It’s Dark Outside – April Development and ODay

Alrighty, faithful blog readers. It’s update time and i am going to give you the hot update on what we did in our excellent one week development in April. I am also going to show you a few piccies from the ODay ‘puppet demonstration’ that we did.

We arrived at our lovely rehearsal space at MLC (yep the all-girls private school), they had been kind enough to let us use their studio while it was the school holidays! It was a beautiful space with sprung floors and a whole wall of mirrors, and no-one was around so it was very peaceful and there were no interruptions.

We have officially brought Chris Isaacs on board for the show, Chris works with Tim and I very well and it was so wonderful having him in the room for the week. He is operating the puppet with Tim and I (he is the feet) as it is (at times) a three person job. He is also ‘onstage tech’ and much more.

This is Chris on ‘The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik: Deep Sea Explorer‘ UK tour. He has been travelling with the show since the beginning. He has seen it over 200 times…

This week we really focussed on Puppetry and Mask work, which was just brilliant. We generated a lot of material and came up with some exciting ideas. The mirrors in the room were super helpful for me working in the mask and for the puppet, especially when all three of us were operating. Since we are self-directing the work, being able to look at ourselves during a scene is very very useful! Unfortunately i did not take that many photos of the development, but below are a few that i took.

Old man having a rest…

Puppet having a rest…

one of the things we discovered in the week was what the old man’s ‘thoughts’ are made of… the answer: stuffing! We have been playing around with the stuffing (making exciting discoveries) and this is some of the fallout. I don’t want to give too much away and show you what we have been doing with it specifically…

At the end of the week we did a small showing of all the scenes we came up with to Mel Cantwell (Artistic Director of PTC) and to Tim’s parents (Tony Watts – gadget extraordinaire and Julie Watts – poet and counsellor). Their feedback was great and we were very happy with the content we came up with in this week.

More recently, on Sunday 29th April we did a puppet demonstration in rehearsal room 2 at the State Theatre Centre of WA as part of the Cultural Centre O Day.

We were expecting about 7 people to come, but we ended up with over 130 people! This is a pic of Tim doing some good talking before we got right down to it and showed everyone the puppet, and talked about how we had made him and how he works. There were quite a lot of kids there, and we were really surprised by how interested they were in the mechanics of the puppet!

You can see him there on the right of the pic, sitting next to Chris, just hanging. Thanks to Kate from PTC for running the event and to everyone who came!

Well we are doing another 2-week development in May so i will give you an update about that (when it happens). After that we are down to crunch time. June 5th we start full time rehearsals for the show and june 29th we preview! To book tickets… click here

It’s Dark Outside – Puppet

Tim and I have been attempting to make a puppet for It’s Dark Outside. Tim is making the head and i am using my very basic sewing skills to try and sew together a very simple body. The hardest part is finding a way to make the joints (knees, elbows, shoulders, hips) move in a realistic way (i.e. no backwards knees).

Just using Calico at the moment (thanks to Textile Traders for the material and the stuffing!) and just attaching the body parts together with safety pins until we can test it properly, and then i will sew it.

This is what it looks like in it’s current state. We also had out housemates (Gita Bezard and Alissa Jane Claessons) help us out by making some clay hands and shoes which we were going to try and cast. They are super cute…

Next post i will show you how the head is shaping up. It looks pretty rad.

News: February Creative Development – It’s Dark Outside

Hey website,

Just thought i would update you on what i have been up to!

Tim Watts and I recently completed a 10 day development on our new work, It’s Dark Outside (29th June-14th July at the State Theatre Centre, buy tickets here). We had some lovely rehearsal space at PICA in their performance space (thanks Perth Theatre Company) so that we could play around with some of the ideas we have and try a whole bunch of things out, including images, design elements and, of course, gadgets (with a little help from Anthony Watts, our local MacGyver). The creative development culminated in a showing, from which we received a lot of useful feedback (for our next development in April)

Here are some pictures taken of some of the things we tried out!