Last rehearsal

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Almost done. Tomorrow we do the mystery play. Museum scene, travel back in time, work in a pottery, get thrown out of your house, end up in the workhouse. Escape to go to school. A Sunday school performance, finale. Songs, humour, tragedy, history.

Penkhull Mystery Play event, Saturday 13 July 2019. Free event, starts in the church at 10am then on the church green from 1pm. Stalls from 11am. Lots to see and do… Sorry to keep going on about it!

Props and costumes

It takes a lot to put a play on. Not just scenery but props and costumes. We couldn’t do it without the efforts of people making things, painting things white, gluing tea pots to boards, finding jugs and tankards, the infinite number of things that just help. So instead of pretending you can have something physical, like a coin to pay someone. Props make acting easier.

Then there is costume. Lots of things get re used, cut down to size, have material let in to make it bigger. Hats are made or sometimes built. Members of the cast bring in their own clothes to enhance the look of the play.

We might only be doing something that lasts 40 minutes but it’s taken a few months of hard work and planning to bring it all together.

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Mad half hour

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Where do cats get there energy? Running, jumping, chasing, getting his claws stuck in the throw over the settee.

Pouncing on his toys, chasing his sister. Being chased by her. Upstairs and downstairs. Into the bathroom and kitchen. Jumping up on windowsills and the cat tree…

Then a wash…. Back, sides, face. Suddenly  calm.

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Photos of Warhorse

I wrote about going to see Warhorse last week, but I did a drawing because we were not allowed to take photos.

Then I found these photos on line. I think they are publicity shots which are allowed to be shared. If they suddenly disappear you will know why.

They just show the beauty and also horror of the play. Such strong sculptural images.

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War horse

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I don’t have any photos but I did a quick sketch from my memory of the horse in Warhorse that I went to see tonight.

The play starts with a puppet foal which is quite small. The story shows him being bought and then brought up on a farm in England in 1914. Suddenly the foal becomes a fully grown horse. He is sent along with thousands or possibly millions of horses across to be part of the cavalry in the First World War.

The story charts what happened to him and also his owner who enlists so he can find him.

The horses in the play are depicted by puppets which contain two puppeteers inside them and one moving the head and neck. In scenes where he is galloping extra puppeteers move the four feet. The horses move in realistic ways, flicking it’s ears, moving it’s tail. Rearing and bucking.

There are sections of horrific violence but through it all there is a strong streak of humanity. There are good and bad on both sides. I found myself enthralled  The play seemed to fly by.

I need to mention the other puppets, the goose, swallows flying on the wing, and a first World War tank that were  so well used to depict reality. You forgot there were puppeteers, you just saw the things they were meant to represent. If you get a chance to see it, its worth it.