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The Knucker of Knodishall

Grab your flagons for here be dragons!

One of Rust & Stardust's Participatory Projects, The Knucker of Knodishall is a collaboration with Arts Council England.

A musical comedy lasting 90 minutes (including an interval) the play is designed to be rehearsed over four days by school and youth groups who then perform it to public audiences alongside four professional actors from Rust & Stardust.

A fast-paced farce from Rust & Stardust, featuring original songs, dances, swashbuckling fight choreography, costumes, and puppets, plus original music by Ben Harber.

Script: Eleanor Conlon

Puppets: Katie Sommers

Costumes: Eleanor Conlon

Set and Props: Ben Harber

Songs and Music: Ben Harber & Martin Vaux

Fight Choreography: Martin Vaux

In the fairy-tale village of Knodishall, life is peaceful and calm – all thanks to the mayor and local hero Willjon Hayhoe.

After slaying a dragon, the famous ‘Knucker of Knodishall’, the townfolk have come to love Willjon almost as much as they love eating pies, maypole dancing, and competing in their Midsummer Fayre.

All is not as it seems though, for Willjon has secrets. Not least that his mum, Hettie, is secretly a witch who controls village events from the shadows!

Plus, rather than slaying the dragon, the pair have kept the knucker captured, locked in the village dungeon.

With the next Midsummer Fayre approaching, ne’er-do-well gadabouts Doll Birdwell, the famous thief, and her lute-strumming friend Titus Peacock, come to town in search of treasure.

They think fleecing the people of Knodishall will be easy. But they didn’t bargain on pie-fights, sword-fights, a sheep Olympics, flocks of magic birds, or having a giant dragon to contend with…


In June 2023, supported by funding from Arts Council England, Rust & Stardust offered a videography internship to 16-year old budding film-maker Harry Goddard from Suffolk.


Over the course of an intensive week, Harry returned to Orford Primary School, which he'd attended as a boy, and documented the debut of The Knucker of Knodishall. This is the documentary Harry filmed, edited and produced across his summer holiday.

Participatory Projects

Our Participatory Project partnerships are a unique way for young people to engage with professional theatre.


Working with our skilled facilitators across four days of rehearsals, participants engage with a variety of art forms, including puppetry, music, dance, craft, fight choreography and more, and build confidence and communication skills in workshops which lead into live performances.


We come to you, source funding, and create bespoke experiences designed to suit you and which best support your young people.

Plus, they can be paired with delivery of Discover and Explore Arts Award qualifications.

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Arts Award

We are a proud Arts Award Centre and offer a range of opportunities for individuals and groups working towards Arts Award qualifications.

In addition to our Participatory Projects, we offer educational shows and accompanying workshops to suit your curriculum that support Discover, Explore and Bronze Arts Award certification.

These can be adapted for ages 5+ and might include puppet-making, puppetry techniques, storytelling, and more.

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Our workshops are a fun and creative way to explore the magic of shadow puppetry, table top puppetry, storytelling, music, craft activities, and more.

After consultation with you, Rust & Stardust's highly experienced facilitators guide classes or groups through a bespoke range of activities supporting curriculum goals which encourage them to be imaginative and expressive while acquiring new knowledge and skills.

All of our workshops also promote sustainability in the use of recycled materials, and can be tailored to your specific needs.

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