ARMED with colourful puppets and a sense of fun, Richard Bradshaw will entertain children with free Shadow Theatre shows over the holidays.

The puppeteer will present two weeks of shows at the Ipswich Art Gallery, from Monday, April 1.

Mr Bradshaw said his shadow puppet shows have enchanted children around Australia.

He said the bright, cartoon-like shows helped children to develop a love of the magic of theatre.

"Live theatre's greatest asset is live performers and children's theatre will thrive if the quality is good because children will not tolerate less," he said.

Mr Bradshaw's skits have featured on the ABC's Playschool show and on The Muppet Show.

He said Shadow Theatre had about 14 or 15 different scenes.

"I begin by showing the kids a puppet so they realise how it works - that's it very different to TV," Mr Bradshaw said.

The shows are popular with young children and tell adapted and new stories, he said.

"There's a preconception that shadow puppets are just for children, but they're very interesting for people of all ages," Mr Bradshaw said.

Arts, Community and Cultural Services Committee chairman Charlie Pisasale said the shows allowed Ipswich children to see the work of the renowned puppeteer.

Mr Bradshaw will perform three 30-minute shows daily at 10am, 11.30am and 1.30pm at the gallery, from Monday, April 1 to Friday, April 6, and then from Tuesday, April 9, to Sunday, April 14.

Bookings are essential and can be made online on the Events page of

The shows are aimed at children aged two to 12 years.

The Ipswich Art Gallery is in d'Arcy Doyle Place, between Limestone and Brisbane Sts.

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