DNA all about then - is it a science thing?
It's an abbreviation of Dynamic New Animation. Twelve years
ago it was pretty funky but it's been used a lot since then! Also
puppetry is often seen as 'dolly waggling' for kids so the term
'live animation' was created when puppets are performed for adults.
We did do a science performance project for the Wellcome Trust last
year called 'Genie in a Bottle', devised by young people in Manchester
about the future and genetics. It was streamed live on the web and
you can still see it today on our website.
How did you get into this line of work?
Trained in Manchester in theatre and worked in Italy mask making,
met puppeteers at the Green Room, Manchester and was told about
diploma in puppetry at the Central School of Speech and Drama, where
I was accepted and met Adam, my partner in life and work. He co-runs
DNA and is lead puppeteer, he had previously worked in Australia
pick Preston as your base?
We had been working hard in London for over 10 years establishing
DNA. I'm from the Fylde area and was already commuting back and
forth to the North West to direct the Puppet Up! Festivals in Blackpool.
So Preston was the nearest city, has great road connections for
touring and we had so much support here from the Council's Creative
Industries, it felt like coming home!
do you start when you're putting together a new production?
lot of work goes into a performance
I find a story or an idea that has great visual and action possibilities.
A story that can be told more effectively by puppetry techniques,
then we play with materials and objects in research and development,
storyboard scenes and create a visual script for reference. Music
is specially composed and text is layered on in a working script.
What shows have you got coming up?
Currently we're touring our new production 'Baba Yaga Boney Legs',
an exciting adventure story for 5 to 11 year olds and their families.
It's just been in London, Brighton and Chester Gateway and tours nationally.
It's ground breaking stuff in terms of combining puppetry with this
kind of physical performance! Then it's Glastonbury with the preview
of our new 'Puppets A Go Go!' tent full of exciting weird and wonderful
puppetry for all ages! 'Puppets a Go Go!' will also be in Preston
Flagmarket on July 31st for a fab day of puppet bliss! (see our website
for further info).
advice would you give to aspiring puppeteers?
Just keep on doing it, train with whoever you can, find your
niche and you will create your own style!
- such a sweetie!
is your favourite TV puppet, Sooty, Orville or Lamb Chop?
Although I love Sooty (born in Blackpool!) and Orville ( lives
in Poulton!) I have to say Shari Lewis's Lamb Chop. I have a toy
her (lamb chop) and she was the most excellent manipulator and ventriloquist!