Archives for the month of: May, 2014

I had to think long and hard about sharing the film of last Monday’s show with you or not. The quality is pretty shoddy. In the end I decided to share the film with you mainly for the audio. The show is pretty simple, but you can definitely hear how the audience gets more and more into it. I had amazing feedback afterwards.

The show was performed at the launch of garden and nutrition guru Dee Pigneguy’s book “Grow me well” at the Takapuna Library. That same evening two other books were launched and Dee was allocated 15 minutes for her speech. She thought a puppet show would be a lovely introduction. She left it entirely up to me what I did with the puppets and I came up with this three minute sketch for Munch, Kin and the Wooden Spoon. The puppets were specifically designed for this event and I wanted them to be able to open their mouths and stuff themselves. My puppets are usually not big on words, so here we go, another surprise. On the evening we had the puppets set up in one corner of the room. Then, when I was sitting in the audience listening to the first speakers, I realised nobody would be able to see the puppets perform where they were. On the spur of the moment I decided  to take the cast to the lectern. It definitely had its benefits and I had the microphone as well, but I had to push the puppets uphill, which caused me a little bit of trouble to begin with. And the person who was holding the camera didn’t have a tripod, so there is a lot of camera shake.

But still, if you are a hardy Dede-fan, you might enjoy it.


spoon puppet

Monday night I will have a little puppet gig in the library in Takapuna. A friend of mine is launching her book about healthy nutrition for kids. I am not really a performer, but agreed to do a very short puppet show with the two puppets Munch & Kin and also this lady, who of course knows how to cook a healthy meal, as she is descendant from a long line of wooden spoons.

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We are working on this event for close to eight month now and are just entering the hot phase. Tying up loose ends and promoting! Originally it was called “Puppet Festival”. The manager of the art centre and I, we are both totally excited about the whole affair. We got funding from the local council and everything seems to run smoothly except – and that is the big dampener – whenever we talk about puppets everybody’s eyes seem to glaze over. Strangely though, and I am single minded enough to do that, when you continue to talk, people do get interested in our plans.  So, we finally decided to give it a new spin and renamed it to  The Festival of Performing Objects. Admittedly it sounds much more grown-up and I actually I do love the new name.

We are still looking for artists who want to take part in the group exhibition and also for performers and stall holders on market day. So, if you live in New Zealand and want to take part, get in touch….



birdy and ghost

Uhuuu, I haven’t posted for a long time. The reason might be that the blog is called Dede puppets and I am currently going astray with other types of puppets. These here are two marionettes who are currently rehearsing for a busking gig we want to perform at the grand opening of puppet festival in August.  You might notice, that I pinched L’artiste’s tunic for the ghosty figure. That seems a bit nasty, eh, as L’artiste clearly needs his tunic for confidence. But I let you in on a secret, he actually has six or seven of them in his wardrobe. So he won’t notice one missing and I just love the material for it’s colourfulness. I am not entire happy with the two characters, but only rehearsal will bring out the flaws. The bird character is too cute for my personal liking, apart from this I don’t know where the design came from. I made it from a picture that was stored in my memory. I must have seen wooden birds of that type long time ago. He would work better if he was wooden, as marionettes rely on gravity. This one is made of dry-felted balls. To weigh his feet down I glued some old coins at the bottom, for good luck. I deemed this appropriate for a busking bird and I tell you what, he tap dances like a pro.

Last Friday Cath and I did a workshop at the Mairangi Arts Centre together. It was a holiday workshop for kids aged 7 to 12. Originally we wanted to do two days. The first day should have been puppet making and the second day creating the stop motion film with the puppets from the previous day. Unfortunately there weren’t enough takers for puppet making, though the stop motion part was reasonably popular. So we had to create the actors for the film on the same day… It was all a bit rushed, but I finally learned my lesson: Don’t mention puppets!

Of course, on the day the kids were really happy to create their puppets. They had heaps of fun, but would they enrol in a puppet making workshop. No way!

Ah well, here is the result: As I said it is all a bit rushed, but it was certainly a good sign that the kids didn’t want to leave when the class came to an end.