‘Kommilitonen’ is performing at Sir Jack Lyons Theatre from the 18th March 2011.
Archive for the ‘Blind Summit’ Category
Perhaps the most ambitious undertaking Blind Summit’s embarked on to date. El Gato Con Botas or “Puss in Boots” (a collaboration with the Tectonic Theatre group and Gotham Chamber Opera in New York City), boasts a menagerie of 28 puppets, ranging from shoals of fish, bunraku cats, a life-size lion and a 10 foot ogre!
On this incredible project I had the pleasure of carving a macaw parrot in styrofoam, sculpting ‘super sculpey’ hands, fabricating marionette bodies, making half a dozen white rabbits, a lions body and limbs, and much more, its hard to recall, there was just so much happening!? The project brought together so many talented individuals, it was wonderful to all be together under one roof.
Actor, Puppeteer, and puppet maker Henry Maynard, posing with Marionette style puppet. Armature by Henry Maynard, fabrication by Billie Achilleos, covering by Greta Schuckert.
Macaw by EVERYONE!
Puss In Boots directed by Moises Kaufman, premiered at The New Victory Theatre, New York, on the 2nd October -10th October 2010.
Wonderful photos of the production can be viewed here, featuring the phenomenal 10 foot ogre, created largely by pattern cutting genius Becky Johnson.
(In sesame street style) The puppets of Puss In Boots were brought to you this Autumn by :- Nick Barnes, Becky Johnson, Billie Achilleos, Paul Vincett, Henry Maynard, Greta Schuckert, Rachael Sheppard and Sindy Buissink.
The puppet was a miniature replica of Blind Summit’s co founder Mark Down, who also stared in the show. The head was expertly sculpted by Nick Barnes, my part in creating mini Mark was fabricating his body and painting his hands and head.
My self and Paul Vincett (Puppet Master of Stitches and Glue Monster workshop), made various animals from bamboo, stretched cotton and silk cloth to imitate the kite style and be animated using simple but unique methods.
‘Running the Silk Road’ was performed at The Pit, The Barbican, London, in June 2008.
My dog head carved from styrofoam whilst at Blind Summit in 2008. He was initially carved to assist in exploring the construction of dog puppets in the early stages of a production of Jack London’s ‘Call Of The Wild’. The production eventually developed into what has been described as a “Cardboard Puppet Arctic Ballet” and was performed at the Webber Douglas Studio by degree students at Central School of Speech and Drama.
I worked mainly on carving/shaping/sculpting hands, limbs, bodies and experimenting with wing forms. The faeries came in every shape and size, from 5ft tall Dolore requiring three people to operate him to 1ft small Anak and flapping/glowing dragonflies and fireflies.
‘Faeries’ was a collaborative work between Blind Summit the ROH2 and director Will Tuckett. It was performed at the Claw theater at the Royal Opera House and at The Egg in Bath in the summer of 2008, Latitude festival 2009 and is due to be revived again later this year.
In Phillip Pullman’s ‘His Dark Materials‘, there is a world in which each person has a ‘dæmon‘ – a kind of animal spirit which is a part of their being, with them always and at times can act like a conscience. I joined Blind Summit in what would be an epic production of Pullman’s series that involved many different approaches to puppet construction.
Working under the guidance of Nick Barnes – myself, Paul Vincett and many hard working interns helped produce larger than life polar bears, tiny Gallivespians on dragonfly steeds, and a variety of plastazote animals designed to be puppeteered by a single actor.
My part on the project involved carving what seemed like hundreds of polar bear claws, (a dozen in reality). Carving and clothing three Gallivespians. A crash course in freeform plastazote pattern cutting, (which until that point I had only done by sculpting a form and taking the pattern from it). My most challenging achievement on this project being the head of dæmon, Hester the Hare. It took me many attempts to get her head looking just right and I’m still very happy with it.
‘His Dark Materials’ was directed by Rachel Kavanaugh and Sarah Esdaile and shown at Birmingham Rep, West Yorkshire Playhouse and various national theatres on tour in 2009.