My project involves creating a piece of marionette theatre entitled ‘The Explorer’ which will be suitable for touring to small and large-scale festivals and small-scale theatre venues. The period of work will culminate in an event entitled ‘Rediscover The Marionette’ aiming to inspire a new generation of marionettists and renew a sense of interest and understanding of the marionette and it’s future in the British Theatre scene.
I have recently been frustrated by the comments of peers regarding marionette theatre. There are some who believe that marionettes are dated and can only be used for stale, traditional styles of theatre. Over the past decade there has been some work to preserve the heritage of the marionette – a valuable cause. However, I am concerned that marionettes are being archived and forgotten whilst puppetry in general is experiencing a renaissance. Recently the UK theatre scene has witnessed huge leaps forward, particularly in Bunraku-style puppetry, however the marionette is completely unaccounted for in mainstream theatre and significantly lacking in the puppetry world. I want to begin to generate the same level of excitement for string puppetry. My aim is to create a performance that breaks out of the conventions of the British marionette theatre and inspires a new generation of puppeteers to train and create contemporary work in this form.
My show will deviate from traditional conventions in three ways:
1) The puppeteer will be visible to the audience.
2) The marionette will be given a live voice (not via a recorded soundtrack).
3) The show will not use traditional staging methods.
I have already commissioned a beautiful hand-carved marionette by master-puppeteer Stephen Mottram. I have a fantastic composer creating an exciting soundtrack for the show…. however I am missing funds for two vital pieces of the puzzle:
I need £500 to purchase materials with which to Research and Develop the show and then build the props and set.
A further £250 will allow me to market the event, ‘Rediscover the Marionette’ so that I can showcase my newly created performance and then host an open discussion about the future of the marionette in which I aim to get the British puppetry community excited about the possibilities of this wonderful form of puppet.