Clangers, Bag puss & Co

Oliver’s Army

SFX - - Reviews - Jayne Nel­son

open­ing dates UN­TIL 9 OC­TO­BER ( 10.00- 17.45) Ad­mis­sion price Free! Venue V& A Mu­seum Of Child­hood

There’s no more fit­ting home for the works of Oliver Post­gate than Beth­nal Green’s Mu­seum Of Child­hood, a ware­house filled with toys from past and present and bound­less mem­o­ries to match. Post­gate and part­ner Peter Firmin ran Small films, a stu­dio in a for­mer pig shed that gave us such de­lights as The Clangers, Nog­gin The Nog, Bag­puss and Ivor The En­gine.

When you walk into the cor­ner of the mu­seum hous­ing this tem­po­rary and also tiny ( its only down­side) ex­hi­bi­tion, it’s a sur­prise to dis­cover how small the stars of th­ese shows ac­tu­ally were, given that they seem to take up such huge swathes of our child­hoods. Ivor’s driver, Jones the Steam, is noth­ing more than a se­lec­tion of draw­ings of heads, arms and legs; the Mar­vel­lous Me­chan­i­cal Mouse Or­gan is less cathe­dral, more bird box; the Soup Dragon is more of a Soup Newt.

Af­ter you’ve gog­gled at the fa­mil­iar faces you or your kids can learn be­hind- the- scenes trivia – there are scripts, cam­eras and even the chance to cre­ate your own stop­mo­tion Ivor us­ing an iPad. How­ever, noth­ing beats the joy of be­ing face- to- whiskers with that saggy old cloth cat, Bag­puss.

A town in Ivor is named “Llan­mad” – “damn all” back­wards, in­spired by “Llareg­gub” in Un­der Milk Wood.

Mo­ments be­fore death by Soup Dragon.

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