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The Lilliputians

by Will Ayling
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The Lilliputians by Will Ayling

An adventure into glove and rod puppet theatre.

From the introduction:

The need for a puppet show being established, the selection of type both of figures and presentation raised problems. The marionette string puppet, operated mostly from above, has an indirect application and limited movement in spite of considerable flexibility of joints. Rod puppets worked mostly from below, also suffer limitations, their movements restricted and stylised. Certainly both types require more than one hand to effectively operate one figure and are best suited to the traditional proscenium staging.

The glove figure has a more vigorous direct characterisation usually operated by one hand. The entertainer working on his own, as in the time honoured Punch and Judy show can animate two characters at the same time and even a third with the introduction of a rod puppet locked on the play-board or rested in the acting area whilst the puppeteer is engaged in the operation of two hand figures. The fit-up could be almost in the "round" and operated if necessary by one person, thus making the chosen presentation "Commercial".

The traditional Punch fit-up, so admirable for out-door work, however seemed rather unsuitable for the drawing-room where the children, usually sitting on the floor, are required to strain necks upwards, with heads thrown uncomfortably back to view the figures perched on the play-board some four to five feet above them. I decided that the puppets need to be brought lower toward the audience general eye level and designed a fit-up which appeared to be a large book resting inclined on a desk, approximately three feet six inches from the floor.

  • Introduction
  • Aladdin & His Wonderful Lamp
  • The Lilliputians
  • The Book Theatre
  • The Property Basket
  • Doll Factory
  • The New Production
  • Sound, Music & Drama
  • Extract - Scenario - Final Sequence
  • Interlude
  • For Good Measure
  • The Young Workshop
  • Reminiscence
  • An-Others
  • Last Thoughts
  • Lookback
  • Acknowledgements

1st edition 1987, 64 pages; PDF 79 pages.
word count: 22745 which is equivalent to 90 standard pages of text


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