Had a great afternoon working with Tina and the third year designers playing with puppets in readiness for Tempest rehearsals which we'll kick off in vengeance after reading week. We looked at several different ways of working from animating everyday objects, to creating shadows, through to building full size figures with sheets and knots who need three or four animators to bring to life.
After they'd picked up some initial ideas the students went off to create individual characters from the play using whatever they could find lying about in the workroom.
Half an hour later we had a showing. Steph had created a little fat Prospero from a Maraca. Emma had made a human size Miranda from a tailor dummies head and a flowing sheet. Hardeep's Ferdinand started as a bottle of water. The relative scale of the characters made for some surprising combinations and sometimes subverted the text. In effect it quickly became Miranda's story.
We're off to Ham House next week to really look at the space - but I was really impressed by the speed and effectiveness of the puppet creations today - which makes me wonder if we couldn't actually create all the puppets live - Prospero's magic in action - or maybe even work with the audiences' creations? Lots of possibilities.