Saturday, 9 September 2017

Politics, Puppetry and BROTH M........ and what else?

Brotha M
Some might remember the character of Broth M. I did introduce him in one of my earlier blog entries. He and his brother Mustava (now in the Te Papa collection) have performed and delighted audiences through New Zealand and the world.

Recently I received an email from the Fringe Bar in Wellington. They wanted me to perform there. Part of a monthly Menagerie where various performers present a 10 minute act to an adult audience.

Invite to Puppetry in The Menagerie 30th of September
Hi Norbert,

That should be no problem I thought, lets do a sort of a variety act Broth M and friends. Take the little guy, with 30cm one of my small figures, add a few other characters and they rabble rouse a bit and have fun. Sing a song and do the entertainment thing, so I thought. The idea was well received by the organiser at first until a few days ago - when this email arrived.

​Evening Norbert,
I've had it pointed out to me by the Menagerie's owner that an white man puppeteering a brown character just a few weeks after the election might be read as more political than intended. Do you have other characters that you could perform for the Menagerie? Alternately, do you have any video footage of Brotha M in action I could refer to?

Do we give this more importances than we should? Is this even worth a blog entry? Is this a sign of the times? Is puppetry that powerful? Are we over interpreting? Is this to PC? Is all of this taken to seriously? Lots of questions and suddenly what was thought of light entertainment is earnest, important, serious and political.

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