For the last month or so I've been working part time as the administrator for The Puppet Centre Trust. I think it's fair to say that a lethal combination of flames and funding cuts took its tole and PCT, and they have been trying to get back on two feet ever since. My responsibilities have included updating social media and optimising their web presence, as well as collating and writing newsletters for their followers and fellow puppeteers. I'm also the first point of contact if you email PCT and I organise the reviewers and even host interviews myself!
I've never been so certain that this organisation is integral to the world of puppetry, even during what was our quietest time, I can see artists and companies still contacting us for help and advice and offering opportunities to network within the industry. The difference is that now I'm here to share and post those opportunities - so keep them coming!
I'm so pleased to be working with an organisation that is focused on sharing and networking. After all, if this industry isn't about providing opportunities - then I really don't know what it is about.
Back in 2013 (in a time when funding and certainty were in abundance) Puppet Centre were kind enough to offer me a bursary to allow me to attend a workshop with a practitioner who I had met once before, and whom I had been greatly inspired by. Mervyn Millar was running a 'Directing for Puppetry' session at the Shoreditch Town Hall and without the PCT's support, I simply would not have been able to go.
Two years later we worked together on Significant Object's The Loris at The Bloomsbury Festival and now, Mervyn chairs the Puppet Centre's board of Trustees. In a wonderful turn of events I feel very grateful that I'm able to work with and support an organisation that really does provide opportunities to emerging and established artists, and if you're savvy and a little cheeky, those opportunities sometimes keep on giving.
I'm also pleased to say that Strange Face Theatre have asked me to be their administrator too for their next project. They've got some exciting news that they are about to announce so watch this space, and if you've not heard about them yet click here to see how brilliant they are.
Woof: I am also the freelance creative producer for BARK who are just about ready to submit their first ever G4A (my second) so fingers crossed to us. We're also going on an excursion this week to see if BARK can utilise the 'jam' concept of Jazz music in the way they make and show their work. If you're interested click the link here.
Finally Scenes from the End is shaping up quite nicely indeed. It is an experimental new opera literally filled with scenes and images using only one woman. We have focused on physicality and movement, which also happen to be my two favourite words to mention when I want to scare the singers I work with. With a show at Tristan Bates in just under a month, I'm pleased to welcome on board (yet again) my dear friend Ollie who is quickly becoming my personal lighting designer. As I write I am back lit; a lighting state, he says, that best shows off my features. Seriously though, he is joining us on this project as lighting designer but also sharing his scenographic skills with me too - and if you know Ollie, you know this means that there's a strong chance we might see some projection appear in this piece.
Watch this space for the amazing thing the teachers at Imagine Theatre Cirencester are doing with the profit they made from their fab adaptation of A Christmas Carol...