Definitely not Punch

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Definitely not Punch

Postby Chris » 09 Feb 2015, 18:54

I have just uploaded a video which is puppetry but as far from Punch as you can imagine.
http://youtu.be/ZQviV0vTdmM
It's good to squawk!
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Re: Definitely not Punch

Postby James » 10 Feb 2015, 00:12

Thanks for sharing Chris, beautifully done. A wonderful piece.
Arnott's Gowns for Clowns, Est 1985
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Re: Definitely not Punch

Postby Richard Coombs » 10 Feb 2015, 18:26

Lovely Stuff Chris
Thanks for posting.

In my Punch show ( especially when in my bigger "Heights of Abraham" wooden booth) I like to try and have moments that make it look like the show is being done by more than one person - little tricks of timing and use of duplicates and the 'Peter Fraser" type of moment where it appears as though two constables arrest Punch etc.etc. I am often asked ( and by adults who should know better) : "Are there two people in there?"

Well this handkerchief performance really makes you forget that there is only one operator ...Bravo :-)

I love the timing to the music , not only where movement is on the beats ( which is perfect at all times) ..but also the tiny beats where things come to a momentary pause and stop. Rhythm is such a big part of Punch also.
But here in this clip it is quite beautifully hypnotic.


I was lucky enough aged 21 or so , to be taken by Antony and Julia Rowe to visit Buster and Madge Stavordale in their apartment ( my memory is a bit wonky , but it was Bournemouth or south Kent somewhere ?? )
Anyhow it was the most enchanting afternoon.
Buster and Madge did so many wonderful routines to music , there was I think a Flannegan and Alan "Underneath the Arches " , and certainly a handkerchief Ballet of some kind.

Quite delightful.

Julia Rowe had a hanky dance in all of the three different marionette productions that she and Tony built during my time at the Bristol Old vic Theatre School ( where Tony was head of Design ).

Hanky Ballets are a nice visual variation in a marionette cabaret , as the freedom of not having to keep 'feet on the floor' creates such a different 'look'

The other really striking thing about the clip is the scenery ...just perfect.
It has such a lovely perspective , that you do not tire of looking at it.

The floor colour blends perfectly with the stage floor , so that the brightness and angle of the red carpet appear to create a 3D reality.

And the light coloured beam on the right of the picture is at such a perfect angle that it seems as though the hankies pass under it as they enter and exit.


Lovely stuff !
Cheers
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Re: Definitely not Punch

Postby Dan » 10 Feb 2015, 19:22

Love it Chris, thanks for sharing. Beautiful puppetry.
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Re: Definitely not Punch

Postby Chris » 10 Feb 2015, 19:35

Thanks for your kind words Richard.( and you too Dan) Glad you enjoyed it.

Madge and Buster lived in Finchley until the late 1950s when they moved to Westgate because the Parking was getting too difficult in London! Even then when traffic was so very much less than now Buster found it impossible working in London with the equipment needed for a puppet show. He could get the bookings but found trying to find parking near enough to a venue to unload was nigh on impossible.

Buster came up with the idea of the Handkerchief Ballet - but just as a sketch in a variety show. He had a laundry basket out of which jumped several ladies hankies. They were chased offstage by an uncouth workman's red spotted handkerchief. There was no real plot - but the germ of a lovely idea. Eric Bramall developed it into a complete little story. Buster was good with ideas - but usually of the practical kind. He loved gadgets - marionette hanging devices which clipped to picture rails, or a new kind of folding control for easy packing.

Anthony and Julia regularly attended the Summer School which we used to run at the Harlequin Puppet Theatre which we ran through the 60s.
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Re: Definitely not Punch

Postby Richard Coombs » 10 Feb 2015, 23:03

Aaahhh Westgate yes ... should have remembered that.

Ah yes one of Julias hanky offerings was exactly the laundry basket/ spotty hanky routine.
But the others were different (again my memory ! ~) but there was one in each show to fit the story and theme,

im afraid to say I have lost touch with the Rowes, a pity that , would love to know if they are still doing marionette shows.

Their rather marvellous puppet making workroom was the aspirational inspirational desire to me having a workshop at home...... to a poor student in digs , even the idea of having a house of my own was a pipe dream .... but one with a dedicated puppet making workspace with drawers and cabinets of materials and tools .....well it was something to aim at and strive for !
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Re: Definitely not Punch

Postby David Wilde » 11 Feb 2015, 18:11

I liked this very much to!
Im above all this!!
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Re: Definitely not Punch

Postby lesclarke » 23 Feb 2015, 18:27

Finally got round to watching this in full, a genuine Classic.
As if I haven't got enough to do today, with all I've got to do today.
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