Last summer I teamed up with best friends Martin Currie and Gary Manton and my sister, Sarah. We performed shows on our large screen at the Fireside Housing Co-op’s annual summer party and a few gatherings with friends at home where we made and played with puppets. From this, we decided to run an event focused on shadow puppetry; providing an opportunity for folk of any age, to make, experiment and perform. At the local scout hut, we hosted the Shadow Cabaret. In the afternoon, people made puppets and in the evening we performed. We had shows about a Daleks , penguins, snails and hot air balloons.
I presented a hectic show about tree under treat of ‘the chop’ which was saved by a courageous girl. A poignant and topical issue for Sheffield. See: STAG- Sheffield Tree Action Group. The puppeteers were a young girl from the audience who was exceptional and myself. It was undeniably a farcical affair, but non the less pivotal. Through performing this manic and improvised scene, I really appreciated the power of storytelling and shadow puppetry. The audience, who I could only hear at the time, jeered, boo-ed, cheered out loud and applauded laughing at the ‘happy ending’. I like to think it was empowering for my young co-puppeteer too.
There were more ordered performances too! We had asked people to make penguins and many were created. In the evening the makers performed their puppets to Penguins by 10 Million Aliens, a local band who played live at the event.
Gary presented his show Flying, to the Beetles instrumental, Flying.
Martin’s show was The Darlek’s Day Off.