Edward Lear Again…

Edward Lear's "The New Vestments"

Gok Wan, eat your heart out!

Some of you may be wondering what is happening with my new shadow puppet suitcase show, “Edward Lear’s Nonsense”.

Just to confirm, this brand new show will be appearing at the Skipton Puppet Festival in September 2011.

As the Vischmarkt Papierentheater Festival is in June I shall obviously be mainly concentrating on that first. In the meantime, however for all of you shadow puppetry fans out there here’s a few things to be thinking about.

The shadow puppet in the picture is made in a different way to the majority of my previous shadow puppets. In order to show the detail of the different foods that the “Old Man”‘s costume is made of, I felt a lot of cut out detail, with pieces of coloured lighting gel would be the best way to show what the character is wearing, which is in fact the main subject of the story.

As my shadow screen is very small, I shall have to show close up detail of individual bits of the man’s clothing one at a time as they are introduced so that the audience can really see what they are made of.

Something that is much on my mind with relation to this new show is music. In my other suitcase show “Jabberwocky!” I composed a tune specially to fit in with the poem which I sing, live as an accompaniment to the puppets movement. I think that many people like this musical element of the show in particular and it is something a bit different and special in comparison to other puppet shows I have seen.

However, thanks to the Puppet Centre Trust, a few years back I did a very good voice workshop for puppetry professionals. I used a section of the Jabberwocky poem to practice story telling and different ways of using the voice and it was possible to inject a lot of drama and interest into the words through speaking rather than singing the words. It is possible that attempting to impose a repeating verse type tune on the words of Lear’s poem would remove some of the drama and meaning from the words and possibly make it less easy for the audience to pick out the words in the first place. Considering that a lot of people are not familiar with the poem, “The New Vestments” it is especially important that the audience be able to hear every word so they can follow the story.

I have now got the potential to use recorded music and sound effects for the show as I have recently purchased a very neat, very portable P.A. system suitable for use with the shadow suitcase.

So now I am going to turn the idea over to you my faithful blog readers, who thinks that I should attempt to put the poem to a tune and sing it, and who thinks I should use background music, percussion or sound effects and speak the poem in a dramatic way? Please vote now! And if you haven’t voted on my previous poll regarding the name of this new show, please vote on that one too.


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