All posts tagged: featured

The Tempest Puppets

Overview Set on a fictitious island off the coast of Africa, this Royal Shakespeare Company production of The Tempest interpreted the text from a post-colonial perspective, reading into the role of Prospero and Caliban the power dynamics of oppression. I created the tempest puppets to capture some of the more magical characters and qualities in this most magical of Shakespeare’s plays. Tempest Puppets The enchantment of the island is captured in the doings of the spirits and made concrete in the form of puppets, masks and props. Forces, spirits, the seemingly ‘inexplicable’ are carried in on the wind from all across the continent. In creating the piece we drew on images from animistic and ancestral traditions from various parts of Africa. In working with this eclectic African aesthetic we aimed to evoke the power of these traditions rather than illustrating any culturally specific rituals or objects. The Gardian (UK) gave the production 5 stars and said of it: “…brilliant…combines racial politics with visual playfulness in a way that liberates this all-too-familiar play” Credits Producer: Royal …

Ouroboros

Ouroboros is a production about time, relationship and the cycles of life, created with evocative, multimedia imagery. At its heart, it is a love story between a dancer and a poet finding the courage to commit. Using the uniquely transforming powers of the puppetry medium, the two central characters appear as several versions of themselves. Audiences witness the unfolding drama of their lives from birth to death. Their interactions form a web of relationships, revealing the interdependence of the past, present and future. The production is inspired by the work of US Poet Laureate Billy Collins; whose work Aristotle underpins the narrative. Predominantly wordless, Ouroboros explores the internal dynamics of relationship through the interactions of the puppet characters, shadow imagery and animated projections. “shadow puppetry, puppets, voice-overs, sound clips and projections are masterfully combined to create a world which is fantastical and yet manages to hold up a mirror to human vulnerability and mortality. The piece manages to convey deep emotions despite the fact that the characters never say a word. We consider language as …

midsummer nights dream

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

“Eerily beautiful… irresistibly funny”The Times In their first collaboration since the internationally acclaimed War Horse, Bristol Old Vic’s Artistic Director Tom Morris and Cape Town’s Handspring Puppet Company reunite for an inventive new take on Shakespeare’s romantic comedy of love triangles, fairies, and kings. In this production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the story focuses on transformation, survival, and song, where a belief in the mystical presence of fairies isn’t superstition, but a magic lore encoded in the routines of a community living on the edge. Thanks to visionary staging and the genius of Handspring, the Bard’s young lovers are sometimes human and sometimes puppets, the mischievous Puck takes a different form every time he appears, and workshop tools, wooden blocks, and other found objects come to life. “In this Midsummer, it’s not just the lovers, foes and fairies who are spellbound. Trees, objects and tools all pulse and tingle with the possibility of existence in a future primitive world where, thanks to the magic of Handspring Puppet Company alongside a brilliant company of actors, …