Tuesday, 31 March 2015

10 things to know about Citizen Puppet! Assistant Director, Fiona Clift, tells us all...

What was Citizen Puppet about?
Puppet's telling the story of the English fairytale "Jack and the Beanstalk" from their perspective.

What is Puppet Verbatim?
It's the real words of actual puppets, edited together into a script.

Why Jack and the Beanstalk?
We discovered that a fairytale to a puppet, is like crime watch to a human. Specifically, we explored Jack and the Beanstalk as a possible metaphor for the banking crisis and for the environmental crisis.

What were the inspirations behind the show?
Verbatim theatre, The Laramie Project, 999 (TV Show), Documentaries such as 'Man on Wire' all came up during rehearsals

Who were the characters?
Tina Henderson - Scottish Granny
Howie and Louie - Polish Jewish bankers
DI Clive - Puppet Police
Suki Armstrong Chan - Jack's girlfriend
Helen Shepherd - Jack's maths teacher
Terry Lynch - Spiritual guide
Daz Brayhew - Farmer

What were the puppets like?
The puppets are like works of art. They have moving mouths and expressive faces, and cloth bodies, with some fantastic costumes on. 

What were the puppets like to work with?
They are great fun to improvise and find characters with. As they have moving mouths, they are more challenging to move around and at the moment they can be done with one person as they are all sitting on puppet chairs. This is challenging and freeing at the same time.

What was different about it from other Blind Summit shows you have worked on?
The piece was a collaboration between students from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, who had done very little puppetry before, and the Blind Summit 'Table' ensemble.

Who was your favourite puppet?
DI Clive

What was your favourite moment of the show?

DI Clive talking about getting a shitsu after his wife left him. Also the blackout at the beginning after Tina's opening monologue was really exciting. 


Monday, 23 March 2015

Student Designer, Ana Maio, from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama recounts her time on Citizen Puppet...

What was your role on Citizen Puppet?
I was the set and costume designer

What is your design process that you follow?
The design process always changes according to the nature of the project. In this case, it was highly devised which meant the process didn't necessarily follow a linear path. It had a starting point and then several parallel choices that we could take and explore. A lot of it was experimentation and fun whilst keeping in mind the bigger questions like; Where are we? What time is it? Who are the characters? Why are we doing this? 

What were your most enjoyable moments of the process?
The first time I saw the 'Title Sequence' during the tech rehearsals, when the puppets appear. It was a real introduction and realisation of the place and the characters

What were the most challenging moments?
Keeping hold of everything we had discovered in connection to the main goal, whilst still experimenting and developing the piece was very challenging. 

Who is your favourite puppet in the show?
The Polish brothers, Howie and Louie. They are just delightful.

What is your favourite thing about the show?
The characters are amazing! And the puppets just look great.

What are you working on next?
I'm currently designing a project about memory to present in my course's final exhibition at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in the end of April.