This is the image you see as you walk into the building.
As a designer in theatre, I enjoy the element of play, and believe a performance should be just as interactive for the audience as it is for the performers. In my work I like to look at space, how it changes in a performance, how it effects a performance and try to incorporate it into the narrative as much as possible.
I am a hardcore puppetry and mask enthusiast. I have worked for theatre companies such as 'Pointed Arrow' and 'Hope Street Limited', as well as TV 'BBC Horizon' and most recently Music Videos. I like to experiment with different styles of puppetry, also fusing styles together. Most of my work is made from recycled materials as I think it gives a fantastic old haggard dimension to the work.
Tuesday, 12 October 2010
This is the image you see as you walk into the building.
Saturday, 9 October 2010
Thursday, 7 October 2010
Sunday, 5 September 2010
As I am designing and making the puppets for Pointed Arrow's production of 'The Crossing' (7-9 October), I was asked to run a puppetry workshop with the cast members to take them through the techniques which puppeteers use to help with their focus and training. This consisted of games and exercises to help develop these vital skills.
Sunday, 8 August 2010
This puppet was made during a weeks intensive course with John Roberts in Devon. On this I learnt the techniques and methods used by traditional Chinese Carvers. I had never made a wooden puppet before so the whole experience was new and exciting. With John's excellent teaching I was able to make a fully working rod puppet in one week. I wanted to finish with a completed puppet so I decided to carve a 'stylistic' puppet rather than naturalistic puppet. This way I would not spend too much of my time trying to get specific details correct and I could focus on the joints, carving and total puppet as a whole. I am very pleased I made this decision as I do not feel I would have been able to finish the puppet to such a high standard.
Friday, 30 July 2010
Tuesday, 20 July 2010
The workshops were run by Loz Kaye, Musical Director and Mark Whitaker, Puppet Rigger. Together they took us through very specific training (Simplify, Refine, Exaggerate) while Alison demonstrated her methods for making the masks and puppets in the workshops.
This was a highly enjoyable week where I met many talented and enthusiastic people. I would definitely recommend this workshop to anyone wanting to work in masks or puppets, or even general performing.
Puppets and Masks made by Alison Duddle and Bob Firth of Horse and Bamboo Theatre.
Sunday, 18 July 2010
I have been working with Tony Wade from Faceless Theatre in two primary schools to make puppets for the Chapel Allerton Arts Festival, September 2010. Making the puppets, big and small, has been lots of fun and challenging. It can sometimes be hard to keep the childrens attention and find workshops that can work with all childrens skills and abilities depending on their ages. Here are some of the work they have produced.
Monday, 24 May 2010
I have decided to continue with this design idea and make all the puppets and masks to see what could have been, and if it could have even worked. I am therefore attempting to make the mask for the character 'Judge Turpin' in between typing this. I will post up images of my designs and the finished products very soon.
My CRB check came through this morning which means I CAN volunteer myself in the workshops for the Arts Festival. The first one is tomorrow at St Michael's Primary School. I am very very excited. I have not been able to do workshops with kids for a while. I have to be there at 8.15 am! It's going to be a long day.
As an over-all attempt to see what the show looked like and just play with being in a theatre again, it was a success. We got through it and went for a few drinks all cheerful after.
The festival itself was very exciting place to be. Although mainly filled with students from the Central School of Speech and Drama, it was still an extremely vibrant atmosphere with all the like minded people. We were able to watch puppetry performances from all over the globe. Highlights of these 'Sweet Dreams' by Little Cauliflower Theatre, 'The Story of an English Soilder' by a company from South Africa and 'Gradual Approach to a Marriage' by Astrid Kjaer Jensen for Denmark/Germany. I defiantly suggest looking these up.
Information on the Puppetry Festival can be found at http://www.studentpuppetfestival.com/
Photo's of the performance will come shortly.
Friday, 30 April 2010
Today was the first day we have had to play with the Cat-Lamb puppet for Omelette Du Fromage. It began quite difficult, trying to work out the joints of a cat etc as to how it would move, but as always, YouTube came in as a useful research tool. Very quickly, the animal seemed to come alive. So here is a short clip of what we were able to achieve in a very short amount of time.
Perhaps it came from watching Blue Peter and Art Attack as a child or from the student days of trying to make art and theatre through the cheapest means possible, but as my mother always said, having a budget of practically nothing is good training for the real world. My first puppet was made from the cushions and pillows from my old house.
I went to work with James Richardson from Angel Heart Theatre who's work was made mostly from recycled materials. Considering the stigma that comes with recycled materials, i.e. the quality being less, or looking slightly shabby, his puppets had a fantastic finish and because of his skills as a carver/maker, perfect condition. This made me think a lot about using recycled materials because it is great for the environment as well as our pockets.
I now try to make sure everything I do is made from recycled/second hand materials so I can show others what fantastic creative things can be made from rubbish. Even my sewing machine and digital camcorder are recycled! It saves money, the environment and adds an interesting challenge to the design process of how recycled materials could be used for each project.
I hope other theatre/design/art companies will join this exciting adventure of recycled projects.
Here are images from the production, 'The Mnemonist'.
Director, Anna Fenemore.
Here I collaborated with Mark Ridley to create the design. It was a difficult process, having not turned an idea into a performance before.
'Beautifully designed, three identical rooms and an 'outdoor' space connected with heavy and loud slamming doors. The set is simple, precise and used to its full potential with cast members appearing and vanishing through unthinkably small windows at the back of each room. …A selection of cleverly juxtaposed images and characters matched with the almost disturbing power of a Mnemonist and accompanied with surreal and painful visuals this performance is beautifully crafted, moving, engaging and bewildering. A complete spectacle underpinned by a style that demands its audience to work hard, but its well worth the effort and the rewards are plentiful.'
A Review by Andrew Roberts,
Full Review can be sited here: