Showing posts from May, 2017

Playing Pinocchio! - Week Three

Playing Pinocchio! - Week Three... by Suzanne Kendall Today, after a couple of weeks of watching demonstrations and listening to talks about puppetry, our puppetry class became practical. I must admit to feeling a little nervous when I was told we would be making muppets! For all intents and purposes we are defining muppets as moving mouth puppets. Many people think that Jim Henson invented the term by blending together the words 'marionette' and 'puppet' but there is some controversy about this... nevertheless, back to muppet making: I might have been a board-treader at school but was never particularly arty or crafty. Art classes were all very well but design technology terrified me - all those glue guns, scalpels   and cutting machines! Today there were glue guns. And scalpels. And electric bread knives!! There was also foam. A lot of foam! The stuff of which muppets are made... Ordinarily you'd start with a block of foam which you would cut and carve

Playing Pinocchio! - Week Two

Playing Pinocchio! - Week Two... by Suzanne Kendall Having established that puppets need to be treated with respect it was time to to show similar respect to a rather famous figurehead in the puppet world Ronnie Le Drew. Ronnie came to the class this week to give a talk about his illustrious career as a puppeteer. He was in fact the man behind some very popular puppets that epitomised my childhood: Zippy in Rainbow, Sweep in The Sooty Show (see photo below) the list goes on... As well as working with puppets on television, Ronnie has also worked in theatre (he began at The Little Angel Theatre itself) and films (including The Labyrinth and Muppets Treasure Island). Here's his Wikipedia page: His career clearly demonstrates the importance puppets play across all media and how they can connect with a range of audiences too. Suzie x Ronnie Le Drew and Sweep!

Playing Pinocchio! - Week One

And so our journey begins for Pinocchio 2017! We sent our brilliant actor Suzanne Kendall on a six week Puppetry Foundation Course at The Little Angel Theatre, here's her first report..... Playing Pinocchio! Week One... My first session on the puppetry foundation course was absolutely fascinating and made me appreciate what a real art form puppetry is! We looked at why and how puppetry works and were introduced to the idea of puppetry as a communication medium. We examined how the performer treats the object/puppet and how that effects the way the audience perceives it. Oliver Smart (the course tutor) emptied a big bag of puppets onto a table and demonstrated a whole range of them. It was so skilled and entertaining! The strange thing was that the performer completely disappeared and even though you knew they were still there and you could clearly see them operating the puppet, you switched them off. The puppets became more real and life-like than the performe

The story of Voice of the Show

The story of Voice of the Show The end of the start  How did Voice of the Show begin? Well, let's go back to a cold December night in 2016.... Four friends are posing for a photo on a stage set. They are sitting on a chair that was found in a skip, in front of them is a hydraulic grave stone, all around are actors and crew relaxing and celebrating the end of a successful run of 18 shows. Their first production:   A Christmas Carol was by all standards a success -   it sold over a thousand tickets, was staged in a theatre that had never seen a production of that scale before and received rave reviews. But amongst the noise and laughter of people drinking  and enjoying the party there was a moment, a pause. The four people in the chair looked at each other and time seemed to hold for a beat - nine months of hard work and stress seemed to crystallise in that single moment. One of them said: 'How did we just get away with that?'  laughter and the spell was broken - t