A Regular Royal Queen

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Re: A Regular Royal Queen

Postby Richard Coombs » 22 Jun 2012, 13:08

She is lovely ..has a slight look of Sophia Loren .
I particularly like the use of wire mesh ? for the collar.

Yes I am old enough to have been able to pick up the names that were dropped.

I was also lucky enough , about 28 years ago to have been taken to Buster and Magde Staveradales flat by Tony and Julia Rowe . There I was treated to a most amazing impromptu cabaret.


Such talented and nice folk.
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Re: A Regular Royal Queen

Postby Chris » 22 Jun 2012, 14:46

And from the sublime to the cor blimey - one of my efforts in the queenly stakes - Queen Gwinnevere - as might have inhabited a Donald MacGill Camelot.
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Re: A Regular Royal Queen

Postby Richard Coombs » 22 Jun 2012, 16:00

Oh she is wonderful , in a sort of Alice in Wonderland Duchess sort of way >

Courtiers Continued:

Friends of mine have an embroidery shop , so decided to have some crowns done for the boys outfits.

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Enough for 2 Tabards, 2 Hats and Both sides of the Trumpet flag:

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Re: A Regular Royal Queen

Postby Richard Coombs » 22 Jun 2012, 17:49

Now our own dear Queen :


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A Royal Jigsaw puzzle:
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Each segment shaped and sanded separately ;

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The hand grip allows some moment of her bouquet holding arm with my thumb ..but the aim is for a puppet I can 'work' a bit , but slip out of fast without my departing hand being apparent to the audience.
So she is a strange hybrid puppet , not really a rod puppet or glove puppet.
A "trick' puppet I suppose.
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Not happy with the finished sculpt in wood - so I reworked the nose and teeth in P38:
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The Glove 'Understructure'..
Her , now trademark bowl shaped Hat turned out to be easier than expected when I bandsawed out the central 'dips' well form an acrylic resin 'chips and dips' tray ..perfect shape and size , and resistant to cracking if dropped.
The underbody was not so easy as it was a very asymmetric shape , only had one 'arm' hole , on my thumb side ..and made very little actual 'contact' with the sculpt where I could glue and fix it:
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Conjoined bouquet hands ..Queens receiving and little girls 'passing'
Power magnets helped the flowers stay in place ...small weak one in Girls fist ( enough to keep it from falling out only )..then a stronger one in the Queens accepting open hand.
It was necessary to first make the bouquet Prop , and put the small magnet into its stem to know how to shape both contacting hands to fit it.
( this Youtube clip of CvdC shows them in action )
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MaLH4sPiIGE
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At this stage the black lower section and 'legs' are done ..so I pinned fabric and wool onto the puppet ( like a tailors dummy) to test the look.
Result ...well anyone of my age might remember Dora Bryan in "Hello Dolly " !
( the illusion of which is because Doras ginger/auburn hair was similar in tone to her skin colour ...and here the wool hair and the wood/p38 face create Doras look in monochrome )

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Last edited by Richard Coombs on 24 Jun 2012, 13:25, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: A Regular Royal Queen

Postby Chris » 22 Jun 2012, 18:12

Yes, very Dora Bryan.
The youtube clip was a joy. Very well and wittily done.
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Re: A Regular Royal Queen

Postby cobaltblue » 23 Jun 2012, 16:21

what dedication and well done .
great photos always interested in others work
any more photos
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Re: A Regular Royal Queen

Postby Richard Coombs » 23 Jun 2012, 18:15

Cheers Cobalt ...yes there are some more pics of the Queen(s) progress.
But Im just back from an afternoon s performing ...horrid get in and get out ...almost made the Mayfayre look good ( almost)

So Im off for a Balti ...more pics maybe late tonight.

Chris glad you liked clip ...CvdC does film things nicely ( as I mentioned in thread on Chat side) ..he is a puppeteer , so films the action in a complementary size of frame.

I thought you had seen the show at the Mayfayre ,,but form comment I guess not ..pity coz you were one I was very keen to see all the royal stuff in action.

Richard
Last edited by Richard Coombs on 24 Jun 2012, 12:53, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A Regular Royal Queen

Postby Chris » 23 Jun 2012, 19:50

Oh yes, I saw you at the Mayfayre Richard - but I can enjoy things over again. Actually I'm not a fan of video Punch - but having seen a piece in the flesh video can let you enjoy it again. Also, in this case, a second look via video does allow more appreciation of the mechanics of, for example, the croc and sosage-dangling-Punch and the changes involved.
Also I do find at the May Fayre I don't give adequate attention to individual shows. There is so much to see in a short time, and I get a sort of mental indigestion through a surfeit of Punch shows. I would enjoy any of the shows much more if I saw them in isolation, on separate occasions.
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Re: A Regular Royal Queen

Postby Richard Coombs » 24 Jun 2012, 13:00

I agree with you entirely about the Mayfare .
When I have my show there , I find it almost impossible to see ant other shows , unless they are the ones immediately around me... I never really leave my booth and kit unattended. Consequently I only got a sidelong look at Martin Bridles show which was just a bit further down the garden. But I did see Joe Burns , as he was right next to me ( Joe was nice enough to help out by being 'Joey next Door" who we borrowed sausages from ) ..and it was great fun to see Eeks bombastic show as he was right opposite.

Beyond that I really dont ever step more than a few paces from my own Theatre once it is set up.

Sounds paranoid I know ...I trust all the other puppeteers , but the church garden is such a wide open , walk in off the street venue right in the heart of London; there is only some canvas and a zip separating the puppets /soundsytem /radio microphones/ mp3player from anyones light fingers.

Everyones attention is completely held by whichever show is going on at the time , nobody would notice an unfamiliar face round the back of the booth , or blink twice at the sight of anyone walking around carrying a puppet.

It will be many many years I think , before I cart it all down there again. The compensation for which , is actually being free to wander about and watch the other shows.
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Re: A Regular Royal Queen

Postby Chris » 24 Jun 2012, 14:04

I've never heard of any thefts over the years Richard.
But of course one is so much more free not performing. Personally I think anyone unfamiliar with driving in London and facing the particular logistics of parking and the amount of stuff one carries for a puppet show is a hero to perform at this particular event. I am constantly amazed that so many do.
I certainly don't blame you if you decide to rest on your laurels - although your show will be much missed by the other profs since it always introduced something new and different. You know how we love something new and different - especially if it is easy to pinch! I think you are fairly safe on that score since much of your novelty would take too much effort to reproduce.
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Re: A Regular Royal Queen

Postby Richard Coombs » 24 Jun 2012, 16:25

Aw bless ya Chris , Im kind of surprised nobody else has had a crack at the 'Show within a show" thing ...although actually I did get an email only a few weeks back after the Mayfayre from someone asking if they could have the 'plans' for how to build that clock thing ?, as they wanted to copy the routine.


I don't have plans , as it was built at speed , and as an afterthought having built my other clock.
I did say that copy the routine by all means , but find your own way to build it as it will be better that way anyhow.

As to stuff getting pinched ..Im glad it hasn't happened at the Mayfayre ...As I said its an over reaction I know , but I always stand near my booth ALL day.

Its easier for people who buy their puppets to cope with having one pinched .
( of course they might say its easier for us that build , as we just make another ...they would have to fork out for a new one ) I guess it would be a pain in the bum either way and best be safe.


Do you have any more pics of the other puppets , or production , that Gwinniverre came from Chris ? ...I really love that style.
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Re: A Regular Royal Queen

Postby Richard Coombs » 24 Jun 2012, 16:45

HRH continiued.

Body padding ..helped keep her shape 'full' when my hand is slipped out.
Hand now fixed on and a couple of layers of 'underskirt' that keep her leg tops modestly covered should the dress get caught on the play board and 'ride up' ( ...with wear Mrs Slocombe ! ):
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Blurred , but only one I have of the back ..shows the asymmetrical nature of the padding , as the thumb side of my hand keeps the other side plumped out more fully.
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The handbag is made from vinyl ( goes on other arm - when she get's it ).
Something strangely disconcerting about even seeing the Queen in this state of Undress
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Hairwork ( wool)
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And that's it for work in progress pictures ...I have realised I don't have a single pic of any of them actually 'finished' ...must sort out some posed single portrait, and group shot at some stage.


Here is one last one , of the page-girl who hands the queen a bouquet .
Dress looks like it came straight off a doll ...it didn't sadly , but had to be made and fitted to accommodate the moving flower hand , and dress courtesy .
The Blouse hides the arm joints and bits of string ...it fits over all those unseen bits , and thanks to a few spots of velcro , can be removed to restring her if things fray or snap.

The wig DID come off a doll from a charity shop ..and was a godsend.
The alice band of flowers served two purposes ..firstly to make here look more like one of Anna Marias maypole girls ( a regular fixture at the Mayfayre) ..and second it is a heavily disguised ring to hang her up by in the booth ( big as it is , my booth was rather crammed to the rafters for the Mayfayre show )


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That Link again to CvdCs clip that shows Bouquet hand over :
Once you know there are magnets involved , it destroys the magic a bit .
Having said that Im pleased with the timing and the patter ..in some ways its too slick and the audience scarcely notice the cleverness of whats happened .

I was ready had anyone applauded ( they didn't ) for the Queen to pass the flowers back to the girl and say " No I don't think we we applaud flowers ....not in Covent Garden , this place used to be nothing but flowers and fruit and veg !" ...and then take the flowers back form the girl.

I had practiced it several times , but it was not to be --- just as well perhaps , on the day I would probably have muddled it and dropped the bouquet LOL
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MaLH4sPiIGE
Last edited by Richard Coombs on 05 Feb 2013, 08:25, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A Regular Royal Queen

Postby Chris » 24 Jun 2012, 18:06

I'm afraid our best bits are often just not appreciated, or even noticed. For yearsI have used the weak magnet/stronger magnet dodge with my pianist who picks up a duster, then after use puts it down again! very, very occasionally someone (usually a puppeteer but not always) will express puzzlement at the maneouvre. But really that's what we want isn't it? We are trying to create an illusion, and if people are noticing the mechanics then we have failed.
As for losing your puppets (your previous post), surely it is far worse if you have made them yourself. You can never re-make them. They are never the same.

In fact you can't always re-costume them
satisfactorily. One of my earliest cabaret marionettes was a pop singer-guitarist who performs to "The Hippy Hippy Shake" recorded by The Swinging Blue Jeans. The record was current when I made the puppet so you can guess how long ago that was. Well over the years both his shirt and jeans became worn. I put a few patches on the jeans, which seemed in character, and got away with it for many years. He came out of retirement when I needed extra material for one of the Cruises. I decided he should be re-dressed. I carefully measured every string before I cut it off the control, and did careful drawings of the stringing (oh I've been there before), then remade shirt and trousers in appropriate materials I re-painted him and then added his new gear. He looked splendid.I carefully restrung him. And he wouldn't work! Well he wouldn't do the things that he had been doing for years. He just didn't feel right. I came to conclusion that it was the texture of the new trouser material.

So, I retrieved the old jeans from the rubish, washed, darned and patched them, and put them back on. He's been working fine for the last thirty more years! He'll see me out.
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Re: A Regular Royal Queen

Postby Richard Coombs » 24 Jun 2012, 20:07

It is a lovely moment that one with the handkerchief.
When I saw it , I remember I thought there was perhaps a pin or fine spike on the piano for the fabric to catch on ...dumb really when I use magnets so much myself.

The nice thing about those moments is that it is kind of win-win :
Good if the audience don't notice the magic , but enjoy what they are seeing.
Also nice if some do , and there is a vocal recognition .
But also nice for us ..as whatever the audience response ..every time you hit that point in a routine you get a personal 'buzz' from it working without snag.

With enough of these peppered through a show ..as I know you have in your puppet Cabaret ... then doing the performance each time is a pleasure , as you emotionally bounce from one 'buzz' moment to the next.

Well thats how I treat all the little tricks and flicks ...they are there for me as well the audience :-)
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Re: A Regular Royal Queen

Postby Harvey » 15 Jan 2013, 16:39

when you said '...although actually I did get an email only a few weeks back after the Mayfayre from someone asking if they could have the 'plans' for how to build that clock thing ?, as they wanted to copy the routine.'


That was me
The Young Professor http://www.professor-harvo.xbuild.com at the age of 18
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