File puptcrit/puptcrit.0904, message 208


To: puptcrit-AT-puptcrit.org
Date: Wed, 15 Apr 2009 11:53:13 +0100
Subject: [Puptcrit] Talking Animals


I have followed this thread with some interest as I have presented a  
glove puppet show for some forty years featuring animals who were the  
same size as humans. Children just accepted it and our shows became  
like a soap, once they had seen one, they wanted to see another. We  
were very busy with birthday bookings and all forms of events.
Our plays all written bar one by my wife and I had an average time  
length of 20 - 25 minutes.  These could be presented as a double bill  
with a short introduction to a large cat half way through,
or one play with the addition of children's magic.  I am also a Member  
of the Inner Magic Circle.

Our stories featured a naughty Witch called Claudia who  tried to  
upset every event that happened in Rumbles Wood. (Our Theatre Show was  
titled "Dark Doings in Rumbles Wood")
The main characters were Mr Hoot Owl (A very wise character), Ferdy  
Fox (Always willing to help), Cuthbert the Caterpillar (who introduced  
the show), Bertie Badger, Miss Mouse and Miss Brown Mouse (two fussy  
old maids), Mr Nogre (in one show only), Dowager Duchess Duckpond,  
Moppet the Rabbit and others.

I still have all the scripts and the puppets, but not the theatres.  
They have been sold and the large theatre is now in Spain.
We are fortunate to live these past twenty seven years in North Devon,  
the foot of England, which is a big holiday area. The seasons for the  
holiday parks  and hotels ran for 35 weeks and we played them all,  
many twice daily in different venues with a large show. For them I did  
magic in the first part followed by a puppet play. My wife packed the  
first part whilst I presented the puppets. We carried full sound and  
lighting and could be out of a venue within 15 minutes, drive to the  
next one, set up and be doing the same show within 15 minutes of  
arrival. The theatre was made of wood and canvas, which incorporated  
footlights in the playboard, two external floods which slotted into  
the playboard and two floods set back behind mid scenery which  
illuminated the rear scenery.  There were also two slides in the  
playboard where bushes, stairs and other props could be slid up into  
position.

This show with it's mix of animals and humans was booked by King  
Hussein of Jordan and I was flown out to present the full show at  
their New Years Party at their Palace in Amman.
In my final year of performing before I retired I played 434  
performances and I am not exaggerating. I was afraid of having a heart  
attack. That came 15 months later!!!

It's been a fun life with puppets and the enjoyment that was brought  
to children. As I have mentioned before I now spend a quieter life  
exhibiting puppets on stamps with a display called"Masks, Mimes and  
the Evolution of Puppets". It is being exhibited in June at the ATA  
Stamps Show at Dayton, Ohio. Unfortunately I cannot be with it.  
Medical Insurance and the exchange rate make it
out of the question.

Regards

John Dudley
The Dudley Telepuppets


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