'We stepped into a world of life-size puppets which we could control, bean bag models, a maze made out of tape measures and a fluorescent flying saucer.' This was one young visitor's description of an interactive exhibition put on at the Theatre Museum in 2001 by the outstanding children's theatre company Theatre Rites.
Founded by Penny Bernard in 1995, the company works with sculptors, artists, poets and video artists to create unusual and contemporary landscapes, inhabited by the puppets of Sue Buckmaster and, of course, the visitors. Theatre Rites' sets are created from recycled materials and everyday objects are transformed into magical animated worlds. Children do not just sit and watch, but can play with puppets and interactive sculptures. Their work is so appealing that it was not just the young children who got involved, teenagers and adults found the exhibition irresistible too.