Puppets, a Dumb Show and Understanding Body Language
My job involves helping to bring large and small scale productions to life through movement, dance and physical language.
The joy of this is that every production is different. I can be asked to do anything from fast paced choreography to assisting in the understanding of body language and characterisation through physicality.
Imagine my delight when I signed up to work for The Chester Mystery Plays 2018. Not only am I challenged with staging a cast of around two hundred performers, but the fantastic writing by Deborah McAndrew and vision of the wonderfully creative designer Dawn Allsopp has created the opportunity for me to work with a number of different puppets.
These will feature at various points including during an energetic Dumb Show (a traditional means of summarising the action through mime and movement) performed by our fantastic youth company.
A wonderful team of adult service users working at Special Needs Care, Creative Arts Day Service, are working hard to create glove and sock puppets to represent a range of animals, and we are very excited to see them develop.
During The Creation in the main show, we will be very proud to showcase some superb designs by pupils at The Oaks School in Ellesmere Port. The stage will be filled with underwater and flying creatures made by the children.
Our largest and most complex puppets are saved for Noah’s Ark, which will be filled with incredible animals, currently in the making by a team led by Russell Kirk. These promise to be a real visual spectacle!
One of the most prominent and important themes in this production is the environment, with an emphasis on re-use and recycling. This is honoured beautifully in the making of these wonderful puppets. If you donated any old prams, fishing rods, lampshades or other unwanted items we requested earlier in the process, then do look out for them as a panda, giraffe or rabbit passes you.
The company are incredibly excited to start integrating these creations into our scenes in the coming weeks, and would like to thank everyone involved in the making process.
We hope you’ll join us for what promises to be a visually stunning production.