THERE are eight million animal species on earth, and Artsreach is inviting families across Dorset to meet them all.

Squashbox Theatre company presents Curious Creatures, a brand new family show about all the animals living on our planet.

Audiences are invited to the Curious Creatures wildlife park, run by a world-renowned explorer and zoologist, Jeremiah Johnson. Nobody knows more about animals than him, but currently lost in the jungles of Africa, Jeremiah hands over the running of the park to his inexperienced nephew Craig. Unfortunately, things don't go quite as planned.

Expect to meet creatures of all shapes and sizes, from performing fleas, skateboarding snails and gymnastic gerbils to irritable alligators, over-excited elephants, and a very intelligent orangutan.

Using puppets, comedy and live music, plus lots of natural history facts, Squashbox Theatre will uncover the mysteries of the animal kingdom. Learn about how animals have evolved to survive in the wild and how they can teach us more about ourselves.

After the performance, children will have the chance to take part in a hands-on puppet making workshop, bringing to life one of the animals from Curious Creatures or creating something brand new. Places for these workshops are limited, so it is advised to enquire when booking.

Founded by Craig Johnson, Squashbox Theatre is a Cornish company that has been creating inspiring, comical and educational plays for children and families since 2007. The Dorset performances are supported by Artsreach, the county's arts charity. Artsreach gives communities the opportunity to enjoy events in their own villages and boasts affordable ticket prices thanks to funding from organisations including Arts Council England and local councils. First launched in 1990, the charity now puts on around 150 performances each year at 50 rural venues across Dorset.

Performances of Curious Creatures will take place at Blandford Corn Exchange on Friday, July 26 and Martinstown Village Hall on Saturday, July 27. Both shows begin at 2.30pm and are suitable for children age five and above.

Tickets cost £6 and can be purchased via the Artsreach website or by contacting the venues.