Puppet Planet – Thandi Finds a Fossil

Dear Arts journalist,


Jungle Theatre Company (JTC) is a children’s theatre company that is releasing a new puppet show called Thandi Finds A Fossil on TV this October. The launch will take place at the Iziko South African Museum on Heritage Day 24 September from 10am to 2pm as part of Iziko’s in_herit FESTIVAL 2021.


It will be a fun event for the whole family. The children will meet the puppets, Thandi and Oogies for live interactions; they will be invited to take part in an exciting hide and seek game searching for their puppet friends, Lystrosaurus and Ms Big frog inside the Museum; they can earn an activity booklet and prizes based on the puppet show and be privy to viewing the full episode of Thandi Finds a Fossil.


The Puppet Planet program was born in 2020. Dr Wendy Taylor, a palaeontologist and educator at UCT and avid puppet theatre enthusiast, was inspired by the idea of creating a puppet program about all the wealth of natural and cultural heritage we have in South Africa. Together with Dr Thalassa Matthews and puppet designers Sean and Angela MacPherson, JTC developed the concept and funding proposal which was soon accepted and funded by DSI-NRF Centre of Excellence in Palaeosciences at University of the Witwatersrand.


Due to the many restrictions on theatre in 2020 JTC decided to create a theatre show for TV. They collaborated with film maker Jannous Aukema to develop a theatre and TV style that appeals to children of all ages. JTC is very proud to announce the launch of their 1st episode in the Puppet Planet series called Thandi Finds a Fossil. It is an educational adventure for children between 6 and 10 years of age and their families. The story is about a 9-year-old girl named Thandi and her magical dog, Oogies, who have a very special relationship - they can travel back in time! On their fantastic adventures they meet animals from the past and learn how South Africa has changed through time. These exciting adventures explore South African palaeontology and archaeology, as well as other natural and social science topics, incorporating issues such as climate change, sustainability, and conservation. Watch the teaser click here.


The full show will also be broadcast on CTV as follows: Friday October 1 at 15h00; Saturday October 16 at 15h00 and Wednesday October 27 at 15h30.

Picture Captions:
• PuppetPlanet – The cast & puppets visit Iziko in June
• Cretaceous scene frog – Ms Big Frog & her friends Thandi & Oogies

Support our Puppet Planet series here.
For more information on Iziko’s in_herit FESTIVAL 2021 click here.