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Devising in the magic realm for the puppetry production of Arthur. Blog post by Naomi.

This week saw us up on our feet testing puppetry performance ideas out in the rehearsal space. We took over a room in the local Community Centre, firstly emptying it out of furniture and musical instruments, and then filling it up again with poles and cardboard, paper and material, everything we might need to mock up a set and some puppets and begin to test out some of our story ideas. We pasted our story beats up on the wall and got stuck in: playing and experimenting, creating narration points and exploring some puppet interaction.

Being relatively new to puppetry myself, I have been really enjoying this great opportunity to work collaboratively with highly experienced puppeteers. I feel that every day my technique and understanding of how to manipulate objects in order to give them life improves. The story, as such, which came out of the first few weeks of research is evolving all the time and beginning to put that story in space is teaching us so much about how the space influences our story choices and how our story choices are influencing our set ideas. It is all in flux at the moment.

One of the highlights for me this week has been learning a magic trick which we may use to assist us in telling an early point of the story. Obviously I cannot reveal the details of the trick or story point here! We gave life to five characters in the first two days, characters made of paper and tape, cotton, cord and stick, and helped them to inhabit the world of Arthur and Merlin. Birds in flight, magic and wizardry, woodland animals playing ball, and we’re only half way through the week, I can’t wait to find out what the next few days have in store!


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