Young performers meet the Greek Shadow Theatre Master

Press Release: 10/06/2008

Young drama enthusiasts from rural communities around Winchester will have the opportunity to learn a new art, thanks to funding from Awards 4 All. The traditional method of Greek shadow puppetry will be brought to Winchester Rural Youth Theatre(WRYT) by a Greek Shadow Theatre Master, Jason Mellissinos, who is an expert in his craft. WRYT is part of Theatre Royal Winchester’s outreach programme.

The children, from youth theatre groups in Bishops Waltham, Denmead and South Wonston, will be developing some outdoor theatre performances for the Hat Fair taking place on 4 and 5 July, giving a flavour of Greek theatre to local myths and traditional English tales.

The idea for the project came after a discussion with members of South Wonston Drama Group on different types of outdoor and community theatre.  Student Dimitri Doudeskos, who used to live in Greece, talked about the art of Greek shadow puppetry, known as Karagiozis.  The art form is still practised around the world and uses colourful characters mounted on sticks to cast shadows for storytelling.

Jason, who has travelled extensively through Europe and Greece lecturing and performing with shadow figures, was approached to conduct the workshops.  The children will participate in workshops at Winchester Discovery Centre on Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 June.  They will then used their newfound skills to devise exciting pieces to be performed at the Hat Fair.  

There are still places available for children interested in joining either the workshops or the regular Youth Theatre sessions in Denmead, Bishops Waltham or South Wonston (age recommendation 8 plus). Please contact Helena Fox, Youth Theatre leader at