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.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Liverpool Lantern Day 7: Day of Parade!

Today has been really long. We were constantly worried and fearful about the rain! But luckily there was no where near as much rain as forecast, only a slight bit of drizzle! The site was very gloopy, if you stood still for too long, you may have lost your boot! 

Although it was a huge confusing production, with many different companies coming in and participating, it was never as rammed or as confusing as it could have been!

My phone had run out of space by this time so I was unable to take as many photo's as I would have liked. Here are some video's of the projections by Delirium Lumens! They are pretty cool. I'm sorry for the sound quality, it was very loud and I was surrounded by young people being very excited.



For more information on this parade and others look at
Lots of fun for everyone!

Liverpool Lantern Day 6: Rehearsal Day!

So today I've been going through the different things which I will be doing tomorrow for the big show! I was able to practice a bit of face painting. This is for the Fish Hearder Woman! I really like the idea of using stencils. To make this effect, we simply used some of the metal craft stuff as a stencil. Exciting stuff!

This is one of the other giant puppets. A heron. I was really interested by this unfortunately I didn't get a video, but it's movement was really realistic. The next is made from tube insulators and foam disks. So simple and yet so effective!

Here is the main giant puppet, all put together for the first time! I'm going to be the left leg in the performance! wahooo!

This is a close up of the skeleton puppet. It was made for a previous years parade, but it is coming out again! I am fascinated by joints, an old indoor hockey ball, which acts as a ball and socket joint. I especially like this type of ball as there are many places that you can join the skeleton to, and it has an awesome jiggle when the puppet moves!

Liverpool Lantern Day Five!

Not much to report for today.

I spent the morning re-wiring heart lanterns for more batteries. I thought it was quite exciting that I was doing heart surgery. I was also pretending I was defusing a bomb...which wire do I cut?? The red or the green???

I then went to the site on Sefton Park to help unload the vans and vans of stuff. It was a nice day so I didn't mind sitting in the sunshine. It's probably the last few days of sunshine this year. I may as well make the most of it!

Liverpool Lantern Day Four!

Quickly, Before I left on Wednesday, I took some photographs of the puppets Delirium Lumens were going to use in their projections on the main stage. They are made by drawings on paper, scanning them into the computer and editing them, then printing on acetate and laminating them. I've used this method myself, but I never thought of laminating them for more strength! The puppets are joined together by small pieces of plastic string and melting them down. Very exciting stuff!

SO! Thursday, we were really busy Thursday.
We had to complete all four carts ready to be packed up and moved tomorrow. But I was still able to look around and get some information about the different piece's of work.

Here is what it looks like inside the giant puppet's head. I love how detailed it is. There were many drawings of the body and face which went into this piece of work. It's good to see the process of other peoples work to see how they get to their end result. This always inspires me to carry on with the boring research work as, as you can see, it makes a much better piece of work.

This is the wolf puppet. It will be guiding the old lady through her dreams in the performance. What a fun (but heavy) puppet she is!

Here are the gypsy carts, pretty much finished and ready to be packed up in the van! I think we did really well to make them look interesting with the materials we were given. 

I spent the afternoon painting eyeballs on bulbuls. It was really nice and relaxing to just sit and paint all afternoon. I've not done that for AGES! It's surprising I can still paint!  

This picture just makes me laugh. The joints for the puppets head comes out of his mouth. Due to the tape colour choice, I think it looks like he's smoking a cigarette! Naughty Wolf!

Monday, 29 October 2012

Opportunity for Manchester based People!

Is anyone interested in working on a shadow puppetry/projection based performance which I am currently devising and will be ready for next years festivals?

I am looking for all sorts of roles:
Stage manager,
sound guys,
general enthusiasts etc

This will be based in Manchester so as long as you are able to get to and from here with relative ease, send me your E-mail and I will send you more information.


Friday, 26 October 2012

Liverpool Lantern Day Three DELIRIUM LUMENS!!

Today we carried on making our carts, I won't bore you with photographs of the same thing over and over so don't worry about that.

The most exciting part of the day when I was able to worm my way into working with French Surreal Projection Performers Delirium Lumens 

For the actual performance on Sunday I will be playing with a projector to create the backgrounds for the performers. It was really fun working in this way, it is so simple, yet beautiful. It's something that I really want to take into my own work. And no, I'm not going to tell you how it's done as . . , 'it's a secret'


Liverpool Lantern Company Day Two!

We have been told that we are going to be turning these carts into gypsy style carts for Hope Street LTD's EAP Performers. 
As they are dressing as wolves for the performance we decided to continue the theme by adding wolf ears and fur to the top of the carts. They do look highly amusing. We had to use shiny and slightly garish fabrics as the performance is taking place in the dark and we therefore have to make them as reflective as possible for them to be noticed by the public and the performers to see what they are doing!

This is the basic concept for the carts.

I really liked the way that Liverpool Lantern draw on their floor to measure large scale models! This is such a good idea as it would use A LOT of paper if they were to do this with all of their puppets. Go saving the planet!!

AND this is a view of the giant lady hanging from the ceiling! She's going to be carried by at least 5 puppeteers! I'm not yet sure what I'm going to be doing on the day, but it will be ace!

Liverpool Lantern Company!

So I'm volunteering this week with the Liverpool Lantern Company for the Halloween Lantern Festival in Sefton Park on 28th October. Apparently it's one of the biggest performances in Liverpool, and the most fun!

I arrived at the studio not sure this morning, not sure what to expect, but I was greeted with coffee and this giant face!! 

The theme for this years festival is dreams. The parade follows this giant character around the park followed by other lanterns, giant puppets, smaller performances and projections throughout the night.
I decided to take a closer look at the detail for how this puppet was made, here is a photograph, although bad quality, you can see how complicated the design for the puppet is and how much planning and preparation has gone into the making of it. 

I spent most of the day just paper macheing this puppet so that she has a solid based for the lights to shine through. We also decided to play with the costumes which they had on site! This is Alex, another designer.

I took this photo to remind myself of the level of intricacy and detail for the puppet, she has CROWS FEET on her eyes! Any normal person would have just painted that sort of detail on. Not these guys!

If anyone is interested in seeing mine, and many many others work this weekend, head to Sefton Park! You will be entertained