AS technology continues to hurtle forward and our children demonstrate an innate ability to operate computer games with barely a second thought while devouring a smorgasbord of visual entertainment, it’s easy to forget the ancient magic of the puppet theatre and its power to fix our attention and fire the imagination.

Much to its credit, the Courtyard Arts Centre in Hereford makes it its business to ensure neither we, or our little ones forget that essential magic, by regularly staging such delights as The Selfish Giant, by Sea Legs Theatre.

Puppeteer Rob Ashman single-handedly weaves the narrative of Oscar Wilde’s children’s classic - beloved of generations - with original songs and eclectic music, as well as masterful storytelling.

Working with an array of beautifully crafted puppets and cleverly constructed scenery, he conveys the poignancy, sadness and joy of Wilde’s tale with delicacy and humour. Each character interacts with the audience as well as with the play and at the conclusion all are invited to meet these wonderful creations stage-side for a brief post-show chat.

Indeed the very trusting Rob is happy to hand the smaller puppets to youngsters so they can have a go at working them.

All this means the experience is set to last long in the memory. My two young children couldn’t wait to discuss and compare their favourite characters on the way home.

A great afternoon, thanks to a good old-fashioned puppet show with a sprinkling of innovative spark and some hauntingly lovely music. That’s the way to do it.