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[pictures above] Barbara Mélois, Forkbeard Fantasy and Figure of Speech

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UPDATES ON PUPPETEERS AND COMPANIES

Unpacked
Unpacked is working on a new show, No Obvious Trauma, with the support of development funding from Arts Council England. The show is inspired by histories of psychiatric treatment, case notes and institutions: trains shriek through the night, elegant foxtrots float through incarcerating walls, patients yearn to go mad and doctors dream of escape. A macabre, comic and fantastical piece of theatre.
Their debut show, The Fourth Violin from the Left, has done very well throughout the winter of 2005 – 2006 with shows in London, Aberystwyth and Belgium. There is still an opportunity to see it as they will be going on a mini tour this spring with performances in Liverpool, Oxford and Guildford. For tour dates and further information on both shows see www.upacked.org

Green Ginger
Green Ginger's Rust is attracting attention from promoters all over the world and has been invited to festivals in Barcelona, Paris, Lisbon, Calgary, Amsterdam and Nuremburg. The company also looks forward to performing at the World Puppet Festival in Charleville-Mezieres. Please visit our website for full tour dates.
One of Green Ginger’s close collaborators, Sharron Harries won first prize in the Factual category of ffresh, the Student Moving Image Festival of Wales. The winning film Life Line was generated in a project directed by Green Ginger's founder Terry Lee, using hours of interviews with old and young people of South Wales which were then edited and re-shot using puppets. For further information on the company, see www.greenginger.net

Little Angel Theatre
The company’s latest production is Sleeping Beauty In The Wood, which runs at their Islington base from 11 Feb – 9 April 2006. Devised by the company; directed and designed by Joy Haynes (director/designer of previous success The Frog Prince), this bold production works with puppets, projections, machines and music to weave an irresistible magic. From 12-30 April, Little Angel will be presenting Kazzum’s The Sorcerer's Apprentice. Directed by Peter Glanville; designed by Damon Shaw; puppets by Sue Dacre; music by Suzy Davies. Kazzum's highly original production of this classic tale is inspired by Vietnamese Water Puppetry. The action takes place in, on and around a set made of water and uses table-top and shadow puppets. The company continues its successful community and educational work with the Saturday Puppet Club and Fun Days for children and families. Box Office 0207 226 1787.
www.littleangeltheatre.com

Lost & Found Theatre
Lost & Found Theatre presents The Lost Moon, which is based on an old folk tale from the Lincolnshire Fens. Written and performed by Mandy Travis; directed by Nino Namitcheishvili; live music composed and performed by Hannah Marshall.
The Lost Moon features puppetry, performance and live music devised originally by members of The Little Angel Theatre who created Jabberwocky and The Mouse Queen, now in collaboration with Nino Namitcheishvili, founder member of The Georgian Puppeteers’ Club at The Basement Theatre in Tbilisi, Georgia. Mandy Travis founded Lost & Found Theatre in 2004. The Lost Moon started out as a ‘work in progress’ solo performance with puppetry and live music, directed by Steve Tiplady of The Little Angel theatre, London, and designed and made by Peter O’Rourke, with music by Hannah Marshall. Mandy Travis and Nino Namitcheishvili are now working on the final production of The Lost Moon.
Target uudience: 10+ to adult; running time: 1hr – no interval
To book the lost moon - please phone Tamsin Thomas, administrator on 07742 611634. Email info@lostandfoundtheatre.co.uk
For more information on the company see www.lostandfoundtheatre.co.uk

Improbable and the National Theatre of Scotland
Hot on the heels of the National Theatre of Scotland’s launch comes The Wolves In The Walls, a collaboration with Improbable described as ‘a musical pandemonium’. This ‘visually spectacular, musically infectious and darkly comic’ piece of theatre is inspired by the book by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean, and brought to life by a team of innovative and celebrated theatre-makers led by Julian Crouch and National Theatre of Scotland artistic director, Vicky Featherstone, including Nick Powell (Suspect Culture, Improbable's Lifegame, Animo and Stars are out Tonight) Iain Johnstone (Wee Stories), and Steven Hoggett (Frantic Assembly). It’s aimed at ‘everyone over 7 who is not a scaredy cat’. For performance dates and venues see www.improbable.co.uk/show_example.asp?item_id=14

Mishimou – 3 Little Pigs
Featuring nudity, alcohol, death and a tree, Mishimou’s new production, The 3 Little Pigs, uses expressive scenography, manipulation and illusion to shift the dynamics of the theatre space. In this eclectic theatrical experiment of puppets, animation, shadow and music, all tools, marks and trip ups-remain bare. The piece mixes scale and style using rod, hand and bunraku-ish puppets manipulated by Rachael Ayres and Maria Ratcliffe. They play with the intimate relationship between puppet and puppeteer characterising the dark comic underbelly of the performance. Paddy Molloy. animator and illustrator, creates an anthropomorphic landscape in a textured hand drawn manner. Dramatising the use of filmed projection, shadow and colour, The 3 little pigs is an adult performance that promises to fill your eyes and ears with wondrous things. The company have just received word that their ACE funding application was successful! The 3 little pigs is premiering at the Royal Exchange Studio Theatre in Manchester on 9-10 June. Book tickets through RET Box office on 0161 833 9833 or online www.royalexchange.co.uk
For further information email mishimou@hotmail.com

Pandora’s Daughter
Pandora’s Daughter are currently doing a new human rights project called One World Many Voices, using puppetry to explore the state of Childhood round the world. Pandora's Daughter also want to announce that they have a new website! See www.pandorasdaughter.com

Puppet State Theatre Company - The Man Who Planted Trees
Richard Medrington, best known for his adaptations of A A Milne’s Winnie the Pooh, has received Scottish Arts Council funding for a production of Jean Giono’s famous story. A puppet show for ages 7 to adult, which adds smell, touch and sound to visual images. Performed by Richard and Rick Conte and designed by Ailie Cohen and Alison Croft, it tours from May 2006, with appearances at the Netherbow Arts Centre, Edinburgh, during August. “Jean Giono’s story surely belongs among the most moving and endearing statements of our hope.” Wendell Berry See www.puppetstate.com

The Puppet Lab
The Edinburgh based company, The Puppet Lab, have received Scottish Arts Council funding for their new show entitled EH6. This is one of the first adult puppet shows by a Scottish Puppet company. Set to an original soundtrack and with accompanying graphic novel, this show is performed with Bunraku-style puppets and shadow puppets. EH6 is an adaptation of the legend of Orpheus, set in a Scottish tenement block. It is dramatically staged within a set which splits open to reveal a cross-section of the building and the characters who inhabit the flats. The show will be touring throughout Scotland in March and April, from Edinburgh, Dundee, Aberdeen and Cumbernauld.
The Puppet Lab are renowned for their children’s shows and have recently had a wonderful reception to Funny Bones. The Autumn/Winter show for 5-9 year olds, Beauty and The Beast (photo), is in a more traditional format of carved marionettes, shadow puppets and masks. Beauty and the Beast is currently being booked by venues.
To make a booking, or for more information, check The Puppet Lab website www.puppet-lab.com , email info@puppet-lab.com or call us on 0131 554 8923.

Norwich Puppet Theatre
Having received a royal seal of approval with the visit of HRH Earl of Wessex in January, Norwich Puppet Theatre continues to spread its wings far and wide. After the sell out schools tour of Jack & the Beanstalk at the end of March the show will be appearing at Komedia and Norwich Puppet Theatre before travelling to the LivingCrafts event at Hatfield House and Mukamas Festival in Finland during May. Jack is not the only show on the road as NPT’s production of Roald Dahl’s – George’s Marvellous Medicine will travel to Mexico for the XIX Festival Internacional De Teatro De Títeres. Meanwhile back in Norwich we are cooperating with the Norfolk and Norwich Festival in bringing Blind Summit and their production Low Life to Norwich on 6th May. For further details see www.puppettheatre.co.uk

An Evening of Puppetry by Royal Holloway Drama Students
Workshop productions of George Bernard Shaw's Shakes versus Shav: A Puppet Play (1950); Gertrude Stein's Identity: A Poem (1936); and Edward Gordon Craig's Romeo & Juliet: A Motion for Marionettes (1916). Also two workshop productions of new student work based on Javanese wayang kulit.
Monday 27 March 2006 at 7pm. Handa Noh Studio, Department of Drama and Theatre, Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham Surrey TW20 0EX. Free. Information available from Matthew Isaac Cohen – email matthew.cohen@rhul.ac.uk .
See www.rhul.ac.uk/drama

Whalley Range Allstars New Show
The new show Compost Mentis features a large compost heap and the gardener who looks after it. Their relationship slowly begins to break down when it's discovered that the compost heap has a life of its own and harbours thoughts that are fermenting within. Puppet, mechanical and musical interventions ensure that the audience, like the gardener, are led up the garden path. The show is designed for outdoor spaces and signals a break from the company's previous three intimate shows that were designed for small audiences. The compost heap is constructed by Bryan Tweddle (who has made many mechanical contraptions for IOU, Hoodwink, Avanti Display, Salisbury Art
Centre and Welfare State International . Music is composed and played by Clive Bell (who created the soundtracks for the company’s last two touring shows, Bedcases and Pig) and de-composed by sound artist Matt Wand (who created bird soundtracks for their installation Outside In The Birds and who has worked with Sonic Youth and Pulp amongst many others.) Initial ideas for the show have been developed with puppeteer Steve Tiplady (who has worked with Faulty Optic, Theatre-rites, Improbable, as well as Little Angel and his own company Indefinite Articles, amongst many others). Compost Mentis was commissioned by Shropshire County Council with further
funding from Arts Council England, North West. It opens at the Lyric Hammersmith, 2–4 June, and tours in the UK over the
summer. Dates can be found at www.wras.org.uk

Objects Dart
Just in time for April, when it is time to plant turnips, Objects Dart will be taking a new show The ENORMOUS Turnip, suitable for 2-7 year olds, into nursery schools, primary schools and venues. Using the familiar story of the giant vegetable as a base, the show explores storytelling through movement, music and non-verbal sounds. The puppetry includes shadows and table-top puppets, all performing on and in a unique light tent. A specially-created score is being written for the show, and the puppets are being made by Drew Colby, with shadow puppets by visual artist Michele Petit-Jean. For further information and images see www.geocities.com/objectsdart2002

Mark Whitaker
2005 was a busy year for Mark, dividing his time between Norwich Puppet Theatre and Horse & Bamboo, touring the UK, Ireland, Spain and Portugal. He also took on the role of Membership Secretary for BrUNIMA – see www.unima.org.uk He spent the Christmas 2005 season at the Royal Exchange Studio, Manchester in Horse & Bamboo’s production of In the Shadow of Trees. He is currently working again with Horse & Bamboo as an associate artist and throughout the summer will be puppeteer/ tour manager for their pPod touring theatre See www.horseandbamboo.org/frpod.html

Mervyn Miller
Mervyn is currently working on The Odyssey, which is on at the Lyric Hammersmith until 25 March. This retelling (after Homer) is by Lyric artistic director David Farr, with puppets by Mervyn Millar
Ensemble acting, live music and puppetry combine to tell the story of one of history’s most enduring heroes, who won a war but lost everything in his search for home.

The Theatre of the Small – Small Beginnings
The company announce a new series of creative workshops, Small Beginnings, which will run on Saturday mornings at The Youth Centre in Sandwich until 1 April 2006. Workshops for children and young people include storytelling, puppet-making, model theatre making, junk music and percussion and dance. For further information on the company’s activities, tel 01304 617335 or email puppetmaster@theatreofthesmall.co.uk

Barbara Mélois
In her new show Diaphanie or the Memoirs of a Fairy (which will be on at the Egg in Bath over the Easter weekend in April), Charleville graduate Barbara Mélois uses the transparency of cellophane to take us to the marvellous world of fairy tales. The crystal palace, the glass slipper, the diaphanous dresses, are effortlessly illustrated – and it only takes a snap of the fingers for the spotlights to throw warmth and cold, water and fire upon them. Barbara Mélois transposes Perrault’s story of Cinderella into a ‘cinéma paradisiaque’, playing with the contrasts of poetry and modernity. A show suitable for aged 6+
See http://barbara.melois.free.fr/

Figure of Speech
The Moontime Project is a collaboration between Figure of Speech and Tineola Theatre. A work-in-progress show called Moontime, was made as a direct response to a number of sources centred on the cultural, and spiritual significance of the moon and poses the idea: What does it mean to be influenced by lunar time? Alchemy, and the images that are used in exploring esoteric ideas, became the basis for fascinating hybrid animals and birds in the version of Moontime performed at various venues in 2005.
Moontime is now looking for significant funding to work with the artists involved and a new show will be produced as an international project – making use of workshop skills of both Tineola and Figure of Speech. It is hoped that with the right funding performances will be run along exciting multimedia workshops combining 3D, shadow puppetry, and animation effects. Week-long performances will be shown in Prague, Berlin and the UK in 2007/8. For further information, contact Jonathan Hayter on joffe@figureofspeech.org.uk See www.figureofspeech.org.uk

NEWS FROM OTHER ORGANISATIONS

Tate Britain presents Lali Chetwynd: The Fall of Man - A Puppet Extravaganza!
Wednesday 19 April 2006, 19.30–21.30
Part of Tate Triennial 2006: Live Events
Lali Chetwynd presents a temporary theatre installation that reveals a narrative puppet show in three acts drawn from key literary sources including the Bible, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Karl Marx’s Das Kapital (1867). In common with the carnivalesque flavour of her previous works, the costumes, props and scenery are assembled from found materials to create fantastical moving tableaux. The accompanying music is composed by Alexander Tucker.
Free, but booking recommended. £1.50 booking fee. For tickets book online on www.tate.org.uk or call 020 7887 8888.

World Day of Theatre for Children and Young People
On 20 March, every year since 2001, the World Day of Theatre for Children and Young People has been celebrated all over the world by the international community of theatre practitioners for children and young people. The main purpose is to attract the attention of a wider public to the art of theatre for children and young people. Events during the World Day may be special performances, open rehearsals,
lectures, exhibitions, articles in newspapers and magazines etc. Events are primarily organised by national ASSITEJ centres or by theatre companies or theatre organisations.

TRAINING AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Puppetry and Object Theatre in Performance: an introductory course
At Stratford-Circus Theatre Square, London E15 1BX
10-week course begins the week starting 8th May 2006
This is an introductory course to puppetry and object theatre. Through the use of specific exercises, play and movement, the first part of the course will concentrate on the techniques, focus and sense of play needed as a performer of puppetry and object theatre. The second part of the course uses the experiences and discoveries from the previous lessons as a springboard to develop work using materials and objects chosen by the group or individual. No previous experience of puppetry required, just an openness and willingness to play... a maximum number of fifteen students will be enrolled.
Contact Tony Coleman at Stratford Circus on 020 8279 1007 or e-mail him at: tony@stratford-circus.org.uk

La Capra Ballerina – Nori Sawa Workshop

Held in Acquapendente (Viterbo – Italy) from 26 – 30 May 2006.
The workshop includes five hours a day of construction of a paper machè bunraku puppet.
Cost is 230€ including a place to sleep in the hostel in the beautiful landscape of the Natural Reserve of Monte Rufeno.
We can host no more than 23 people, so book soon on: 0039 0763 730225 or (mobile) 0039 338 5907774.
Full details can be found on Nori’s website at www.puppet-house.co.jp/nori/sawa8.html


The Moveable Feast Company and Network

On Saturday 22 April there will be a large gathering for all South West participatory arts workers. This will be the tenth gathering over a five-year period and will be called Re-Membering the Feast. It is for artists involved in participatory arts – artists for whom workshop is important. It will be a day-long event and there will be lots of doing, talking, walking and eating. The Moveable Feast Workshop Company generates and manages creative events both inside and outside the MF Network and promotes workshop as an art form in its own right. They are in the process of identifying a suitable venue and organising the day but please register interest either by emailing info@themoveablefeast.co.uk or by joining the community pages of the website at www.community.themoveablefeast.co.uk


Forkbeard Fantasy 2006 Summer Schools

The Forkbeard Fantasy Summer Schools, held at Forkbeard Fantasy’s Waterslade Studios in rural Devon, provide a unique opportunity to discover new ways of working in a stimulating creative environment. The week-long courses give participants a hands-on introduction to the diversity of practice - prop & model-making, set design, animation, film-making & interaction, introductions to Final Cut Pro, sound design and other media and technology - which exists within Forkbeard’s work. Dates are: Friday 9th – Friday 16th June 2006 and Friday 7th – Friday 14th July 2006. Cost: £600 for each 6 day course. This includes accommodation and all meals and refreshments. Contact Deborah Harrison, Administrator, Forkbeard Fantasy, PO Box 1241, Bristol BS99 2TG. T: 0117 930 9933. E: ff@forkbeardfantasy.co.uk


Glasshouse Mask Academy Summer Workshops

Eurythmy and the Mask with Maren Stott and Mike Chase 13-14 May
Mask Making – Establishing Archetypes with Stephen Jon and Mike Chase 10-11 June
Mask Summer School 2006 18-22 July & 24-28 July
For further information contact: Glasshouse Mask Academy, The Glasshouse, Wollaston Rd, Stourbridge, West Midlands DY84HF
Tel: +0044 (0)1384 399458. Email: theatre@ghc.rmet.org.uk


Sandglass Theater and The University of Connecticut

The Summer Intensive is a three-week Puppet Arts Training Programme which runs 22 July – 11 August 2006. The workshop is offered to puppeteers, teachers, actors, directors, designers and writers who want to expand and deepen their skill and understanding in the art of the puppet. The objective of the training programme is to inspire theatre artists to understand and to experience the puppet at a theatrical medium. Sandglass believes in integrating this understanding of the puppet within the larger picture of expressive theatre. Key to the training is the link between the approach to manipulation and the content of the performed work. Daily sessions will include body training and breath development with relation to puppet performance, training in manipulation technique an its relation to artistic statement, and training and discussion in theory and aesthetics. All sessions, including improvisation workshops, will provide the opportunity for participants to develop their own pieces. Participants will also receive open workshop time for puppet building. Institute director is Eric Bass, co-founder of Sandglass Theater and recipient of five Citations of Excellence from the Union Internationale de la Marionnette (UNIMA).
Application deadline is 15 April 2006. A $30 application fee is required
Fee for the 2006 Sandglass Institute is $1400.00 U.S. For further information email info@sandglasstheater.org


Morinesio's Midsummer Pageant

The 5th Annual Pageant Puppetry Workshop in Northern Italy! Join us for a one-week workshop in pageant puppetry, culminating in a community procession for the Summer Solstice and the Feast of St. John the Baptist. Collaborate with international participants and local residents to enact age-old traditions of ritual celebration in Morinesio, a remote village in the Piedmont region of the Italian Alps.
Master Puppeteers Alex Kahn and Sophia Michahelles will guide you through the production of the pageant. As a group, we will draw inspiration from the lives, history, and folktales of the village as we design and construct giant puppets, lanterns and musical instruments. At the end of the week, local villagers will join in helping bring our creations to life, for two events - an illuminated Midsummer's Night procession and a Pageant of the Solstice the following day.The workshop will be hosted by Christa Gaebler at Casa dei Fiori, a newly restored complex of traditional stone houses. An international chef, Christa will introduce participants to the delicate tastes of Italian summer cuisine, with gourmet meals prepared daily with fresh, local herbs, produce, and mountain cheeses.The workshop runs from Saturday June 17th to Sunday June 25th. The fully-inclusive cost per person for the week is 1450-1950 Euro (depending on accommodation. To make a reservation, contact: Pia Petruzzi USA/ (203) 756 2517, email pia@superiorconcept.org
For more detailed information, see www.superiorconcept.org/Morinesio


The 7th International Shadow Theatre Festival

A highlight for all shadow theatre players worldwide, the 7th International Shadow Theatre Festival will be held in Schwaebisch Gmuend (Germany) from 16 – 21 October 2006. This is the only festival for contemporary shadow theatre in the whole world. Fourteen of the very best shadow theatre companies will present work. There will also be workshops which will be run by some of the best experts in this field. For further information, tel (00) 49-7171 / 86467, email isz@schattentheater.de or see www.schattentheater.de


OPPORTUNITIES

Ripstop Productions seek Puppeteer

Puppeteer with experience in shadow work required for interactive and intimate shadow puppet show for 3-7 year olds performed in a domed tent. We are looking for someone who is adaptable, has a good speaking and singing voice and is interested in performing for young audiences. Two weeks rehearsal and five week London run (Polka, Half Moon, Arts Depot, Harrow Arts Centre, Croydon Clocktower) 27th March – 14th May 2006. Fee £350 per week. CRB enhanced status will be required. Send CV to Zannie Fraser at info@ripstoptheatre.co.uk



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