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 performer! 

There were a whole host of intriguing puppets, some were made using the concept of 'found object puppetry'. For example there were a couple of fish made from purses, you slipped your hand into them and the purse opening gave the characters wide, fish-like mouths. Gloves were also attached and turned on their sides to create fins. Another puppet was made out of cap found on the ground, another out of a baseball etc... Each had a very different character/personality.

We finished up with a practical exercise using black bin bags which encouraged us to experience our relationship to/with the bag differently: from tossing it aside without care to throwing it up in the air but observing, following and moving with it as it fell to the ground.

A puppet requires a particular reverence; I think that, in short, was my very first lesson about puppetry.

Suzie x

Suzanne Kendall, photo credit: Ori Jones


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