Well it pays me anyway! I was delighted when I got up (really early) on Sunday morning to write a post for the Dublin Community Blog to discover that I had won a family ticket to see Karramato from the Czech Republic who are performing as part of the 2009 International Puppet Festival Ireland.
The thing is when I got the message first about winning, I thought there must be a mistake, as I hadn’t entered a competition. I had started following @puppetfest because I thought it might be a fun festival for the nippers. I also fanned them on Facebook because for starters I know how difficult it can be to get enough fans to get your vanity URL but also because the way I digest info on Facebook is different to how I get it from Twitter and sometimes one suits me better than the other. Anyway it turns out that they chose a random follower/fan from the hat as a winner and it was me!
When I told the nippers about our luck even Nipper 2.0 knew exactly what I was talking about. Every Christmas they get brought to the Lambert Puppet Theatre with their cousins and grandparents as a special treat. So we’re all excited!
But the Puppet Festival is not just for kids! During my undergraduate years I worked on a large production called Gilgamesh – the Epic (or Gilgamess as we called it!) which featured puppets of all sizes so I know the skill involved in creating a production like this. I worked on the “costumes” and my job included the ignominy of having to “dress” the puppets onstage during a transformational scene. I also studied non-Western Theatre during this time and many non-Western theatre forms include or solely comprise puppetry. Joyce, Brecht and Beckett were partly inspired in some of their theories about theatre by their exposure to theatre forms like this where the actor was exposed or removed. What I’m saying is these heavyweights took puppetry dead seriously so should you! Anyone who has seen a Punch & Judy show will know that even this simplest form of puppetry allows the performer freedoms that they might not enjoy as an actor on a stage.