Playing Pinocchio! - Week Seven

Playing Pinocchio! - Week Seven... by Suzanne Kendall

This week Maud met Ronnie Le Drew!

It was time to bring our muppets out of the bag again and I was pleased to see Maud after my brief affair with bin bags and marionettes over the past couple of weeks! I think she was pleased to see me too, mind you she always has the same smiling eyes and facial expression! However, this week she'd have some more life breathed into her and I'd get to see how much more dynamic she could be...

Ronnie Le Drew (see Week Two) went around the room and briefly tried out everyone's muppets. He demonstrated how the look of the muppet could inform their voice and the way they moved - their character. He showed us various ways of 'walking'. He also taught us how to operate the muppet's mouth when it's 'speaking' - how to lip sync the muppet with our voices - we practiced this by counting. When we got to number 'sev-en' the muppet opens and closes its mouth twice because it has to be in time with the syllables. Importantly he also showed us how to maintain life in the puppet when it isn't speaking. Just like human beings - if we're not saying anything, it doesn't mean we're not alive - we still have life force and energy flowing through us, the same is true of puppets.

After we'd played around with our own creations, it was time to see them interact with others. We imagined there was a bus stop at which 3 characters arrive. As they are waiting for the bus they might react to one another, or chat, or simply just wait but as I mentioned above, doing nothing doesn't really mean doing nothing at all - the character might look around, or check the bus stop or their watch. They might scratch their head, sneeze or sigh. There are so many possibilities!

Maud is looking at the bus stop (above) complaining that she has to wait a while!

Then a few more characters arrive (below)... And they have a little exchange...

The scenes we watched were very entertaining and we met a whole host of colourful characters in the muppets! They were all a bit gobby! But with more time and practice I'd like to experiment more with the still  - although not necessarily 'dead' -  moments...

Suzie x

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