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Jane Taylor

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Handspring Puppet Company

In 2007, Handspring Puppet Company’s War Horse, based on the novel by Michael Morpurgo and commissioned by the National Theatre in London, won Olivier, Evening Standard and Critics’ Circle Awards. The extraordinary success of this production has drawn attention to Handspring’s decades-long experiments and innovations in the art of puppetry and their remarkable contribution to theatre in South Africa.

Handspring Puppet Company was founded by Basil Jones, Adrian Kohler, Jill Joubert and Jon Weinberg in 1981. They have produced eleven plays and two operas, collaborated with many different artists―including Mali’s Sogolon Puppet Troupe and South African artist William Kentridge―and opened in over 200 venues in South Africa and abroad. They have won numerous accolades, including the Olivier Award for War Horse at the National Theatre in London.

Handspring Puppet Company is the first full-length book on Handspring published in South Africa. It explores their work in adult puppet theatre, from Episodes of an Easter Rising (1985) to War Horse, providing insights into their philosophy of puppetry and their technical innovations. It is richly illustrated with images from the Handspring archive and includes essays by theatre practitioners and writers who have collaborated with the company over the years.

ISBN-13: 9780981432830 (softcover)
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ISBN-13: 9780981432854 (hardcover)
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The Transplant MenJane Taylor’s richly imagined tale is of two men; Hawthorne, an organ recipient, and Barnard, the first person to perform a heart transplant. The novel opens with a mystery: an unexplained violent death and a video tape left with the body.

“Your achievement is all the greater for being accomplished from Cape Town,” I said in response to his complaint that the world was catching up. It will signal that our country is thriving. In those days I did not align myself with the nay-sayers who were making so much fuss in the aftermath of the Terrorism Act.

“You are our sputnik.” I spoke in a florid set of comparisons, as I often do when seized by an enthusiasm. I wasn’t exaggerating. “Our Yuri Gagarin”.

These words are spoken to Christiaan Barnard by Guy Hawthorne, the narrator of this gripping piece of storytelling, an investigation within an investigation.

Infused with the halfway modern spirit of South Africa in the 1960′s, this poetic and haunting thriller captures the tensions of the times, the story of medicine and psychological twists that lie at the heart of celebrity and obsession.

ISBN-13: 9781770097162
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