I'm off to Skipton Puppet Festival at the weekend. And daily am adding more shows I want to see. I am also participating in a spot of informal audience development for them - gathering more and more people to come with me.
Naturally, I have a vested interest.
And have promised myself I'll tackle the next stage of dressing my MoonBoy after the festival when I'm buzzing with ideas. Maybe he'll revert back to being a girl. Maybe he'll not want to be dressed ... he wasn't meant to be a boy after all.
But I don't think I'm alone in my unbounded enthusiasm for puppets. I was talking with friends a wee while ago about theatre and it seemed there was a wariness and weariness to theatre, a reluctance to engage with straight performance. Then, up piped those who has seen puppet shows said that they'd found that the puppets delivered more emotional resonance and connection than human actors.
Oh yes! (sounding a little like the Churchill dog puppet).
Like poetry, puppets allow a space for the audience's imagination. We, as well as the puppeteer, have to animate the puppet. We bring our own emotional register to the animation process. We invest our heart/mind/soul to make believe the creature/person is what/who they act as they are.
I like too how this brings out the child in us. Oh yes it does! Behind you
And so why, if there is such a close correlation between the two forms, does it not feel so easy to write poetry for my puppet?
I realise I'm currently working through a backlog of ideas generated by the sailing trip (interestingly none have actually been to do with sailing so far), but I always have the puppet in mind when I approach the pen, and can't quite visualise or hear how the two will partner up.
I'm hoping for some shift in my thinking at the weekend. Oh yes, and some mesmerising shifts in reality too, oh and some delighful connections with small wood and foam and cloth creatures.