Saturday, 8 October 2016

A Fleeting Update

Following the end of my degree I have been busy finding work. Currently I'm Designer and Maker of Performing Objects, Director of Puppetry Movements and Stage and Production Manager (what a mouthful!) for a production of Goodnight Mister Tom in Cambridge. The company is a fantastic group of individuals blossoming as a fresh new group into something with a great deal of motivation and artistic energy and I'm hoping to continue working with them in the future.
I am making a Hedge Sparrow (Dunnock), Squirrel and of course Sammy the Border Collie amongst administrative and managerial tasks on the play. My focus currently is on Sammy - I'll share with you a couple of images of his process.

It feels really great to be working back inside a sketchbook, even if my handwriting has become a little unkempt. The client was impressed and has been very supportive from the word go - this was such a fantastic opportunity and I hope I can find more like it after the show's over - this is what I want my career to be all about.

I am so thrilled to be making Sammy - as my first independent commission since I graduated it feels really special to be working on a puppet who has such a huge part in the production. His head will remain uncovered as above, but his ears and the rest of him will be covered in soft, ragged muslin/cheesecloth. The paws below are a revision of the prototype ruffled tube-type legs I initially experimented with, and offer a more polished look whilst still having the soft 'lolloping' movement when the puppet is moved. Since there is only one puppeteer on Sammy, who operates his head and body, the legs really needed to have a good range of movement on them without any extra intervention, and the cheesecloth seems to have provided this well.

The puppeteer, William, is proving very promising on operating Sammy - especially as someone who has never puppeteered before. He has excellent awareness of his movement and will do very well in this production. You can see his Casting Call profile here; William Males

I will post more updates as the show progresses. The set is being made by a company called Curved Elephant in Norwich and I'm looking forwards to seeing what they come up with. The show is airing at the Leys School in the days running up to Christmas. Watch this space!
You can purchase tickets from here;
Cambridge Theatre Company

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