Mark Whitaker here with an update on how Chicken Licken has been spending her summer….
We began at the Rossendale Puppet Festival up at Horse and Bamboo’s space a.k.a. The Boo. This is a small but perfectly formed festival which makes full use of the 2 studio spaces and also utilises the outdoor space at the back of the building – I saw my first ever puppet show in a Yurt!
Chicken Licken played to a packed house and it was nice to meet up with old friends such as Andras Lenart (Mikropodium), John Roberts (Puppetcraft) and Clive Chandler and others. I was ther for both days as I was also performing in Horse and Bamboo’s “Storm in a Teacup”.
A week later we were on the road again, this time to East Yorkshire for the Beverley Puppet Festival. Again, we had a good audience for Chicken Licken (or Chicken McNugget, as one child called out to suggest we should name her!). As with all festivals, the get-out was against the clock as Hand To Mouth were coming in to set up for The Three Bears. Being one of the first shows gave me lots of time to see other shows including the very wonderful “The Seed Carriers” by Stephen Mottram which I first saw at least 10 years ago. Again, I was there for the 2 days as “Storm in a Teacup” was on the Sunday. By the end I realised that I’d worked for 13 days without a break (on 5 different projects) so was grateful for the prospect of a few days off.
Last Friday was the final festival of my summer. This time I was on home ground at Buxton Puppet Festival. The Pauper’s Pit Theatre is idiosyncratic at the best of times (being a 41 seater venue in the cellar of an old couching inn) but the constant dripping of water onto the forestage from the kitchens above left even me wondering if the sky was falling in! Thankfully this didn’t seem to bother the 2 full audiences too much – particularly the ones who’d made chicken puppets with me in a workshop that morning who brought them along to watch the show.
Sadly, my time with Chicken Licken is coming to an end as I’ll be working in London from the end of August right up to New Years Eve and will be touring with “Storm in a Teacup” from January 3rd. I’ll let you into a secret….It’s Foxy Loxy I’ll miss most.