19 November 2013

Back from Suspense 2013 - London Puppetry Festival

I'm finally back home from the wonderful Suspense 2013 - London Puppetry Festival, (see my short documentary film above) preceded by a stimulating European Workshop Tour in October.

The highlights of my adventures were a series of workshops I presented in Vienna and Milan. The Milan workshop took place from 18 - 20 October in an intimate venue in the outskirts of Milan, organised by Silvia Torri, a wonderful Italian puppeteer and our hostess. We had twenty participants who travelled to Milan for the weekend, from as far as Finland, Switzerland, as well as many from the furthest corners of Italy. The workshop included many varied modalities, from Brain Gym, dance, yoga, meditation to working with brown paper and objects both individually and in groups to tell stories and enhance their non-verbal communication and performing skills. I was most fortunate to work with a group of highly talented performers, teachers and therapists and I thank them all for sharing their passion and stories.

On the Sunday we did a session of Paper Playback Theatre. This is an extremely powerful modality used to reflect the individual participant's stories. A few of the participants volunteered to come up and tell a short story from their lives. They then chose fellow-puppeteers who together in a small group, "played back" the story (non-verbally), but using voice to enhance the soundscape.  The results are often cathartic, exposing the storyteller to a completely different view of their story which they'd never necessary visualised, but often a powerful and emotional experience for them to share with the fellow-participants.

You can view the photos of the Milan Workshop here!

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