WHAT makes a MAKER? WHAT makes an ORIGINAL?

Anything relevant

Postby lesclarke » 05 Mar 2008, 14:23

Oh, Yes, Get well soon John.
Sincereley!
Mind your head, ...on that light fitting!!!!!
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Postby James » 05 Mar 2008, 15:17

Tony James wrote:I've been trying to follow all of this and frankly find it difficult to understand what is supposed to have taken place, due to the inability of being able to assess the evidence which appears either to involve matters which quote "should not concern us" or the evidence quote " is no longer available".

I'm sorry Les. I don't for one moment doubt your sincerity nor your truthfulness. But in these circumstances I do question your judgement when you cannot substantiate your findings. John's ramblings like mine and everyone else's is here for the reading.


The website did exist, it was real and the quotes are genuine. I, and a number of other readers saw it before it was removed. The quote John wanted was about how prissy we are here, or perhaps about how real Punch and Judy has disappeared!

If someone does an excellent show, it is such a small community that word will spread, even more so now we have the internet, and equally we will hear if someone is very poor.

Tony James wrote:I too have recently been the subject of an unwarranted, inaccurate and libellous attack by David Wilde for which I still haven't received any apology, either public or private.


Theatre critics perform hatchet jobs on plays weekly, and friends have lost jobs due to poor reviews. Plays close within a few days after recieving bad reviews in NY (luckily London is slightly better). It is one person expressing a personal opinion. Have David's comments damaged your reputation that much? What exactly was libellous? Or is it that David's views are listened to rather than perhaps Uncle Happy from Hendon's.

Professor Eek wrote:Will someone pick holes in the way I work or operate? Will someone pick up points that they are not happy about regarding YOUR* work? Is that a healthy way for us to interact as a community?


Actually Martin I think it is a good way for us to act. We can only improve upon our faults if we are made aware of them.
Still haven't had my copy of the Evening Star, the delivery service is terrible!
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Postby Professor Eek » 05 Mar 2008, 15:48

Constructive criticism and genuine interest in helping another performer develop - couldn't agree more - more of this sort of thing.


I don't think I sit entirely at the "Mr Happy - everything is lovely - let's not ever say anything unpleasant ever" end of the spectrum but this site does occassionally get a touch of the 'dark side'.


I think as an old hippy - I just want peace and love ....


Which reminds me ....


Why did the lifeguard not rescue the hippy?








Because he was too far out maaaan!
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interesting

Postby Trev » 05 Mar 2008, 16:50

Interesting James. Very telling.
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Postby RichardFlatter » 05 Mar 2008, 17:11

Hmmmm, Gas-Bags :D
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Re: interesting

Postby James » 05 Mar 2008, 17:23

Professor Eek wrote:Why did the lifeguard not rescue the hippy?


Because he was too far out maaaan!



What do you call a hippie's wife?

Mississippi

Trev wrote:Interesting James. Very telling.


Ah. It's the way I tell 'em!
Still haven't had my copy of the Evening Star, the delivery service is terrible!
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Postby Tony James » 05 Mar 2008, 20:13

James wrote:
Theatre critics perform hatchet jobs on plays weekly, and friends have lost jobs due to poor reviews. Plays close within a few days after recieving bad reviews in NY (luckily London is slightly better). It is one person expressing a personal opinion. Have David's comments damaged your reputation that much? What exactly was libellous? Or is it that David's views are listened to rather than perhaps Uncle Happy from Hendon's.



Perfectly true James. Theatre critics do sometimes tear a show to pieces. However, in order to do their job, critics normally do the piece the common courtesy of going to see the show in the first place.

They don't just sit there and make it up as they go along. How breathtakingly arrogant.

If you care to go back and recheck David Wilde's scurrilous post you will see it begins - and I quote:

"Do you know I can't wait to see these shows you do Tony"


Need I say any more?
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Postby David Wilde » 05 Mar 2008, 20:36

Tony James wrote:


If you care to go back and recheck David Wilde's scurrilous post you will see it begins - and I quote:

"Do you know I can't wait to see these shows you do Tony"




Sorry I made a mistake in my original post,I have seen your show!

As James said it is a small world!
Im above all this!!
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Postby Tony James » 05 Mar 2008, 20:56

Mr Wilde clearly doesn't possess a reliable memory either.
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Postby Chris » 05 Mar 2008, 22:18

Are you serious in alleging that you were libeled Tony? In what way?
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Postby CvdC » 05 Mar 2008, 23:13

The trouble with being such a "small community" (as stated above) is that you cannot criticise other people's shows without it seeming to be personal.
(is there something wrong with the way I spelt criticise?)

But all art requires a critical point of view. And as I have said before, there needs to be cultivated a discerning audience who have seen many shows and can articulate their opinion. The impression I got from the May Fayre last year is that the audience there is made up of many people who know their Punch and Judy and who are not performers.
I would suggest a good way to put your show forward and to have it honestly (and accurately) appraised is to perform there on the 11th. I certainly would if I could. But then again I don't feel I need to prove anything (yet :) ).

I must say I agree with John that you can make a puppet your own by painting it and dressing it. But puppets are a bit like old houses, we never really own them. We simply stick our hands up them and they do the rest.

Perhaps what John really should have said in his original post is that it is important to develop a close and personal relationship with your puppets. Which of course goes without saying.

This can be achieved in a number of ways:
You can make them yourself from scratch
You can adapt (also adopt) and modify them as much as you need to
You can have an enormous respect for the maker (or perhaps even a previous owner)

I was just last night looking closely at photos of Fred Tickner puppets. I have an enormous respect for his and Wal Kent's work. I could develop a close relationship with puppets like these - although I would be too scared to use them. But look at a Tickner puppet and it is simply carved. A lot of their look is in the painting and the design of the costume. I would suggest that if you painted the head white and removed the costume you would end up with a fairly generic puppet head. In fact it would be notable for its simplicity and lack of carved in character.
Come to think of it if any one wants a blank puppet head ...


So, I hope to see you all in May. As Richard has said, let us then share our common passion rather than quibble about the minutiae of our differences. (Golly, maybe I should give the sermon in the church this year.)
Last edited by CvdC on 05 Mar 2008, 23:20, edited 1 time in total.
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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Postby Tony James » 05 Mar 2008, 23:16

David Wilde wrote:Do you know I can't wait to see these shows you do Tony, I'm almost tempted to ask the pjf to book you for a event, because I'm sure we would be able to get our money back under the trade descriptions act!

I bet nearly every single voice you do sounds exactly the same, apart from Judy which is just a bad impression.

And as for mud under your fingernails, wash your hands after banging your tent pegs into the ground!

You defeat your own argument about audience participation, you're right no one would really want to do a show without it!
But by including it, its not a true presentation of what you are saying that you are performing, that is without going on to the swazzle chapter!

Tony you have put your self in a good position by going to these trade shows where event organizers go to book things for their events.
So as you are probably the only one there you get booked!

Did English Heritage ask you if you used the swazzle? If they did not they had not done their homework! And I thought before signing a contract purporting to perform a genuine show surely you should have told them it wasn't!

Take your pick Chris.


And while Chris is picking through that lot, for the benefit of those who are interested, here is my reply.

Dear David

Your are always good value for comic effect but usually more easily comprehensible than in this post. What exactly are you trying to say?

I thought from previous posts you had seen my show somewhere but evidently not, otherwise you would have been aware of the range of voices introduced during the four different performances which I offer daily on showgrounds.

After all these years I suspect if there was dissatisfaction with my my show of the sort you imply, event organisers would have expressed it by not re-booking. I provide what I advertise and my show pulls big crowds and it is noted for holding them, right to the end. It looks the business and it does the business.

I have never claimed to offer a "genuine" show nor an "authentic" show as I doubt there would ever be sufficient agreement on what those terms mean when applied to a Punch & Judy Show. I offer a "Traditional" show and whilst there may be a range of views on what that term might encompass, it is a preferred term of the promotional industry conveying a sense of the genre rather than a series of specifics.

It does what it sets out to do: entertains tens of thousands of people of every age throughout the United Kingdom and has done, year in and year out for a long time.

Do come and see me anytime. Then you'll be better able to appreciate how to present Punch & Judy successfully.


For anyone who wishes to see these posts in situ :

http://www.punchandjudy.com/newbooth/vi ... 4&start=30

What still puzzles me is why this offensive post was written in the first place. There had been no correspondence between Mr Wilde and me to account for some form of deteriorating situation. It came right out of the blue.

Being charitable by nature I presumed it was a consequence of him not being himself for some reason.

Perhaps when he's recovered he'll do the decent thing.




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Postby Tony James » 05 Mar 2008, 23:30

CvdC

"But all art requires a critical point of view."

Perfectly correct Chris. But I would submit there is a constructive way of achieving this.

Nothing is achieved by being offensive and making wild, inaccurate allegations.

And in addition, being unable to remember whether or not you have seen the show.

The theatrical courtesy is to make yourself known to an artiste before the show. It matters not whether this is presenting your card at the stage door or posting a slip of paper under the back of the frame.

Moist people come round before the show and say hello. Sneaking in and sneaking out anonymously is the act of the rankest amateur.

Therefore presumably Mr Wilde still hasn't seen my show.

Which is it to be?
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Postby CvdC » 05 Mar 2008, 23:41

He may be referring to a video of your show. The best thing to do is make the effort to come to Covent Garden in May. I remember Richard Coombs's posting on this board when he first took up performing Punch and how he seemed to feel it was necessary to perform before his peers (or what were to become his peers).
I will too one day. But Tony, don't wear the hat. You may be able to get away with such things in the provinces, or indeed here, but not in the West End.
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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Postby Tony James » 06 Mar 2008, 00:26

"He may be referring to a video of your show."

Really? What, all four different performances?

And how would you account for that? I would be most interested to hear.

The problem with these Covent Garden meetings is they are always at weekends and as you'd expect, I'm always working at weekends. That particular weekend was re-booked when I was at the event last May and as this is my livelihood, earnings come first.

I quite understand Covent Garden has to be at a weekend to allow the majority to attend who presumably are mostly working during the week.

And that's just one of the differences. For me it's a living and not a hobby. If I wasn't doing Punch I'd be out there doing something else.

I'm sure everyone will have a splendid time though judging by the tone of some of the comments here, I wouldn't be over confident.

Anyway, do let me know about these videos of my show you think are responsible for Mr Wilde's rantings. I find it curious that each time his comments are challenged, someone jumps in to save his bacon.

Still, I suppose that's one of the obligations after bowing to one's peers.
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