Pupi Part II: Scratch Performance
As part of the development process of the experimental puppet show Pupi, I decided to devise a short section of performance to test in front of an audience. The piece was accepted into a quarterly scratch event Scratch That Itch hosted by In Good Company an East Midlands based development programme for new work. This event was part of DEparture Lounge, a festival of contemporary performance held at Derby Theatre. This provided a fantastic opportunity to focus current research into a short 12 minute extract of performance, practically try out ideas, gain valuable feedback and create artefacts including costumes, puppets, props and digital media.
At a scratch event the audience are encouraged to provide the artist with feedback which can inform future developments of the work. Below are the audience feedback comments I received. It was really interesting to note what stood out for people and gather ideas for future development. As a short extract of a longer piece, many aspects commented on would naturally be ironed out and developed further. However public presentations throughout the devising process are extremely useful to ensure quality, a clear message which engages an audience, particularly as the piece includes aspect of audience participation.
The design of the costume and puppets gained much praise, which is fantastic as a visually focused piece but it was surprising to note that the message was somewhat unclear to many. A blatantly stated message was something I had tried to avoid, so the audience could draw together the issues explored for themselves but it does appear this needs to be clearer. Talking after the show it was useful to discuss more about the background research to the work which took place in Sicily, people seemed to find this really interested, particularly the stories of dog abuse which were based on real events. In the full piece it will be great to develop this aspect more as an independent scene.
Liked the Puppets a lot. The manipulation of puppets could have been better to make the dogs feel more alive.
The video felt a little flat, I'd like a live announcer/host a la beauty pageants etc.
Adverts were unsettling - whole thing was unsettling
Was obscure as to what the piece was referencing
I think there's a lot of milage in taking the mic out of the dog show and dog breeding. However, I would be keen to see this development through the characters and people who are in this world as well as the 'TV' presenter. The development of this would be crucial for me.
Fun - main girl was very good performer. Interested to see how it develops.
Fun and enjoyable piece
Not sure what the message was?
A lot of detail in the puppets, video and 'doggy bag' and costume.
Would like to see the puppetry element more explored in future development.
Range of movements and tributes, skills and personality traits... As there is a really humour in that, which is something that was working in the scratch.
Wasn't keen on Yulin foods.
We want to actually vote for our favourite dog. number 3 please.
slightly shorter advert vids - to keep it moving
big puppy - can weight illusion be maintained at stretch out?
idea good. generally great. pace needs work
presenting dogs to audience: something missing. maybe attack audience more?
Like the indifferent presenter look.
2nd performer wasn't used enough: use more or do it on your own.
voting ; too long
puppets were terrific
The costume: wow!
maybe a bit more clowning in physicality as well as way of using puppets
is the audience being asked anything in particular about genetics?
It's clear that the artists find the issue an atrocity through the ironic tone, but what is the audience being asked?
Presuming second performer will have more to do in full piece? Is there any relationship between the two - or are you automatons who dont acknowledge one another at all?
subversive humour - ACE
video use is very effective
what does it mean for a dog to win? whats at state?
The vote is rigged - and we want to know why. what is special about Dog 4?
Very enjoyable and original
liked the new breeds and the (fixed) audience participation
good use of stage and film
well timed ending
Funny and quirky. not sure what it was actually saying except a skit on people who have 'lifestyle' dogs. Thought a couple of the dogs went on too long. Otherwise, kept my attention, engaging, fun. Thought more could be made of the doggy bag idea.