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.
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: