ONE THING LEADS TO ANOTHER..

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ONE THING LEADS TO ANOTHER..

Postby lesclarke » 30 Oct 2014, 18:55

We spent our end-of-season holiday up near Alston, Cumbria, also visiting Northumberland, lovely part of the country. On the converted farm where we stayed there was a concrete model of a seal's head on top of a wall, and it really appealed to me. I decided on my return to make a similar life sized seal head, but changed the pose to one as if it had just popped up out of the sea.

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As I worked on him, and decided to aim for realism, whiskers etc, I realised that he could even make an appearance inside the booth, popping up between shows when we were working at the coast, with ideally only a small number of the audience initially spotting him.

This got me thinking

Due to the way my show developed in the early years, I rarely, formally, appear outside the booth to the audience, and for a while I have fancied making a life sized head of An Old time Punch & Judy Man, that I could have pop its head above the playboard at the end of shows, so this was my next project
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Re: ONE THING LEADS TO ANOTHER..

Postby Richard Coombs » 30 Oct 2014, 19:01

Beautiful sculpting Les

Wonderful stuff ... you have a real talent , that seal looks so alive .

Is that still in its raw form ( clay or plastiline ) ? ]
Or is that the finished cast object out of a mould ?

Brilliant anyhow , thank you for sharing .

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Re: ONE THING LEADS TO ANOTHER..

Postby lesclarke » 30 Oct 2014, 19:29

Hi Richard, thanks, and glad you like him. Much creative work is often a 'slog', but as you know, sometimes a figure will almost 'make itself' this was the case with this one, and he does seem to have a certain 'life' in him.

Original approximate shape was made in plasticene, then papier mache layers applied, then pulp papier mache was applied to that.

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Re: ONE THING LEADS TO ANOTHER..

Postby Richard Coombs » 01 Dec 2014, 00:11

Beautiful work Les

He really does have the sparkle of life and character about him
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Re: ONE THING LEADS TO ANOTHER..

Postby Chris » 02 Dec 2014, 18:45

Due to the way my show developed in the early years, I rarely, formally, appear outside the booth to the audience, and for a while I have fancied making a life sized head of An Old time Punch & Judy Man, that I could have pop its head above the playboard at the end of shows

Wait long enough Les, and you will BE an Old time Punch & Judy Man like me, and use your own life sized head to pop up.

Writing that reminds me of Percy Press (the original) who used to end his show by appearing, beaming, in the proscenium opening. Before doing so he had to slip in his dentures which he always removed to allow him to swazzle.
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Re: ONE THING LEADS TO ANOTHER..

Postby lesclarke » 02 Dec 2014, 21:44

Yes Chris, and I'm sure the time will fly by, ( I have a 'significant' birthday in January) but in the meantime I will use the model head, and he works well popping up with his bowler on and then, after scratching his face, and picking his nose, he lifts his hat and bows.

Only tried it in the mirror so far, had an opportunity to use him last weekend, but yet another bulky object to pack and carry so left him at home. Nearly took the seal as we were on the coast, but again he remained at home.

Interesting that you mention dentures, must look into their potential as a prop.
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Re: ONE THING LEADS TO ANOTHER..

Postby Chris » 02 Dec 2014, 23:06

I use a "chattering" set of false teeth in my magic. These are a wind-up item available in joke shops. Mine are mindreading gnashers. Some Punch prof has a crocodile who loses his full set - based I suppose on the looney tunes classic gag of the ferocious dog leaving his teeth firmly buried in someone's posterior while the animal is left gurning gummily.
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Re: ONE THING LEADS TO ANOTHER..

Postby Chris » 02 Dec 2014, 23:20

Come to think of it, the magic trick I mentioned has gone into semi-retirement since dentures are no longer commonly recognised by all children. I suppose better tooth care, modern dentistry and a change in sensitivity has lead to the decline of parental dentures soaking in a glass of water on the breakfast table being no longer a common feature of children's lives. Actually we were more refined in our household. Both Mum's set and Dad's plate were restricted to the bathroom, and in opaque beakers, with a lid! We may have been working class but we knew how to behave!
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Re: ONE THING LEADS TO ANOTHER..

Postby lesclarke » 03 Dec 2014, 10:28

It's an interesting point Chris, how certain objects and activities are no longer commonly seen, and so are no longer "commonly recognised by all children." This would obviously suggest that they will not have the previous immediate big impact when forming part of a comedy routine, there being no immediate 'connection' to the audience, ie 'Oh, just like me dad's, or grandad's old teeth', always amusing and often slightly disgusting.

In a way it's a bit of a shame that some of the more colourful or vulgar things have faded from our awareness.
Obviously young and agile minds can still make sense of a joke set of false teeth, but the really strong emotional link is no longer there, so the impact of the visual joke is reduced.

The obvious most relevant link to Punch is the Gallows and the Hanging Scene,and I guess no real research has been done as to how aware today's youngsters are of Hanging and Capital Punishment. Going back say 20 years, kids could still see hanging portrayed in old cowboy films, or Robin Hood and other historical films, but these seem to have disappeared from our screens, probably with the exception of some spaghetti westerns which feature hanging.

In the end I suppose it depends on how good a laugh you are getting, after all I have so often seen the Beadle
still get a good laugh from some very old jokes and puns.
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Re: ONE THING LEADS TO ANOTHER..

Postby Chris » 03 Dec 2014, 12:20

I suppose the Beadle works as a character because he is so clearly an authority figure, and a pompous one at that. Although the kids won't know the actual role of a Beadle they know he is someone "official" and therefore deserves his come-uppance. And of course fun with words and puns appeals to kids because if they "get it" it makes them feel clever.
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