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Theatre Workshop

Ralf Weztel contacted me just three weeks ago from Brussels in dire need of a maker who could replicate a cheap plastic mask in something more durable (Paper Maché).

I met with him in Edinburgh last Tuesday, took a cast of the mask, brought it home and made the mask in time to post it on Monday so he could perform with it on Tuesday. He has a one man show throughout the Edinburgh Festival (August 2019.) Go see the show and tell me all about it as I am unable to make a return trip to Scotland.

Sometimes a tight deadline can be an exciting challenge, this one certainly was.             Felt good though, timing fell into place. As I was in the north anyway, a day trip to Edinburgh was an easy diversion  away from family in Berwick upon Tweed..                                                                                                        I do love it when there is a tangible  purpose to a job.

Ralf Wetzel    (Belgium)         ‘Absolutely Reliable!’  by Ralf Wetzel and Lee Delon

Venue C cubed, Brodie’s Close, Lawnmarket, EdinburghEH1 2PS, venue 50                                        Dates 1-25 Aug (not 13)    Time 22:00 (0hr50)                                                                            Ticket prices £9.50-£11.50 / concessions £7.50-£9.50 / under 18s £5.50-£7.50

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From initial research drawings, through clay sculpture, to mould making ready for      casting in paper.                Once out of the mould ,I experiment with paint finishes.            One  is prepared with a solid colour as a base coat and the other  I use the paint                as  a stain directly  onto the brown paper .

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Her mantra is ‘I have a secret’.

Next  I have to try the mask out on a performer.

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When the Clown meets the Mask ????                           ‘PLAY” taking pleasure in an activity.

Saturday 23rd March 2019  at ‘Playworks’ Nottingham

Angela Hayes and Amanda Scofield, who are ‘the red herrings’   joined me, Stephen Jon Mask-Maker to play and share skills and experiences. This is continuing action research into the links between Comedy,  Clown and Mask.  We invited 11 associates from the physical theatre world to join us in this exploration.                                                               We payed specific  reference to:                                                                                                Safety and Play: our professionalism and experience makes us safe.    The mask and noses contribute by defining the ritualised space/ the play space/ the safe space /the theatrical space, where anything can happen.                                                                                                          Ensemble: The Individual and the Herd. Looking at how we establish and maintain trust and awareness of our co-conspirators. So much pleasure in playing in a gang.      Character and non-naturalistic theatre. A magnifying glass onto real /authentic expressions of relationships and emotion.

Release        Access         Pleasure         Improvisation           Visceral         Transgress

Clown           Mask            Play                 Embodiment             Naivety           Freedom

Some of the masks, we used. Noses, Quarter Masks, Half Masks and Full Face Masks

We want to do more of this ……..  What will come next ?  …….

Now fully painted and photographed  in action

Following last Saturday exploring with professional chums and finding some character within these masks.                    Looking for the pleasure in our action and finding  Play.

Photographs with many thanks to Mark Curwood and for a fun morning of reflection and laughter.                                                                                                      To be continued.

Today has seen the Official Launch of the Nottingham Puppet Festival. At last we can go public with this after two years of planning.  This is a collaboration between Theatre Royal Concert Hall (Nottingham) City Arts Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University (Theatre Design Department). I have been acting as an advocate for independent artists within these organisations and will be facilitating a group to make and activate a pack of  puppet dogs.          Here are some images of the launch today at the Concert Hall.

Just a few of the puppets that were seen today, including our new ‘Maid Marion’ on her horse,  who has been made especially for the festival as our mascot by Alison Duddle.

The Main Festival will take place fromThursday  22nd March till  Sunday 25th March

Check out  nottinghampuppetfestival.co.uk  for information on events and opportunities.