Harry Potter director is signed up to direct dark spin on Peter Pan

The new Harry Potter film may have proved divisive. But there's one thing everyone from bored critics to fanatical bloggers seems to agree about, and that's the brilliance of the shadow-puppet interlude that gives the back-story of the titular Deathly Hallows. Looming up out of the main narrative as if cast by the light of a campfire on a prehistoric cave wall, its flickering shapes have caught hold of so many imaginations that the director of the sequence, Ben Hibon, has been signed up to direct Pan, a dark spin on Peter Pan once intended for Guillermo del Toro.

Swiss animator Hibon used digital media to create his 21st-century take on shadow puppetry, but those who find they have a taste for the dark art can check out the live work of shadow puppeteer Matthew Robins, who has shows in London this Christmas – and uses nothing but a projector and sheet after sheet of black cardboard.

Robins has contributed four sequences for Katie Mitchell's Beauty and the Beast at the National Theatre, helping to create a picture-book world filled with dark forests and monsters. And he has his own seasonal show at the Barbican's Pit theatre, Flyboy is Alone Again This Christmas, starring his trademark creation – a half boy, half fly whose surreally domestic adventures Robins accompanies with songs at the piano. His shadow puppets were also seen earlier this month at the Royal College of Surgeons in Gorgets And Bistouries, a magical encounter with instruments both musical and, appropriately enough, surgical.

Created in the young man's bedroom with a sharp scalpel and an even sharper imagination, Robins' shadow puppets are as homely as they are eerie, and have a sort of DIY magic perfect for this recession-era Christmas.

'Beauty and the Beast', National Theatre, London SE1, to 4 January. 'Flyboy is Alone Again This Christmas', Barbican, London, to 2 January

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in