A FAMILY of puppeteers are set to launch their first ever movie - which will be streamed online this weekend.

The Bell family, who live in Haydon Bridge, have been performing live shows in a variety of formats for 15 years.

But with that out of the question due to Covid restrictions, the four siblings have created an official screen version for the very first time.

Haydon Bridge Puppets: A Christmas Extravaganza, has been produced over the past six weeks as a replacement for their annual performance at Haydon Bridge Methodist Church.

As usual, it features various puppets, controlled by Deborah, Hannah and James Bell, and their sister Jayne Tulip, featuring a catalogue of festive hymns in an upbeat, rock and roll style.

In-between the songs, the show, narrated by puppets Sally (Hannah) and Billy (James), is packed with festive chat, uplifting messages and interviews with some of the stars, including a member of the Famous Four - the family’s own take on the Beatles.

“We’re really excited about it,” said Deborah (30). “We’ve done scripts in the past and after Hannah wrote this one, we’ve put the show together since the end of October.”

The siblings, who live in three different houses, used technology to great effect as they overcame lockdown restrictions to make the movie.

With Deborah and James, a freelance music producer, leading the production side, scenes and songs were recorded individually, and put together using synchronisation methods.

“We initially planned to present it all in split screen,” said Deborah, who is a member of Hexham Amateur Stage Society (HASS).

“With HASS we’ve used green screen backgrounds, and we we realised we could integrate some great backdrops to our puppet show, which add a lot of colour and suitable themes for the songs.”

As always, the siblings have been assisted by their mum, Diana Bell, who plays the drummer in the Famous Four.

Diana first introduced her now grown-up children to puppets 15 years ago when the family lived at Morpeth, after meeting puppeteer and author, Rhona McFarlane.

They created shows to promote Diana’s Mr George book and CD series in 2007, and also launch the family’s Mr George Museum of Time business five years later.

The latest show has used resources from One Way UK Creative Ministries.

Please copy and paste the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6GLvZRRP4iA&t=6s&fbclid=IwAR3GIt4MBOeQbtnJGM8IL0Af7GoV22Ah8hmz63wx-WXHN0odN40ymQvMrS0

Deborah added: "The show is free to watch of course, but as we would normally do this live in our Methodist Chapel, if you would like to make a donation to them, please click the link below."