Plenty of examples have already emerged of how the unfolding coronavirus outbreak is spurring inventiveness in puppeteers that is helping audiences to keep themselves safe. One such example is that of the Northern Irish children’s entertainment agency, Carnival Promotions, which is showing just how potent puppets can be in improving youngsters’ coping skills amid crisis.
The agency consists of professional performers who have spent decades entertaining local children at birthday parties and other events.
For their latest task of teaching young people the basic steps of how to protect their health, the puppeteers turned to two of the art form’s most familiar characters: Punch and Judy.
“We wanted to do something to help our local fans”
Based in the County Antrim town of Larne, Carnival Promotions is helmed by experienced puppeteer and musician John Haveron. As reported by the LoveBelfast website, he has been using his self-isolation time at home to make and post short videos to social media, explaining to children how they need to wash their hands and keep a distance from others.
John was quoted as saying: “We are a family of entertainers and we wanted to do something to help our local fans at this challenging time.
“Having worked with puppets for decades, I know how well children respond to what they say. In fact, they are more likely to listen and take in the information from puppets than adults because they are right on the same level.”
A hit video that also imparts a life-saving message
The first video posted by the agency on the subject of COVID-19 explains to children in an engaging way why it is so crucial for them to wash their hands and use tissues when sneezing and coughing – promoting a message of “catch it, bin it, kill it”.
The video has already attracted thousands of views, leading the entertainers to post a follow-up, with more planned for the weeks to come.
John continued: “Children are enthralled and captivated by puppets and Mr Punch and his wife Judy are familiar favourites the children can relate to.
“So we are rolling important safety information into the online shows which will both entertain and inform kids that are stuck at home and missing all the fun puppet shows bring”.
Carnival Productions’ latest videos can be found on their Facebook page. Certainly, here at Puppets By Post, we are big fans of the agency’s work in communicating vital messages during this trying time for families up and down the UK, and would encourage everyone to take the necessary steps to protect their health and that of their loved ones.
Don’t forget, too, that you can also continue to purchase the latest hand puppets from our own extensive online range – all the better for keeping little (and big!) ones stimulated at a time when so many of us are indoors!