in Prague in 2003 for Bambi and Best Performance at the Meppel International Festival, Netherlands, 2006, and the Grand Prix at the14th Maribor International Festival, Slovenia.
(See Great Britain.)
- Animations Online. No. 6. London: Puppet Centre Trust, Winter 2003-2004.
- Animations. London: Puppet Centre Trust, December 1990 – January 1991, and December 1998 – January 1999.