Cie Pelele

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Cie Pelele

Postby CvdC » 03 Jun 2013, 23:49

http://youtu.be/2kabqXjYRz0

I added this to my puppet play list on you tube. We have, a few years ago (tempus bloody fugit), discussed this production of Lorca's Don Cristobal on this board. But here in a number of extraits you can watch it.
The backdrop has an interesting perspective. It is also lit so that in this video it is better exposed than the puppets, an issue that relates to our discussion on lighting in another thread.
It has been my experience that I am always true from my point of view, and am often wrong from the point of view of my honest critics. I know that we are both right from our respective points of view. - Gandhi (Having a bob each way.)
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Re: Cie Pelele

Postby Chris » 04 Jun 2013, 21:36

I don't think this is Lorca's Don Cristobal. Isn't it the work of a French company, albeit a Spanish puppeteer who wrote her own version? At first site I think this is the production I saw 4 or 5 years ago at the Skipton Festival and reported upon on this board. It was great fun, greatly enhanced by the live timpanist who partnered the puppeteer. Here is what I wrote after seeing it:
http://punchandjudy.com/newbooth/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=512&p=4521#p4521
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Re: Cie Pelele

Postby CvdC » 05 Jun 2013, 02:20

Was it for four or five years ago? Bugger, I was hoping it was only two.
I've been watching these videos closely to learn from. If you go to the ciepelele channel there are more.
I also had a close look again at the George Prentice video. I'm not impressed by it as I originally was.
It is frenetic but that seems to be all. You will notice that he shakes his puppets and the hands are loose so they flap about. This way lots of movement is created by simply shaking your hands.
His slap stick is interesting as it sort of spreads out at the end which creates quite a whacking sound. Punch seems to cop most of the beating as he has this technique of having the other puppet grab the stick and hit Punch. Done quickly this looks good.
His show is very similar to the animated cartoons one would have seen at the flicks on a Saturday at the time.
Especially with his New York accent.
There is a nice little bit where he has Punch and Judy lying on the stage and he flicks them up again. Also there is a bit where they are each holding an end of the stick and lever backwards and forwards. I have seen this use of the stick as a lever well used in Salvatore Gatto's show as well. The effect that there is a natural gravity at work makes the puppets come to life.
I am trying to inject a bit more movement into my show. But I have come to realise that haphazard movement is not good. It needs to be well rehearsed and choreographed. So I am looking at videos for the different possibilities available.
It has been my experience that I am always true from my point of view, and am often wrong from the point of view of my honest critics. I know that we are both right from our respective points of view. - Gandhi (Having a bob each way.)
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Re: Cie Pelele

Postby Chris » 05 Jun 2013, 09:26

Whether it was four or five years ago or two is of little relevance. Actually it was seven years ago!

With respect Chris, the videos you should be looking at are your own. You cannot learn Punch from watching videos and you cannot learn Punch by analysing. You certainly cannot learn Punch from watching Salvatore Gatto.
Academics have turned generations of kids off Shakespeare by analysing the text instead of experiencing the plays. I am not really comparing Shakespeare to Punch & Judy, but there is a similarity in that you have to "get-it" and not everyone does. But having "got-it" it is usually for life.
As for George Prentis. I am sorry all you can see is that it is frenetic. The Punch men I admire all admire George Prentis. But again, it is film, and not the best way to watch Punch.

You mention the floppy hands on the Prentis puppets. These used to be quite common - Geoff Felix calls them "flappers" - and I've always associated them with Punch figures. The early figures were all either flappers, or had a wrist cone (often leather). The extended wooden splint usually found in modern figures came in with Wal Kent or later. One thing I have encountered in older figures is for the lower arm to be stuffed which has a similar effect.
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Re: Cie Pelele

Postby Tony James » 06 Jun 2013, 16:36

Chris wrote:The extended wooden splint usually found in modern figures came in with Wal Kent or later. One thing I have encountered in older figures is for the lower arm to be stuffed which has a similar effect.


How interesting. I learn something new to me everyday. I had always assumed that Wal was simply copying what had gone before. Curious too. He tried and succeeded in producing simplified figures that were faster to produce than Fred Tickner's and then he put in extra work shaping the hands and forearms. I wonder what was the catalyst for that?

Fred's hands were flappers and I have always preferred them. Gripping anything through the arm material I have found simpler and more positive to the point that I have often cut off the arm extensions in other makers figures.
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Re: Cie Pelele

Postby CvdC » 08 Jun 2013, 08:00

With respect Chris, the videos you should be looking at are your own. You cannot learn Punch from watching videos and you cannot learn Punch by analysing. You certainly cannot learn Punch from watching Salvatore Gatto.


Respect? I doubt it.

If you were to read other postings on this board you will know I have been looking at a video of my own show. But given "you cannot learn from watching videos" what was the point.

I think you are taking this "analysing" thing too far. It is not a matter of analysing so much as simply looking at and learning from what you see. I have now seen the best of Punch and Judy shows performed in a variety of circumstances, more than many people who would make up a typical audience. But I still need some sort of record to remind me of the details, thus the reference to videos. You can be as sanctimonious as you like but there is nothing wrong with this approach.

I happen to be of the opinion that a Punch and Judy show can be less of the fey Pantomine and include a bit more movement in the performance. That is what can be learnt from Salvatore Gatto and the Neopolitan guaratelle.
And when it comes to movement you cannot beat video for recording it. It overcomes much of the inadequacies of the published script that has recorded Punch and Judy shows for over two centuries. HWich you have also poo pooed. Live shows are a luxury and of course when sitting at home "analysing" you have all but your memory to refer to. And for some, and this is what you often fail to understand, it is difficult or impossible to see a live a show.
It has been my experience that I am always true from my point of view, and am often wrong from the point of view of my honest critics. I know that we are both right from our respective points of view. - Gandhi (Having a bob each way.)
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Re: Cie Pelele

Postby Chris » 08 Jun 2013, 10:54

I think you are taking this "analysing" thing too far.

Really? And I always thought that was your forte.
And for some, and this is what you often fail to understand, it is difficult or impossible to see a live a show.

Not at all. I seem to remember, a long long time ago, that it was I who encouraged, or maybe badgered, you to visit the May Fayre because I realised it was your only chance to get a good dose of live Punch shows. I seem to remember my argument in those pre-Youtube days was that you couldn't learn Punch from analysing the Piccini script and Cruikshanks drawings. Do I detect a pattern?
I have been looking at a video of my own show. But given "you cannot learn from watching videos" what was the point.

That's cheap Chris. You are intelligent enough to know what I meant. You don't learn Punch from videos because videos don't capture the live experience which is an essential ingredient. That does not mean that video cannot be a useful tool for self-criticism. I am sure that you can see the difference and are just being obtuse.
I truly believe that you "catch" Punch and Judy by experiencing live shows - not through a camera lense but sitting with the kids and entering into the spirit and shouting and laughing. You then learn to perform Punch by "doing". That means lots and lots and lots of shows. No amount of watching, talking about it, writing about it, thinking about it can be a substitute for doing it.
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