Birthday Boys

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Birthday Boys

Postby Richard Coombs » 14 Apr 2013, 19:26

I am very excited , as tomorrow I am driving down to Peter and Miraiker Batteys to collect a New Mr Punch that Miraiker has very kindly made for me.

He is a little treat to myself , a "Birthday" present if you will ..but not my Birthday - although I am 50 at the end of the month : but rather a 350th Birthday present celebrating Mr Punch himself.

Until we hit May 9th , this is still Mr Ps 350th year ...and over the course of those twelve months , I have commissioned 5 Mr Punches , all from carvers whos work I respect and admire - and all of whom very graciously agreed.

The task was to build a Punch quintessentially in their own style ..the only caveat was to incorporate a small piece of brocade fabric anywhere on the puppet ( on the hat , sleeves , hump , trousers , front panel ..wherever they fancied )

There was nothing particularly outstanding in the material itself , other than it was the stuff I used on the waistcoat of my current Punch.

That way there would be a set , totally different , yet tied together by the fabric and the Big Birthday Year.
( another one in the eye of those who accused me of doing nothing and not joining in with any of the Birthday Celebrations last year ) I might not have been able to attend any of the 'Events' - pardon me for being busy with performing -- but in this little project , and other things , I marked the Year in as many ways as I could.

So far I have splendid Punches from ( in order of delivery)

Geoff Felix
Chris Van der Craats
Mark Pouton
Miraiker Battey ( as of tomorrow )
One on the way from Bryan Clarke.

None of them saw any of the others puppets prior to doing theirs ...so each have used the brocade in very different ways

I shall abstain from posting any pics until I have received Bryans Punch ..then I shall take a few 'group' shots.

As with all of them so far , I am very excited about seeing what Miraiker has done ... I know it will be lovely.
-- I am also thrilled to be seeing her and Peter at home , and getting so see where things are made :-)

Richard
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Re: Birthday Boys

Postby Benjie » 15 Apr 2013, 19:35

Nice idea, I look forward to seeing the pictures.
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Re: Birthday Boys

Postby Richard Coombs » 17 Apr 2013, 11:35

Well I have to say I had a wonderful Monday :-)

The Mr Punch Miraiker made was SO perfect .. an absolute handful of joy...no surprise there really ..I just knew he would be. Thank You again Miraiker,

And it was wonderful to see the magical house where Peter , Miraiker and Martin live...for those with an interest in such things , it might as well be a Punch and Judy Theme Park as a House ; it is brilliant.

I was very good , I resisted the urge to get my camera out ( that is for them to do if they ever want to ). But what is commonplace for them ( so probably not worth photographing in their eyes) ...would be a visual banquet for lots of folk on here . I loved it !

Hands and feet hanging up so paint could dry on cup hooks underneath bookshelves .
Heads in various stages of being carved and painted , pretty much everywhere you looked.

A wonderful little heap of just started heads just by the kitchen door (mostly only neck holes drilled , and necks roughly chiselled away ...but some also with nose sockets done - one or two with little cubes of nose wood pegged into those holes ) ...all radiated at promise of exciting puppets to come , and all smelled intoxicatingly of sweet lime wood .

Three newly completed crocodiles hung under another shelf in the living room , and above them on the shelf was a small plastic bag containing a couple of hundred sparkly green (teddy bear type) eyes ...hinting at the prospect of a lot more crocodiles to come !

There were three newly finished Punches on the widow sill of the front room when I arrived in the afternoon ( one was mine so was taken off the puppet stand ). But later after we had walked into to village for some lovely Pub Food , it had got dark , so on our return Miraiker drew the short curtains -- it was a while later while we we chatting that I looked over and caught the comical sight of two sets of yellow stockinged legs with red shoes sticking out from under the curtains ........now that I wish I had taken a photo of :-)

I was in seventh heaven ...thank you to all three for such a welcoming visit.

I also met young Tom .... yet another Protege of Miraikers .. she is a magnet for them it seems.
Tom was there with his Mum and little Sister , having one of their regular visits to play with Miraikers child sized puppets that she takes into schools .

Tom is a lucky boy , his family commission him a puppet from Miraiker most Birthdays and Christmas it seems.
His set is growing ..and so is his skill. If you snapped him in half he would have 'Punch and Judy Man' written through him like a stick of Blackpool Rock.

He is only ten now ..but I think it would be a fair bet to say he will be in the photo outside St Pauls Covent Garden when Mr Punch celebrates his 400th Birthday.

Anyhooo a wonderful day ...but no pic of my Punch yet until I take delivery of last one of the set from Bryan Clarke.

Best wishes to All ..especially the Batteys :-)

Richard
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Re: Birthday Boys

Postby Richard Coombs » 23 Apr 2013, 13:59

Bryan Clarke is underway with the Punch he building for me , and he told me on the phone he knows where he is going to put my brocade fabric ( can't print what he actually said LOL) ...but then afterwards, he said he would put it on the puppet :-)

SO here is a sneak peak of some of those "Birthday Boys" ..a rehearsal photo from a show I did with some Drama Students last September at the Witham Puppet Festival . It uses "Muppet" - (type) of puppets ...but this opening sequence paid tribute to the fact that it was Mr Ps 350th Year ...to underline this big Birthday , I managed to convince the organisers to book not one , but two excellent Punch shows for the Festival day...Mssrs Wilde and Felix.
Image

Again ...just me doing my little bit for the Birthday Year , to balance the fact that I could not attend any of the Summers 'Big Grin' things.
I have been accused of not doing anything for the "greater good " of Punch last year ...I wonder if I have retrospectively acquitted myself yet ?

Or perhaps spending last Spring building 8 specialised puppets of my own to do a Themed Birthday Show all through Summer 2012 , creating an ( ongoing) booking for two other Punch men , building this costume and 'Jigsaw' Punch Banner , working a routine about Punches Birthday into a public ( but non-punch ) Show at a Festival, and commissioning 5 makers to build commemorative Punch puppets doesn't count ?

Chip on my shoulder and hurt deep ? ...oh yeah , but still smiling.
Never trust a crocodile when it smiles :-)

And yes , the Big Punch in the photo is me :-)

Close up pics of these 3 lovely figures , and the latest one from Miraiker will follow in a few days.

Regards to all

Richard
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Re: Birthday Boys

Postby Harvey » 10 May 2013, 09:00

exited for those photos. In total I have used 4 mr punch's they were really small so last year I tranfered to a bigger set vv
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Re: Birthday Boys

Postby Harvey » 04 Aug 2013, 17:43

How are those photos coming along
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Re: Birthday Boys

Postby geoff.london » 11 Aug 2013, 12:35

Dear Richard, I'm looking forward to seeing that group photo!.... Best wishes, Geoff.
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Re: Birthday Boys

Postby Benjie » 11 Aug 2013, 16:49

It's a lovely idea, look forward to seeing them.
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Re: Birthday Boys

Postby Chris » 11 Aug 2013, 17:52

I would remind you all that Richard is in the middle of his Summer Season. I have no doubt that he will photograph the puppets and post the results when he gets some free time.
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Re: Birthday Boys

Postby Richard Coombs » 19 Aug 2013, 20:44

Cheers Chris ...yes indeed the case.


It is even busier than that , as I a having to build a muppet type character every three days ( in between shows and very early morning at home ) ....otherwise I won't be ready for Witham Puppet festival 13 days after the Punch season ends .

Crazy Busy.

Regards to All
Richard
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Re: Birthday Boys

Postby Richard Coombs » 29 Apr 2014, 21:32

I realise there is STILL no group photo of 2012s "Birthday Boys" puppets from:

Geoff Felix
Bryan Clarke
Miraiker ( like Lulu / Sting / Madonna or Cher : one name says it all )
Mark Poulton
CvdC ( needs even less of an introduction )


I will get that organised soon , they really do deserve to be seen as a celebratory 'set' all together.

Best
Richard
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