Monday, 12 October 2009

BLOG- Week Two (05/10/09)

At the start of the session we broke into groups and spoke about the articles we were asked to read i.e. “What, At the End of This Century, Is the Situation of Puppets & Performing Objects”, “The Radicality of the Puppet Theatre” and “The Foot”, all by Peter Schumann.

After the discussions, everyone was given one slide of The Foot to copy onto a piece of paper, copying the words and pictures. These were then put into order on the table and most members of the group ‘auditioned’ to be the narrator using the line “Ladies and Gentlemen- The Foot!” and gauging their success on the rest of the group’s applause.

The Foot was then re-enacted. The pieces of paper were held up in the middle of the performance space with the narrator in front and males and females on either side respectively. The pieces of paper were held up and discarded with reference to what the narrator said. The style was call and response and very rough and not rehearsed in keeping with Bread and Puppet style performance.

Everyone then sat in a circle and small groups told the rest of the group their ideas for the upcoming performance:

Group 1- expenses scandal with Jacqui Smith etc
Group 2- Lisbon Treaty
Group 3- BNP/FNP Party. B+P stock character useful i.e. peasants, black and white evil. Klu Klux Klan re-union. Racism, white supremisis, Nick Griffin (criminal record). Hope not hate.
Group 4- Eating disorders, obesity, media spin, advertisements, London fashion week
Group 5- Nuclear bombs, radiation

A silent, anonymous vote was then cast and it the top decided on was the BNP because of its capacity for satire and the depth of the topic.

By Jo Hutchings and Nat Horne


  1. Can anyone add more detailed notes about what was discussed? It would be good for future planning to have this for our reference.... Matthew

    After ‘The Foot’ we sat around in a circle and began to discuss which theme we should choose for our presentation, different groups and people discussed their own ideas:

    The first group were keen to explore the current economic climate, the recession, the expenses scam, etc. We thought about which single incident we would highlight were this theme chosen and someone suggested the G20 summit riots earlier in the year. The incident caused much controversy due to the 23 arrests, 1 death and 1 police assault on a pedestrian.

    ---Puppet ideas for this included Barack Obama and Gordon Brown (two of the leaders) and the 4 horseman of the apocalypse (referencing the end of the world that many people implied the recession had brought)

    We then briefly discussed other issues such as that of the Lisbon Treaty and the possibility of Tony Blair becoming head of the EU.

    Another group then brought up the issue of the BNP. We decided that a lot of satirical sketches could be devised based on leader Nick Griffiths’ ridiculous quotes alone (“Women enjoy sex, therefore rape should be legal” and “I’ll admit Hitler went a little too far”).

    We also thought we could employ Bread & Puppet’s stock ‘evil’ characters (black and white suits)

    The idea of enacting a conflict with the rival ‘hate not hope’ party was discussed.

    A big political discussion opened up! We talked about the respectable image of such parties vs. the real image and how people don’t truly understand the BNP.

    The issue of obesity was brought up and this created a discussion about the focus on dieting and how we could expand on the idea to include what the hypocrisy of the media when it comes to this topic.

    We also briefly examined the issues of nuclear weapons, deforestation and the greenhouse effect and someone mentioned that what we are talking about now is essentially what Schumann explores with his theatre.

    The discussion ended and we put the selection of the topic to a silent vote, the BNP was selected, this was probably for the best as we seemed to spend the longest amount of time talking about this and it has a lot of great opportunities for satire.


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