Dr Longitude’s Marvellous Imaginary Menagerie at Hayling Island Park and Leigh Park Gardens

Dr Longitude's Marvellous Imaginary Menagerie is at the Hayling Island Park and Leigh Park Gardens.
Dr Longitude's Marvellous Imaginary Menagerie is at the Hayling Island Park and Leigh Park Gardens.
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Ever wanted to count how many legs a Decapus has?

Or wondered what a Whistling Pank eats?

It is a throwback to the days of the circus – it has a Victoriana feel to it

Stephen Spencer

The Spring Arts and Heritage Centre in Havant has the answer as they host Dr Longitude’s Marvellous Imaginary Menagerie.

Created by award-winning theatre company Les Enfants Terribles, Dr Longitude’s Marvellous Imaginary Menagerie is coming to two venues in Havant for four performances of free outdoor theatre.

Dr Longitude’s caravan of wonder will be taking over Hayling Island Park (next to the Community Centre, PO11 0HB) today and Leigh Park Gardens (Staunton Country Park, PO9 5HB) tomorrow, with two free performances on each day at 1.30pm and 3.30pm.

With a weird and wonderful travelling emporium full of incredible creatures and crazy characters, this show features puppets, music and magic that will delight the whole family.

Stephen Spencer plays Dr Longitude, whose aim is to capture the Chuffalump, an eight-foot, chicken-like beast that has evaded him and his band for 30 years.

Along the way, the crew tell the stories of the other beasts they have caught, including the Bumblewasp and a Decapus.

The creatures are brought to life using a combination of puppetry by cast members wearing skin suits.

‘In the story, we collect these mythical beasts from around the world. My character wants to tour with them all over and make money from them,’ says Stephen.

‘That is why we perform out of this converted horse box – we can go from town to town and show them these magical beasts.

‘It is a throwback to the days of the circus – it has a Victoriana feel to it.’

He adds: ‘Being outside will bring another dynamic to the show.

‘If there is beautiful sunshine and hardly any wind it will bring lots of audiences. If it is drizzling it can be more challenging, but it adds this sense of drama.’

For more information, call the Spring’s box office on (023) 9247 2700 or visit thespring.co.uk