At the moment we have school holidays and I did two puppet workshops last week. They couldn’t have be more different. The one I was so looking forward to was a four morning course where the participants were supposed to do the full monty ā€“ creating the actors, coming up with the story, making props and then filming the thing. The other one was just one afternoon in the library, where the participants invented an impromptu story and used the Dedes to act it out.

The course in the library was fantastic. It doesn’t take long to set the youngsters (aged between eight and twelve years) off to come up with a weird and wonderful story. There was no stopping them. All of them were running around making up props and chopping and changing the storyline. One of them sneaked in their own puppet. You might notice the non-Dede in the group picture at the end of the film when they celebrate.

Ah well, the other workshop was totally different. First of all it was a different age range. Here the participants were teenagers and puppets are so uncool. It is strange how kids can be so creative when they are twelve and with their thirteenth birthday all the creativity seems to go out the window. And then when they leave school, they are expected to be creative to find a job….

We did get there in the end, though I don’t know how much sticks in their minds, but I’ve learned heaps.

Here is the film from the library.