The Dolls’ House

Created by Rag & Bone Puppet Theatre | Produced by Rag & Bone Puppet Theatre | Origin: Ottawa, ON

A loving family of toys finally get a house of their own. But then they meet Marchpane, a nasty doll who always gets her own way. With live music, a gorgeous, detailed dollhouse, and a video camera that brings the audience in for close-ups. Tottie is a loving little wooden doll who lives with her family in a shoebox. The doll family are owned by two sisters, Emily and Charlotte, and are very happy, except for one thing: they long for a proper home. To their delight, their wish comes true when Emily and Charlotte fix up a Victorian dolls’ house – just for them. It’s perfect. But then a new arrival starts to wreak havoc in the dolls’ house. For Marchpane might be a wonderfully beautiful doll, but she is also terribly cruel. And she always gets her own way . . .

“But what it is about is loyalty, betrayal, courage, vanity and folly, within a story as beautifully and finely worked as the tiny tapestry chairs the dolls sit on in their lovely new house. Their happiness is shattered by the arrival of one of the house’s original residents. Unlike Tottie, however, she is a very grand doll, made of kid and china and clothed in lace.” “Marchpane is a heavy, sweet, sticky stuff like almond icing,” explains Tottie to Apple. “You very quickly have enough of it. It was a good name for her.”

Marchpane drives a wedge between Emily, who wants to turn the whole house over to Marchpane and make the other dolls her servants, and the younger Charlotte, who struggles to articulate her sense of injustice until the tragedy of Birdie’s death reveals the truth.

“So you see, it’s not about dolls at all – it’s as neat a portrait of humanity as you could ever wish.” -Lucy Mangan, The Guardian

From the book by Rumer Godden

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