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The Dong with a Luminous Nose comes to the Palace

Posted onPosted on 15th Sep
The Dong with a Luminous Nose comes to the Palace

The Dong with a Luminous Nose, a playful piece based on the well-known Edward Lear poem, is coming to the Mansfield Palace Theatre on Tuesday 28th and Wednesday 29th, September.

It is a sensitive exploration of what it means to be different, seeking to help us understand how to empathise with those around us. The tale is brought to life by inventive magical puppets… and lots of fun and surprises.

With a cast of abstract and figurative puppets, The Dong with a Luminous Nose is an absurd take on Edward Lear’s nonsense classic, exploring the difficult age between being a child and becoming an adult. A sequel to the well-known Jumblies, this artistically adventurous production seeks to stimulate children’s imagination and provoke audiences to start asking questions, whilst exploring issues of isolation and loneliness.

Edward is a bit of an oddball. A shy and troubled boy, he is always watching the horizon, waiting for something to happen. Then one day the Jumblies arrive, and his life is turned upside down… then shaken about a bit… and then a bit more!

Dancing chairs, a troublesome telephone and a swarm of shape-shifters all play their part in this tale of a lonely boy who has difficulty facing up to the facts. The Dong takes us on a journey with Edward as he grows up, encouraging us to feel empathy and consider those we know who may appear to be a little bit ‘different’. Only using a few words, the story is told through a kind of mime, like in a silent film, brought to life by incredible music by Ben Glasstone.

Director and puppet designer Peter O’Rourke said: “The Dong with a Luminous Nose is such a brilliant piece of nonsense; not only is it full of playful elements, but it is atmospheric and deals with deeper emotions. In this production, I wanted to explore the issues of isolation and loneliness and of not fitting in that Lear expresses in the poem. Lear was a lonely man and I think he saw himself as a somewhat grotesque outsider – which is how the others in the poem seem to see the ‘Dong’ ”.

Tickets are available via the Palace Theatre website at or from the Box Office by calling 01623 633133.