Reindeer puppets made for 'The Night Before Christmas', at the Little Angel Theatre. Designed by Michael Fowkes. Top photograph courtesy of the Little Angel Theatre, with puppeteers Ruth Calkin, Clare Pointing and Mikey Brett.
When confronted with the task to make two giant puppets for Stoke Newington's Halloween March of the Dead based on the theme of East-end Pagan Mashup... we sort inspiration from THIS SONG. Demonic Pat Butcher and Peggy Mitchell made with Siân Kidd of Mirth and Mysery, in an epic 48 hours of puppet making.
Shoal of fish I made with Sue Dacre and Beatrice Pentey for La Tempesta, a collaborative production between Scarabeus Aerial Theatre and the Little Angel Theatre. For information on the show and the summer tour please look HERE Top images my own, bottom photograph by Belinda Aackermann showing puppeteer Lori Hopkins.
Here are some behind the scenes pictures of what we've been making in the workshop. 'We're Going On A Bear Hunt' is the new show at the Little Angel Theatrein Islington. Based on the old campfire song, which was written down by Michael Rosen. Its been directed by Peter Glanville with fabulous songs by Barb Jungr. The puppet designs by Lyndie Wright take inspiration from Helen Oxenbury's magical illustrations. And Larry is asleep with Bertie and Bear ♥
Pani Serpa (Water Snake) Goddess; a large scale puppet that I designed and made in Nepal forCircus Kathmandu. The puppet is 4.5 metres long and very light weight, ideally operated by 4 performers. With invaluable help from Samantha Zsargo and Fiona Jenner. Top 2 photographs by Ingrid Chiron, the rest my own. It was incredible to work with such a unique and interesting project. Circus Kathmandu was born from a troubled and painful history but is cooperatively working to redefine the status of contemporary circus performance in Nepal. It has its roots with the British charity The Esther Benjamins Trust which aims to eliminate human trafficking. They have a refuge in Kathmandu for rescued children and young people who had been trafficked or displaced into India and sold into forced labour institutions such as circuses. Kept as performers they are effectively imprisoned, denied an education and often beaten and abused.
It was in the refuge that the social circus project Sapana began. It aims to give these disempowered members of society the opportunity to develop the skills they have and to promote self confidence and expression. In previous years the notion of circus carried a very negative stigma. Traditionally it was seen as a low status and 'dirty' profession in Nepal, but thanks to this project it is increasingly being recognised as a highly skilled and exciting art form as well as a viable career. These young pople are being given vocational training and the tools that can lead them to real work opportunities in performance. Circus Kathmandu evolved from Sapana as the first and so far only professional circus company in Nepal, and is currently made up of 13 young Nepali performers. Excitingly the company will be bringing their show 'Dakini' to London in their international debut and first step towards transglobal world domination. They will be performing Dakini at the Truman Brewery on Brick Lane on March 27th 2013. The circus now comes under the umbrella of the anti trafficking charity Freedom Matters. More information and details on how to get tickets can be found on their website.
This video explains more of the history of Sapana and Circus Kathmandu.
Dancing to the beat of zebra with the fantastic Manding Artsin the Thames Festival Night Carnival procession along London's southbank. The most fun ever. Puppets made by Charles Beauchamp, Miguel Hernado Torres Umba and the Mandinga Arts volunteers. Photographs by Brighitta Moser-Clark.
On Friday evening the sleepy city of Norwich was invaded by prehistoric creatures and otherworldy beings! I was puppeteering with Dutch street theatre company Close Act in the spectacular opening performance of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival. Ploughing through a crowd of thousands with a pterodactyl on a stick, chasing a dancing eyeball, under the enchanting spell of the Red Goddess singing from her aerial perch... I know right?! Top photograph is from the BBC website and shows the Saurus beasts and the witch on slits. Bottom photographs are my own from rehearsals. I was puppeteering with my bezzie pal and incredible sculpter Bex Cross, check out her site Free Flow Sculpture!
8 Puppets designed by Michael Fowkes, made by Julia Jeulin, Jan Zalud and Amber Donovan for Wild Swans, which is opening at the Young Vic Theatre on April 13th. Here are some photos that we took in the workshop, the inside head mechanism I constructed, and one from rehearsals with the cast of the show.
The show has already had a run at the A.R.T. in Boston. Check out their website for a film about the play, how it has been adapted from the best selling book and A GLIMPSE AT OUR PUPPETS IN ACTION!
Some messes made with oil paint, including leaf found in le jardin (spring watch!). Its the front and back of the same leaf, actual paintings are 3cm x 2cm, stupidly small! Recently bought Shaun Tan's The Red Tree, best picture book I've ever seen. It inspired me to paint paint paint
I've been working with some fantastic designers and makers to develop 8 puppets for the Young Vic's production of Wild Swans. I don't know if we're allowed to release any photographs yet so for now here is an amazing carved barn owl puppet by Jan Zalud, who I've had the pleasure of working with for this project. Check out more of his wonderful work at janzalud.co.uk.
Also A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings, the current christmas show at the Little Angel Theatre is receiving some amazing reviews! Its's on until January 29th, so please go and see it!!!