The New Roster, part 5

Pwy sy’n dwad dros y bryn yn ddistaw, distaw bach;
Ei farf yn llaes a’i wallt yn wyn,
A rywbeth yn ei sach?
A phwy sy’n eistedd ar y to, ar bwys y simne fawr?
Siôn Corn? Siôn Corn?
Helo! Helo!
Tyrd yma! Tyrd i lawr!

Ho-ho-ho, merry Chrimbo. And as we are now properly into advent, which does not begin in August despite what Tesco seems to believe, I think I can safely say that!

The lines above are an introduction to the latest in our lineup, the big beardy man himself, Father Christmas, Siôn Corn.

He began life in this incarnation as a wizard from the Kasperletheater.

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You shall not pass!

As ever the process began by removing the wizard outfit.

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We ain't got no body!

Siôn is a rum cove and being that I am emphasising the Victorian of Mr Punch I wanted to avoid an overtly Coca cola coloured Santa. So with an eye towards the Scandinavian tradition and Dickens’ Ghost of Christmas Present I decided to be in with an earthy green coloured base. To go over this I found a nice deep ruby coloured cloth, I think it may have been an offcut from some theatre curtains. I made a long waistcoat from this and trimmed it with some white fur culled from a cheap Santa hat. This is bound in memory of Edward Woodward as the Ghost with a thick black belt, felt rather than leather in this case and a cardboard buckle.

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Come forth and know me better, man.

His hat I have taken fewer liberties with as I need him still to be recognisable to the younger generation as Father Christmas (or you end up with the story that accompanied The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, where it was said that when that man appeared in that story many children, especially in America for some reason, didn’t know who he was!) Consequently I used a bit more of the cheap Santa hat to make, well a Santa Hat.
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And so Siôn was almost there, but as I said he owes more of a tribute to Dickens than Coca cola so I wanted him to have one last tricksie addition. How can he deliver presents without his sack? But not just any old sack, this is a sack with a secret! But what that is and how it works I shall be keeping close to my chest for now!
So until I see you next, be good boys and girls because you know who’s watching, don’t you?

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You'd better watch out

The New Roster, part 3

Joey the Clown

Hello again boys and girls. Allow me to introduce the first of our new lineup of characters, Joey the clown.

Hello, Joe.
Hello, Joe.

Joey is of course based on the great British clown Joseph Grimaldi as is traditonal, and his face paint reflects this. From the wide mouth to the triangular cheek patches and faint eyeshadow, I have attempted an approximation of the original Grimaldi facepaint and hairstyle, where I have deviated is in the colour of the hair, which ought to be blue by rights (according to most illustrations)but we had ginger left over from Judy and as it does crop up in a few pictures of him we decided to go with that in the mohawk that he seemed to prefer.

The puppet itself started life as Seppl from the Kasperletheater and the first step was to remove his hat and body which left him like this;

Seppl on the left
Seppl on the left

Then I provided him with a base coat of emulsion, avoiding of course his eyes and mouth.

Base coat.
Base coat.

The result is actually slightly creepy, something of the Jason Voorhees about him but thankfully not for long as I was about to provide the final touches, widening the mouth, faint eyeshadow, the cheekpatches and some new eyebrows of course. The end result was very satisfactory and all we then needed was an outfit for him, which is where of course Abakhan comes in, ah fabric warehouse of joy! I always wanted a Harlequin style of pattern, the kind of material that chef’s trousers are generally made from. Unfortunately the diamonds on the standard fabric are too big to be effective on a small puppet. But a quick trip to the craft shed found us exactly the same design but smaller perfect for our Joey.

Oh, the colour, it brings out your eyes!
Oh, the colour, it brings out your eyes!

And thankfully he is a fairly simple puppet to be starting with, once his onsie was in place with a simpe collar and some hands (and a ring) on we have ourselves a clown ready for the public, indeed he was a big hit at a Christmas Fair this weekend. Just goes to show, all the world loves a clown.
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Long time, no post!

Hello all,

Sorry about the delay, much happening at Llusern Towers. Including the purchase of a brand new Punch and Judy booth and I am currently working on a new set of puppets with traditional wooden heads! My current soft set will then be made available for the children to “have a go”. I intend on publishing photographs of the creation process on here and use them in workshops on puppet making for children in the not too distant future. So watch closely…

Don’t tell the missus!

I’ve spent all day in the company of a delightful couple. Well one of them is at anyrate. I have read about half a dozen scripts today from the mid 19th C to the present day and, oh boy, how times do change. I had heard that things were darker back in the day but some of the earlier Punch and Judy plays, even until surprisingly recently were absolute  bloodbaths with a body count almost worthy of Shakespeare. However at least one half of the pair was more charming in comparison.

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At least up to a point!

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And someone wanted a word!

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And I have since learned this is a man you do not mess with! Help.

That’s the Way to Do It!

And you think you've got relationship issues.
And you think you’ve got relationship issues.

Meet the newest act at the End of the Pier Show! Oh, yes it is! The terrible twosome are, as I’m sure you already know, a big part of the seaside tradition going right back to the earliest years and have gone their own distinct way since departing from their Commedia del Arte ancestors. And now they will be joining in with Professor Llusern this year as part of the End of the Pier Show! Of course there are a great deal of teaching points we can get from Punch and Judy from changing attitudes for older children, to simple role play and how to be helpful and nice (with Mr Policeman to keep an eye out should things get out of hand!). All we need now is for Mr Punch to learn his lines!