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"The wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees,
The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,
The road was a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor,
And the highwayman came riding—
The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn-door."

So begins the well-known narrative poem by Alfred Noyes, all about a doomed highwayman and his love for the landlord's daughter. Finger and Thumb Theatre have created a short performance suitable for primary schools based on the poem, combining hand shadows, specially recorded soundtrack and simple light effects. The performance is followed by an all-day workshop in which pupils create their own shadow puppets (inspired by the performance) and re-enact sections of the poem. This supports the curriculum and is a great way to deepen understanding of the poem and bring it to life!

Duration: 12 minutes 

Suitability: 6+

Space Required: 1.5 metres wide, 2 metres deep, 2 metres high

Theme: Ghost stories, literacy, narrative poetry.

“Just wanted to say a massive thank you for the workshop day you ran with us on Tuesday. The kids absolutely loved it! It would be great to have you back with us again in future!” - Will Emmens, Year 5 teacher, Burton End Primary Academy

“I liked the highwayman show because it suited the story really well. I particularly liked the highwayman on the horse. What I found interesting was when we made our own puppets and played the highwayman.” – Ben King, Pupil, Year 5 

"Just want to say a huge thank you for today. It was completely incredible and my class absolutely loved it. I'm sure they will be talking about you and your talents for a long time. Plus every time my whiteboard comes on I'm sure we will have a few attempts at the dancing bear." - Rhiannon Parfitt, Leafield C of E Primary

“Your version of the highwayman was very easy to understand. It will help me with our topic and was a nice length of time.” – Rylan, Pupil, Year 5