Some time ago I was lucky enough to receive a visit from Meg Amsden of Nutmeg Puppet Company (who was chair of BrUNIMA at the time).
Meg is a good friend of Ali Clough of Pioneer Projects who, like myself, is a resident of High Bentham and I had invited her to come and see my new Shadow Suitcase show “Edward Lear’s Nonsense” while she was up here visiting Ali. Meg was also keen to see our Liquorice toy theatre and Hansel & Gretel set/characters and to hear more about Harry Oudekerk’s Vischmarkt Papierentheater Festival in the Netherlands: a festival that we recently attended. You can see lots of previous blog posts about the making of the Hansel & Gretel show if you search through (click HERE for earliest H&G post).
Meg made lots of lovely comments on the Edward Lear show and also suggested that the puppets could be used to make an accompanying picture book that I could sell. This idea has been at the back of my mind as a project for “when I get round to it” and finally at the end of last year I did it.
I made about 10 books of Edward Lear’s poem “The New Vestments” and scanned the shadow puppets to create the illustrations for the book. I did not use the name of the poem for the title of the show because “vestments” is an old fashioned and confusing word that we tend not to use much these days. The idea was that I would be able to sell the books to people when I am performing the show but I decided to try selling them at one of Bentham’s late night Christmas Shopping events (organised by We Are Bentham ). I brought the shadow theatre along with me just for display purposes to explain where the illustrations had come from. I am happy to say that for this trial run I sold every single copy and my display copy as well! Thank-you Bentham folks!
If you would like to book my “Edward Lear’s Nonsense” shadow puppet show or “Hansel & Gretel” Toy theatre show don’t hesitate to get in touch. CLICK HERE to contact me.