Size does matter

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Size does matter

Postby Chris » 20 May 2018, 22:47

Richard treated us to a preview of his Mega-Booth as he was preparing it for its May Fayre debut. It was much commented upon by those who enjoyed the occasion this year, it was a lovely day. I'm sure Richard got oodles of praise, but just to stop all the plaudits going to his head I must remind him that his isn't the biggest!
Some regular readers will doubtless remember John Stoate who was somewhat prone to exageration on occasion, but when challenged to produce photographic evidence of his fit-up claims he surprised us all with this photograph.
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Re: Size does matter

Postby Richard Coombs » 21 May 2018, 16:00

I rather guessed you did not care for my large Proscenium Chris , as you did not say anything about it on the day.

Its an acquired taste , I had my reservations at first , but then grew to love it the nearer to completion the build got .

David wilde spurred me on , showing me lots of black and white photos of absolutely colossal Victorian Prosceniums , some painted canvas like the one he used himself at the Mayfayre ...but also some that were wooden and 3-D like mine.

Needless to say it isn't the whole story , there are some smaller, lower sidepeices planned for my booth in the near future which will alter its shape somewhat.

The Booth is very much a 'Kit of Parts' with many possibilities ahead .

Horizontal stripes I don't like the thought of , but am willing to try just about anything else.
Agree with you , upholstery fabrics , particularly brocades will add the appearance of 'Weight' to the lower half.

Oddly the booth does not look its best tightly packed into a group as at Cov Gdn ...but does look spectacular holding its out in an open space.

As to the massive structure that John Stoat uses ... well ...
Puts me more in mind of a musical steam organ ...I keep looking for the little wooden conductor and the brass pipes.

Oversized as mine is ..it still is recognisable as a Punch and Judy Show.

I have not seen Johns show , so cannot make any comment ..but size isn't everything ... I prescribe to the 'old lie' that its what you do with it that counts.

And on that front ,I have nothing to be ashamed of :-)
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Re: Size does matter

Postby Chris » 21 May 2018, 16:56

On the contrary Richard, I quite like a wide proscenium, what I don't like is a wide proscenium balanced ridiculously on a narrow column. To me, if you are going to have extra width then have it where it's needed. The only reason we squeeze ourselves into the narrow confines of the Punch booth is because it is, traditionally, an ultra light and portable structure. If we abandon this notion at the top, why follow tradition at the bottom?

I also feel that if you have a wide proscenium, then the proscenium opening should be wider. The Stoate proscenium opening is diminished by the amount of stuff surrounding it.

But it isn't anything personal Richard, I don't like David's wide prosceniums either. I know many of the Victorian booths were wide - but I don't think these were the street shows so much as the ones on fairgrounds and showgrounds where they were competing with other large fitups of various kinds and therefore they naturally wanted to increase their visibility. An ordinary Punch booth can look very insignificant if between, say, a Ghost Train on one side and a Carousel on the other.

Actually I think its perhaps a British puppeteers' thing, this performing in an upright coffin. I've watched outdoor shows in Copenhagen, in Paris and in Italy, where their fitups were wide prosceniums but also just as wide below. This allows them to have more than one puppeteer working the show.

But as you suggest Richard, it's not the booth that matters, but the performance. Mr Stoate may have the bigger frontage but I happily confirm your superiority in performance.
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Re: Size does matter

Postby Chris Richard » 21 May 2018, 23:43

All I can say is I'm suffering from booth envy. . .
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Re: Size does matter

Postby Chris » 22 May 2018, 21:26

It's not Richard's booth I envy, but more his constructional skills and energy....
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