So after 2 weeks of devising, three days of scattered rehearsals and one long day deep underground the Barbican (Without a dress run!) myself and my fellow performers Anna Crozier, Patricia Brennan, Clara Lisle, Leah Blakelock, Casey-Joe Rumens and Georgi Mottram performed the short opera The Empress’s Feet to great success. We all worked extremely hard to produce the piece and it was a thrill to finally perform it in front of a very appriciative group of puppetry and opera practitioners, theatre makers, directors and producers. [In fact my group started our performance off standing on the stage waiting while the audience came in and I found myself spotting people from the puppet community, including Ronnie LeDrew, the artistic director of the Little Angel Theatre Peter Glanville and my director for my next project Mark Swetz… no pressure then…)
The next day I had tremendous fun participating in the Puppet Centre Trust’s day of workshops at the Central School of Speech and Drama. I had the pleasure of playing with Phelim McDermot from Improbable Theatre and even briefly created a paper puppet with Mark Down from Blind Summit (This was very VERY exciting for me as I have been fascinated by Blind Summit’s work. In the afternoon I was taught some mind-blowing shadow puppetry effects by Steve Tiplady and was privilaged to hear two songs from the up-and-coming opera The Firework Makers Daughter (http://www.roh.org.uk/productions/the-firework-makers-daughter-by-john-fulljames) I had enormous fun creating scenes for the opera with shadow puppetry!
Not only did I leave those two days inspired and confident, I also left with some business cards and some offers of potential work in the new year
I’m quite sad to see it go and will miss my fellow performers and my brilliant directors Seonaid Goody and Toria Banks. But there is talk of maybe taking this work-in-progress to be taken further
I’m slowly getting used to seeing myself as a puppeteer and I’m finding myself being welcomed with open arms into the puppet community.
Video of the performance will hopefully be coming soon.