Clowning in Nature is an Adamotions creation
Puppetry in Nature is a week long bootcamp to strengthen your innate puppetry instincts. It is for everyone who is curious to explore the alchemy of bringing things to life, as well as existing puppeteers and performers. Your personal trainer for the week will be Royal Television Society Award winning puppeteer Iestyn Evans.
Sunday 3 - Saturday 9 July 2016. Arrive from 2pm for a 6pm dinner and welcome session. The event finishes by 2pm on Saturday 9 July.
It takes place in a secluded farmhouse near Llandrindod Wells. Full details given on booking.
• Dorm accomodation
• 3 delicious vegetarian meals plus snacks each day
• 4 puppetry and nature sessions a day
• Sauna, campfires, super unwind time
• Puppet making materials and training
How much does it cost?
£520 EARLYBIRD *paid in full by 14th May 2016
£550 STANDARD *paid in full by 7th June 2016
£585 LATE *paid in full after 7th June 2016
You can pay by installments if you wish, contact Adam to arrange this.
To book your place
Confirm your place with a £50 deposit on EVENTBRITE here. We will contact you to arrange rest of the payment via bank transfer
The Guiding Principles of the work are:
Puppetry is an Instinct
The Puppet is a tool to free up the Puppeteer
For a Puppet creation to be successful they must not only come alive, but also be worth watching
If it breaks all the rules, but still works, it stays
If it follows all the rules, but still doesn’t work, it goes
We will spend the week not only bringing puppets to life, but discovering their specific talents to connect with and move the audience. Games and techniques will include:
• Accidental Puppetry: The discovery and analysis of moments when a puppet comes to life in the hands of someone who is deliberately trying NOT to bring them to life
• Movement Observation: from real life and nature, then interpreted through the puppet
• Voice Puppetry: Using your voice to control and provoke a puppet that you may, or may not have your hands on
• Puppetry Presence: Being present in the moment, focusing your attention on the puppet, and getting out of your head
• Trance Puppetry: a new approach developed by Iestyn, inspired by Keith Johnstone’s Trance Mask Technique
More about Teacher Iestyn Evans
Iestyn landed his dream job (puppeteering animatronic animals made by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop in the West End musical, Doctor Dolittle) with no previous professional experience or training (although he had been making and playing with puppets since he could walk).
From there he worked as an assistant puppeteer on a children’s television programme, The Fimbles, was promoted to his own character on spin off series The Roly Mo Show, and has been working mainly in television, film, and commercials ever since. Credits include: Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Muppets Most Wanted, Yonderland, The Evermoor Chronicles, 2012 Olympic
Opening Ceremony, BBC Comedy Proms and Coldplay – Talk.
In 2005 he co-founded Talk to the Hand Puppets, with best friend and fellow puppeteer Andy Heath. They have designed, built and performed characters for television, theatre and film. He’s most proud of the Royal Television Society award they won in 2012 for the puppets and puppetry on BBC comedy series, Mongrels.
More recently, his training with companies and practitioners he admires, has lead Iestyn back to more live performance, including: Glitch-The Improvised Puppet Show, Boris and Sergey: Origins and Vaudevillian Adventure (Flabbergast Theatre), Puppet Monologues (Blind Summit), Philemon and Baucis (Little Angel Theatre), Hamlet – Hold off the Earth (Peppermint Muse).
* Oscar Wilde actually said mask not puppet but I think if he’d have been alive today he’d have admitted he got it a bit wrong and changed it.
“Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a puppet, and he will tell you the truth.” - Oscar Wilde*
I strongly believe it’s in our nature to puppeteer. Like dancing, singing, making art, it’s in our blood. If you play music, children will instinctively dance. Give a child a toy and they will instinctively bring it to life. Not just as a performance for others, but for the sake of the experience itself. I’m interested in building puppetry technique with this instinct and experience at it’s foundation.
Rather than teach as gospel the many marvelous discoveries that have been made about puppetry over the years, I want to encourage people into the same inquisitive, observant, passionate state of mind that allowed those discoveries to be made in the first place, and allow them to have epiphanies of their own.
Puppetry in Nature is an opportunity for all participants, from complete beginners to seasoned dolly wagglers, to leave behind everything they think they know about puppetry, and invent it again, from scratch. To make mistakes, to move out of their comfort zone, away from their habits, and to experiment with the freedom of a child discovering something for the first time.
Iestyn Evans April 2016
Getting away to the countryside for the retreat, clean eating, and the opportunity to unplug and declutter our minds for the week, allow us to become a clean canvas for the creatures and characters we will inevitably bring to life. And the wild environment gives us the chance to observe and be inspired by the archetypical movements and rhythms of nature.
The course will take place deep in nature at a snug, secluded farm house retreat in mid-Wales. Accommodation is in dorms, three vegetarian meals a day and access to a sauna are included in the price.
Iestyn Evans from Talk to the Hand will be leading the course, introducing an entirely new and experimental approach to puppetry, which draws together his training in improvisation and clowning, and two decades experience puppeteering in mainstream culture. Iestyn has worked extensively as a puppet performer, builder and supervisor, in a career encompassing BAFTA nominated children’s television programmes, and box office record breaking blockbusters. In 2012 he won the 2012 Royal Television Society Award for the puppets and puppetry on BBC sitcom Mongrels (“a foul-mouthed Muppet Show set in Croydon” The Guardian). As a practitioner he has trained with some of the most innovative pioneers in theatre and performance, including Keith Johnstone and Philippe Gaulier (more on Iestyn at the bottom).
What the course covers
At this stage the course is still being devised! The course structure is designed as a series of provocations, starting points for puppetry discoveries. These can be explored at length, but more importantly with the freedom to explore any lessons and techniques we discover along the way. This is experimental work! The course is open to any level of participant, with beginners discovering techniques from scratch and more experienced puppeteers being encouraged to leave their preconceptions behind in order to progress. We can all learn much from one another (see below for the guiding principles of the work, and some specific games and techniques).