Snuff Puppets will tour to the Democratic Republic of the Congo in March to create a giant puppet spectacle with Congolese youth brass band Fanfare Masolo. The spectacle will be performed in front of the Brandenburg Gate at Berlin’s Kirchentag Festival in May.
Partners + Supporters: Stefanie Oberhoff and Freundeskreis, Espace Masolo, Cultural Council of the City of Stuttgart, Goethe-Institut Munich, Goethe-Institut Kinshasa, Brot für die Welt, Kulturamt der Stadt Stuttgart and Fachbereich Jugend & Freizeit der Stadt Wuppertal.
Image: Sella Oneko
Our ten artists: Katrina Chandra, Daniell Flood, Andy Freer, Stéphane Hisler, Mitch Jones, Lachlan Plain, KT Prescott, Rebecca Rutter, James Wilkinson and Nick Wilson, and the world’s largest puppet performed for crowds of thousands in Brazil for Virada Cultural May 21-22, São Paulo’s non-stop, free, 24 hour party all over the city.
These images by Paulo Barbuto courtesy of Australia Now capture some of Everybody’s giant Brazilian adventure.
Snuff Puppets’ gigantic show Everybody, a piece that explores the one thing that all humans have in common: the human body, will have its international premiere this weekend as part of Australia Now and Virada Cultural.
Ten of our artists, Katrina Chandra, Daniell Flood, Andy Freer, Stéphane Hisler, Mitch Jones, Lachlan Plain, KT Prescott, Rebecca Rutter, James Wilkinson and Nick Wilson, and the world’s largest puppet are now heading to Brazil for Virada Cultural May 21-22, São Paulo’s non-stop, free, 24 hour party all over the city.
What better than a giant party for Everybody’s first international outing?
This project has been assisted by the Australian government through the Ministry for the Arts’ Catalyst—Australian Arts and Culture Fund.
Some memories from the flippin’ fantastic Flipside festival in Singapore.
Part Three of Nick Wilson‘s Japan diary:
The final stage of our Japan trip was a week-long visit to Honjima Island, to exhibit puppets, meet the community, run some workshops, make some guest appearances on the mainland, and to present a feature performance in the island’s disused Kabuki theatre.
While statistically the communities of Urada and Honjima might look similar in some ways, we all felt a definite shift in the atmosphere on moving from Urada’s endless green mountains and rice-fields to this small-island fishing village on the Seto Inland Sea. During the ferry trip across, Japan’s longest bridge appeared to neither start nor end, but to bypass the island and disappear in ocean mist on its way somewhere else. Parts of the island are quite visibly abandoned, neglected and overgrown: weeds grow through cracked concrete, and the salty air turns metal fixtures into flaky brown rust before their time. Honjima’s population has fallen from 4000 in the 1960’s to 400 today, of which only 20 are school-aged children. It is one of 12 islands that are host to the region’s Setouchi Art Triennale, another ambitious and immense project by Fram Kitagawa to revitalise dwindling regions through the arts.
Our venue was Chito Tse-za, a beachside Kabuki theatre dated to 1862, and barely opened in the last thirty years. A fine example of the smart simplicity of traditional Japanese construction, the front panels slide open to either side of the building, and the waist-high rails fold outward to form an extension of the stage, which the audience views from outside in a public courtyard. We were instantly charmed by its elegant design, skilful construction and dilapidated ambience. It seemed an ideal gateway into that parallel, slightly surreal world that our puppets often inhabit: where the impossible and the dreamlike can invade mundane streets; where the fictional ‘puppet world’ shares an open boundary with the lives of our audience.
2015 was our third year at Aarhus Festuge. Our puppets love getting up close and personal with the people of Aarhus, and our performers love visiting!
Our Tour Manager and Production Manager Katrina Chandra gave us the low down:
What surprising things have you learnt this time travelling with Snuff Puppets?
One of Aarhus’ famous old architects hated the church so much he put gargoyles and mad faces on all the buildings he designed, all pointing at the church.
What feedback did you get from audiences?
Audiences have been loving us here at Aarhus festival. Especially as seagulls have recently been declared a pest which can be shot (with a special license though, luckily no one has tried yet). As per usual kids ask if the puppets are real – one at the school we performed at today thought they were remote controlled robots…
What’s the most interesting/funny/weird experience while on tour?
How violent kids can be!
But seriously, being in international arts festivals is always great, we get to meet cool people and see great stuff, getting immersed in local culture as well as seeing amazing art from around the world.
Someone let our Seagulls lose in a shopping centre in Aarhus!