It may well be the bleak mid-winter, with snow on our doorsteps and rain dampening our spirits, but here at Curly Ru Puppets we are already thinking of the sunny, long summer days. We will be packing up our suitcases, though perhaps not our bathers, as foam and sea water do not go well together, and heading north for the summer. We will be back in London for the West Hampstead Jester Festival on the 6th and 7th, where we will be running our workshop and stall. Be sure to come on down and enjoy the fun and try your hand at some puppetry. As well as trying some puppets on your hand!
I was very lucky over the Christmas holidays to be invited to entertain the charming women of the West Hampstead WI. We began with a short chat about puppetry and what it meant to us, what experiences we have had with it. We spoke about our favourite puppets. From Lamb Chop to Wallace and Gromit and everything in between. We then moved on to a short discussion about the history of puppetry and animism. And only once we had exhausted that subject did we get on to looking at some of the puppets I had brought along. We had a look at the main rules of puppetry and how they should or shouldn’t be followed, depending on what you are trying to get across to your audience. We then spoke of the relationship between the puppeteer, the puppet and the audience. The key point being that puppetry can be seen as a three way relationship in which the audience plays an active and vital role. This was demonstrated by a few short sketches with our experienced puppet actress Prissy Pig, and two new puppets, Hairy Boy and Monkey who soon overcame their stage fright in front of such a welcoming audience. And finally we moved on to some easy makes such as the polystyrene ball head puppets, as well as sponge caterpillars and finger puppets.