Saturday, 26 July 2014

taking them to the exhibition and touring diary 5 - whow 7 images and a video clip

Great to be touring the upper part of the North Island. Yes all on the way to get to Kaitaia the very north of the north here in New Zealand. The Waikato with its lush hills, best dairy country in the world, is beautifull for touring. The greater area around Hamilton has a large population that enjoy a visit. This weekend though it was up to Auckland and Orewa to deliver my Marionettes to the exhibition of performing objects at the Estuary Arts Centre in Orewa.
Started with packing my five friends savely into the box for transport. Goethe, the Dragon, Gamma the Alien Bird, the blue Accountant and the Peha-Ane-Tonga.
Put into their sleeping bags and packed with bubble wrap they hopefully travel safely in my stationwagon.

All went well travelling the week on Waikato roads to arrive at Orewa. Here is Kim, the Director and Curator, standing in the corner of the Gallery where they will be displayed during August. Certainly a great event with workshops and shows. Hopefully to be repeated bianually.

Back in Auckland I went to the Viaduct area to see my friend Jonathan puppeteer extraordinaire. He currently busks with a singing Skeleton. The Sunday visitors loved it check out his website Good to catch up with him after 10 years. Hope we see us again later when I tour the far North.

And here the video!

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Marionette Gallery 12 - The Aliens

For Mustava and the Moon there was a need for aliens. His Grandfather worked on a spaceship in the garage, Mustava does not believe it will fly and starts it by accident. He ends up on a far away planet and after being scared of them, helps the aliens against the thread of comets.

Here they are all together. I only used three for the show but they all had a go at being on the stage. Nice to swap them around a bit. They all have in common that they are made from wood and painted. Contrasting colours were important for the impact when they enter the stage as well as they had to be very different from the dressed marionettes. One, the ball on wheels, Alpha had an introduction in a previous blog entry.

This one was the bird like creature. The mouth could open really wide and the squawking sound it made was impressive. Its constructed from pieces of plywood, cut at different angles.

This yellow and blue one is based on the same mechanics as the classic marionette of the dancing skeleton. The head can float and the body falls apart, rather effective.

This red and yellow one is difficult to operate but the stride across the stage with those thin looong legs is beautiful.
Last but not least the clumsy Cyclop with the knee joints folding both ways. This makes for a very interesting sitting motion.
Recently I used the idea of painted marionettes again while creating the magic fish for the production of Titanic. Well it was a mix of Titanic and the fable of the fisherman and his wife. More about that another time. Thanks for reading and leave a comment or send me an email if you have any questions. Next two week we will be on tour in the Waikato, a province of New Zealand just south of Auckland.  Cheers


Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Marionette Gallery 11 - The Moon

The Moon is the Moon and it is hard for this figure to avoid typecasting. A few blogs ago I wrote that my theatre works with Marionettes that are characters able to take on other roles. The Moon is one of a number of exceptions to this. Sometimes the idea comes up in me to use him as someone else and he can complain that he is not taken serious as Hamlet. Never mind, he is one of my very early figures. Created well before myself and the theatre moved to New Zealand. So I guess about 35 years old by now. The base is similar to my three string marionettes, just that head and hands are carved in wood. The string on the very right side is attached to the shoulder piece that is fixed to the head. The large piece of blue material gives him very a elegant movement. He performed extensively in Mustava and the Moon and participated in a large international festival in India and toured Korea with the play.
Mustava and the Moon was an original play and really successful here in New Zealand. Looking back the Moon could be a bit lighter. Though I was in the beginning of exploring carving and woodwork techniques and today half the weight would do nicely. Maybe I send him on a diet.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Whats going on

August will see a puppet exhibition at the ESTUARY ARTS CENTRE in Orewa. For the overseas readers, that is north of Auckland. Kim Boyd is the centre Manager and Curator, check it out online.

Trick of the Light Theatre is currently performing -The Road that wasn't there - at Circa theatre in Wellington. Running until the 19 of July don't miss it.

Next week we have a meeting for a puppet festival in Island Bay. Thats a very nice chilled out beach suburb of Wellington. Rose Beauchamp initiated it and lets hope we get it together. So far it looks exciting with great ideas. Yes the funding.... we have to discuss that. No, no website or blog to look at.

We, Strings attached will be on tour in the Waikato Coromandel area at the end of July to beginning of August. It is part of the 30 years anniversary tour which started in Bluff early this year and will end up in Kaitaia in December.
Last weekend we did a show at the Brooklyn Community Centre. Was really nice with a good community turnout. Should do this around Wellington in the next holiday period.
Next week we do a presentation and show to all the diplomat spouses here in Wellington. Until the end of the year there will also be more shows in schools and venues around our beautiful capital.

And what is a Blog without an image. Here is the complete set for Mustava and the Kauri Giant. Stop, the Kauri Giant, the big tree is missing. Well another time.