Summer Puppet Madness

 

A little Update of everything that happened this summer in reverse chronological order:

September 8th-9th-13th Montpelier Beanfest Procession Puppet Workshops

Thanks to the lovely gang at Coexist I was contacted to deliver three, 2hr workshops at Dolphin School Bristol, I spent two days meeting and creating six large procession harvest puppets with children aged 5-7. As you can imagine this is not without its challenges but the staff at this lovely local primary were super supportive and got stuck into making what will be a highlight of this years Beanfeast procession On the 13th of September. I will also be there on the 13th doing open puppet making workshops with anyone who comes along to the feast!!!

 

August 21-25th The Smoking Puppet Cabaret at Shambala Festival

The Smoking Puppet Cabaret tent, now in its fourth year, is crammed full of a mix of mind boggling, delightful, magical, unusual, immersive puppetry. As the tents Area Manager I have the honour of curating the tent, supporting acts to bring puppetry to a whole new audience. This year we had 12 different companies join us and deliver a fantastic magical knockout experience for festival goes! It could only have been achieved with the support of  the support of Shambala Festival, Puppet Place and the SCP Crew. For details of the Acts click here and some images by Nik Palmer of Noisy Oyster can be found below.

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August 12-13th Puppetry Workshops for Knightstar Productions Summer School

Having met Knightstarr’s founder Jackie Kenyon through NODA I was asked to deliver two days of workshops to her summer school for young people in Chichester. We had a great time making puppets and discovering two different styles of puppetry. With the 7-11 year Olds we created newspaper lip syncing puppets  and worked on improvisation and character development. With the 12-16 year olds we worked on Bunraku style Puppetry making our very own Bunraku style figures in newspaper, working on movement and observation. Friday when the Summer School Culminated the two groups performed for their parents to everyones delight.


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August 2-10th Teaching Avenue Q style puppetry at NODA Summer School

This was my second year delivering a puppetry course for NODA at Warwick University. It was a wonderful challenge to combine puppetry and singing, thanks to Voice Tutor Pam Rudge I was accompanied on this journey. It was a big ask to deliver the skills needed capture the characters of this larger than life musical. Our students coped well with the demands of learning, lip-syncing, rod puppetry, and twang (the American accent style that supports the voice of these characters. I was absolutely delighted with the efforts of the individual students and their enthusiasm to master this art form. We were lucy to have the support of Weinbergers who provided up with the actual touring puppets from the UK tour Avenue Q production.

To see what went on check out the gallery below.

July 28- August 1/ Detective O and The Cold Case Caper at The Wardrobe Theatre in Cotham.

A wonderful run with mixed family audiences, great participation and support! In October we will be releasing a short trailer video of the show so watch this space. If you want to see image from the show look at the gallery below

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July 23-27th Starry Skies Festival 2014 Fascinator and Puppetry Workshops

I was invited along to Starry Skies Festival. In it’s second year this was the highlight of my summer. Incredible life affirming families and kids who know how to play and enjoy nature. I had a blast teaching fabulous recycled fascinator making to people of all ages. The Newspaper an monkey puppet workshops were also a treat, reminding parents that just newspaper can make the best toys and play puppets for young ones.

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Bristol Life Article

Featured in a little article about the wonderful artist that are based at Hamilton House in stokes croft! Page 24 in HOUSE OF FUN.

Aardmann Commercials

Over the last two months I have had the fortune to work for Aardman Animations on two jobs.

Here is a little video with a mention of my latest production which is related to Thumbelina, for details check out my lasts productions page.

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Betty Blue Eyes

Betty Blue Eyes is the wonderful Musical Adaptation of “A Private Function”

I was commissioned by the Dance School Of Scotland to create their Betty!
She was created over a two week period, from foam and fleece.
It was a pleasure to deliver her to Glasgow in person and train their cast to puppeteer her.
Over the next month they will be rehearsing and blocking the entire piece which is directed by Graham Dickie.
together we blocked and directed scenes with Betty so that students would feel comfortable with the puppet.
The production will be opening on June 18th 2014 running until June 21st.
I will make sure to put up some production Photographs once Betty has performed

Here are some images of my process.

 

Birthday Parties!!!!

Do you need some entertainment at your next birthday party?!

Why not enjoy the company of some wonderful interactive characters. Our latest outing was to a 5th birthday party held at King Weston House in Bristol.  25 young children aged between 3 and 7 were delighted and engaged by Andrea Delamico, Buster the Racoon and Pirate Percy and his tales of Treasure.

Combining games and creating a story that is inclusive this is a delightful and memorable highlight at any young child’s celebration.

 

DSC_6512 Pirate Percy flying to safety having received some helpful balloons from the audience members!

DSC_6493Buster was trying to get everyone to guess  what Racoons love to eat! Banana’s and cake were the best suggestions.

DSC_6071Having explained what he was after many guesses one small guest still thought he would make a good teddy bear.

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Andrea Delamico was discussing fashion and this young man’s choice of frames.

 

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Smoking Puppet Cabaret @ Shambala Festival

As the lights go down and the curtain falls, something strange is happening at Shambala Festival – a wondrous tent packed full of puppets will be entertaining you by day and by night! Now in its 3rd year, fresh from rip-roaring outings at Bristol Festival Of Puppetry and The Wardrobe Theatre, The Smoking Puppet Cabaret will host twisted puppetry, eclectic sounds and off-beat humour for your pleasure!

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My first year as the Area Manager for the Puppetry Tent at Shambala 2013 was an incredible challenge. Four days of Puppetry filled mayhem featuring over 13 companies who performed at different times of the day.

From the Insect Circus by String Theatre with their trick victorian marionette; to Greedy Boy by Dark Squid a shadow puppetry musical to hand shadow wizard, Finger and Thumb with Peter and the Wolf. For adults we brought along the dark and twisted Oedipus in Boots by the Wardrobe Theatre collective and Headstrung Cabaret.

The highlight of this experience was bringing together a varied mix of puppetry style to a festival audience who would otherwise have little or no exposure to puppets. The tent was packed to the hilt for every showing and featured both family shows that alternated over the festival with a different adult cabaret every night. Come and see what we do at Shambala 2014 !

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#L_VE Hangman

L_ve Hangman is a live interactive gameshow experience brought to you by Mufti a theatre company, they specialise in large interactive games.

I was approached last July by their Artistic Director Malcolm Hamilton to design and make the Hangman booth, letter boards and humanett style puppet body for their production.  Hangman has since featured at Mayfest and Shambala Festival. It was a huge success with the public who discovered that they sometimes want to win but loosing can be just as fun!

 

Mufti Theatre Comapny

 

Performing at Shambala Festival 2013

 

 

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Teaching at NODA 2013

Built in 2 hours and coordinated in 1 hour the team learned to bring this beast to life

Built in 2 hours and coordinated in 1 hour the team learned to bring this beast to life

Lip syncing and comedy

Lip syncing and comedy

NODA who provide professional support for amateur theatre http://www.noda.org.uk performance

NODA who provide professional support for amateur theatre http://www.noda.org.uk performance

NODA Summer school at Warwick University is where professionals teach amateur companies who want to polish or train in new skills.  Last year students requested a course in Puppetry.  As the puppetry tutor I spent a week teaching a group of 13 adults aged between 30-60 how to puppeteer. We started with the very basics of object manipulation proceeding to more sophisticated multi-person operated puppets. Students also learn about fabrication of very simple puppets for workshops with younger amateur youth groups. It was an intensive learning environment with a very dedicated group of students. We created a performance based on the skills they had developed to share as part of a showcase at the end of the week.

 

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Smoking Puppet Cabaret 2013

Shambala Festival  2013

Oedipus in Boots performing at the Smoking Puppet Cabaret tent, Shambala Festival 2013.

Having curated and managed this years Puppetry tent at Shambala 2013, Corina Bona also performed with Blue blue Peter twice for the evening adult cabarets.

Our programme was fit to burst with appearances from The String Theatre’s Insect Circus; Finger & Thumb with their gobsmacking hand shadows;Croon Production with some moody retro comedy; ridiculous songs fromDark Squid’s musical Greedy Boy; puppet daredevils Noisy Oyster’s Dangerous Dave; and Mufti’s Hangman; and not forgetting the unhinged Headstrung Cabaret. Expect the surreal, shadows, shape-shifting, and laughter, plus a few surprises along the way as we flaunt puppetry’s seamy underbelly

 

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