‘The Museum of Hidden Delights’, Dewsbury Market, Wednesdays & Saturdays, March – April 2015 (a work of accumulation with items sourced from the market and deconstructed, categorised, metamorphosed and labelled by the artists and the public). More info coming soon...
Watch trailer below...
Les Hommes Vides is a 20 minute, low tech, charming, eerie and comic performance of slapstick and surreal table-top puppetry and object theatre. It contains scenes of plank action, eyeless shopping, bouncing puppets, poetry and 'prizes'.
Les Hommes Vides trailer (film by George Glover)
It is suitable for intimate, non-traditional theatre spaces for up to 20 audience members. It is ideal for galleries, foyers, festivals and selected spots outdoors.
Premiered on June 23rd 2012 at Holmfirth Arts Festival, Back Lane Art Space, www.holmfirthartsfestival.co.uk
Les Hommes Vides can also be accompanied by a post-show 30 minute workshop for the audience in simple 2 person 'puppet' manipulation with simple head and 'bag' puppets. Suitable for everyone.
The Stage - 18th January 2013
The second show by Invisible Thread - the new puppet company from Faulty Optic's Liz Walker - is a simpler, more humorous affair than her previous work. There is none of the trademark use of live video-feed or bizarre wheels and pulley systems - instead, the production opens on a small counter inhabited by just two rod puppets.
The two-foot high, identical old men are instantly characterful, with their beady eyes and oversized noses, and engage in a pysical comedy routine to rival Laurel and Hardy. It begs the question, however, of whether puppets can do slapstick - when you can always see the puppeteer deliberately causing the trip-up it doesn't feel accidental, and the biggest laugh comes when the puppet turns the tables and knocks over the puppeteer.
But there's a deeper meaning beneath this seemingly light-hearted show. The old men morph into smaller, bean-bag bodied puppets who run a production line producing wooden blocks covered in question marks while a voiceover asks: 'What are these objects? Why are they here?' Members of the audience receive numbered tickets and are called to the front to collect packages like Argos customers. And in a particularly surreal sequence, miniature animals jump to their death, only for their bodies to be scooped into shopping baskets by eyeless dolls. Consumerism and the futility of human existence are the themes here, tackled surprisingly powerfully by these diinutive figures.
When the two bumbling old men puppets return to the table we see them in a new light - as rather pitiful examples of mankind's struggle, here trying and failing to build a simple bench for the two of them to sit on
Slapstick comedy, existential angst and puppets - all in just 20 minutes. This is surely one of the quirkiest gems of the year's London Internation Mime Festival.
Toured during 2009
Toured UK and France in 2009 and still in repertoire. Falling bests, battered clay, bendy legs and frantic scribbling, are all highlights of this simple small-scale piece that explores the dilemmas and failings of the human mind through a series of intimate character studies.
‘Fish’ is the tale of a character that whilst musing along the seashore has to come to terms with an oversized fish that has landed on his head. This can be seen as just a bizarre tale or as man’s struggle with chance and the unpredictable outcomes of life. Tabletop and simple bunraku style puppetry
‘Clay’ is the tale of a sculptor’s joy of creativity, then doubt, leading to an inner crisis between experiment and conformity. It features clay bashing, sculpting, ornamentation and sleight of hand. Life-size puppets table top and clay
‘Perspex' the tale of a character’s loss of friendship and final redemption, told through very small puppets, and marker drawing on Perspex. Very slapstick, amusing and intriguing. Small, cloth and wire articulation sack puppets, perspex screen and marker pens
images: Caroline Ablain or Invisible Thread
Toured during Autumn 2011 and January 2012
Pull from your loins a nest of twigs, beware the wolf-man and the raven too! Drawing on images and themes from life and myth, and using live video-feed painting, object theatre, puppetry and animation Plucked follows a journey of love and betrayal, from beauty to beast and beyond.
It is scary and haunting, funny and tragic.
Work on ‘Plucked’ began in 2010 by researching the roles of older women in myth and fairy tale, flight and birds. Artistically we experimented and played with objects and live-feed video projections, live-painting to a spoken narrative, life-size puppets, object theatre and stylised movement. Scenically the intention was for the set to be very simple but suggestive of castles, towers and with some Heath Robinson type elements.
In January and April 2011, the piece was developed and shaped through rehearsing in front of an audience, at work-in-progress performances and feed-back sessions at the Washpit workshop and The Hub in Leeds.
‘heart and soul warmed by lyrical and emotional work’ (on Twitter from Washpit showing)
‘big fan of the fairy tale and that’s as dark as they come’ (on Twitter from Hub showing)