"Dazzlingly imaginative . . . Robins’ looming landscapes and wistful sketches are stunning" The Guardian
After making Something Very Far Away for the Unicorn Theatre in London I was invite to create my own version of Ted Hughes' story The Iron Man. For the next couple of years I worked out how to tell the story using a combination of puppets, songs, dance, sculpture, cardboard, and animation, and the show opened at the Unicorn in January 2017.
It was performed by Avye Leventis, Daniel Naddafy and Justyna Janiszewska, with Nima Taleghani as the narrator.
Lighting by Marty Langthorne and Sound by Owen Crouch, and directed and designed by me.
here are some production photos by Hugo Glendenning:
The last photograph is an Orrery I made with the help of Tim Hunkin (after working together on my exhibition at the Science Museum). It was the final part of the show, an installation assembled by the performers. Pieces of scrap metal turned into the planets, candles were lit on the shrine-like alter and the Iron Man lay beneath. Above, as the orrery turned lights switched on inside tin cans punctured with holes and filled the auditorium with spinning stars, the Space-Bat-Angel-Dragon slowly flew round-and-round-and-round as the music played.
here are some photos of me working with Tim in his workshop as we built this sculpture - the first image is my design for the orrery, I like to not be too planned so this sketch just gave us a starting point, although I made the Space-Bat-Angel-Dragon out of cardboard first so I could translate it into metal more easily.
some videos . . .
In the story the Iron Man lives in a junk-yard. I built it using of all the scraps and off-cuts of cardboard I'd made the puppets out of, collected over the previous two years.
Some photographs by Simon J Webb from the rehearsal process . . . There were a few different versions of the Iron Man, including eventually a metal one that we could lay onto fire, and I liked patching up these rehearsal puppets with more cardboard and glue so they looked worn-in by the time we started showing it to the public.