Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Published in The Dominion Post Wellington New Zealand


Great Photo and Good Writing  Thanks

Friday, 25 April 2014

Not only marionettes

YES was a table top theater I did a number of years back. Sometimes other forms of puppet theater are just better suited for certain shows and ideas. YES dealt with immigration, natures devastation through human activities and identity. A show without words, it traveled well around Europe's puppet festival circuit and Asia
The main characters head could come of and he went onto a search of identity, which happens when everything is ruined.
His large overcoat hat a second edition and he could 'discover' it.

The figure was a joy to operate. Carved from Totara, a native New Zealand timber known for its durability, in conjunction with the costume, it had this earthen look to it. That fitted nicely with the stage which was a mountain of sand.
You can see the construction here. As a solo player the figure has to be easy, durable and no fuss. Once the head flew of on two hawks wings preserved from a road kill it became surreal and dreamlike.

Monday, 21 April 2014

Marionette Gallery 9 - Brotha M -

Hey I had no opportunity to say something what sort of introduction is that and why so late?

Ok ok Brotha M no panic this Gallery is not in order of size, beauty or fame, its more like rolling dice.

Excuse me? who rolled for me? nobody has invited me! I have heard nothing about it, this calls for an inquiry!

Ok here we go have a say...........

 Brotha M is certainly a great figure, its action packed, funny and a lot more. Yes and he is trick marionette as well. His dance moves and beat boxing were on TV and he is a sidekick to a number of shows. The M stands for Mustava, the original figure that had a number of adventures with his granddad. So when Rumpelstiltzkin goes Hip Hop was created he sort of emerged and got dressed accordingly. Yes as part of the show he certainly has toured the globe in a suitcase. Not the most comfortable but never mind it was free. Enjoy him during one of the performances.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

make a three string Marionette

Many years and workshops with children and teachers later it might be a good idea to put it on the blog. Please experiment with it and give your creativity free reign. Think of strips of plastic as a body or paper instead of the fabric. Depending how elaborate you make it, but one hour should create a mighty fine marionette. This could be the start to some shows in the classroom or the neighbourhood.
For loading it on the blog I split it up into four smaller units, it is easier to manage.
You can try a paper cone instead of a tube for a head. Plastic milk bottles were also used over the years, paper cups or just a square box for a 'robot' look.

Attaching the head, it is helpful to staple the string to the top of the head as well.


Cheers, enjoy the craft activity and keep tuned until next entry - Good bye.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

touring diary 2

Yes home again and two blogs in a row. Have to work on my tech skills to be able to post when touring.

Here are the Dwarfs from Mairehau school in Christchurch. Snow White and the seven dwarfs was the show chosen by schools on this tour most often. Part of it is the participation of children and teachers as Dwarfs. They converse with my marionette dwarf and check on Snow Whites health ...... oh my, no pulse she must be dead. Not to worry the prince is not far away.
Again a close encounter after the show is a great start to follow up activities in a school. The whole tour was so successful that I have to plan another time this year to tour the lower South Island.

Another row of Dwarfs this time from Hamner Springs. Very special Dwarfs there, they hang out at the hot springs and seem to have a jolly time when ask what they do all day.

So many ideas and stories hope to keep it more up to date on my next tour away from Wellington. Thanks to all participants!

touring diary 1

Sorry sorry this is a rather wordy blog as my limited ability in the computer field and my Samsung devise do not want me to download the photos..... Yes being on the road you have to compromise! Photos in the next blog when I will be home again. On the positive side the weather over the  three weeks has so far been brilliant and the slogan of Bluff School  - Where the journey begins - was extremely fitting for the 30 years anniversary tour. So many slogans and schools later I it in the office of Akaroa Area School and type these lines. Southland and Otago are behind me and the next few days will see me in Canterbury. For the overseas readers, these are all provinces of the South Island of New Zealand. Lets state it, it is the larger of the two main islands and with fewer inhabitants than a city like Berlin. Well all of Berlin is about the population of New Zealand. It is open though and amazing scenery. The shows went very well with teachers and students remembering my last visit. Bit scary when parents come along and mention that they saw in in school all those years ago. Time does not stand still that is for sure.
At Medbury I did an additional mask workshop that fitted into there artsweek and here in Akaroa ten students participated in the show as Dwarfs, Hunters, Singers and Ambulance team, just delightful.

Until mid next week  with photos and stories, keep tuned.

Had to wait that I was home so photos at last
 Great little school at the very end of the South Island enjoyed it immensely
The look behind the stage after the show is always interesting and gives pupils time to ask questions and have a close up look.

Medbury school had another nice school motto that fitted the tour well. The boys created some brilliant masks during the workshop.