Today, I headed out to the Templeman library on the University of Kent campus. My aim? To browse the theatre section and hope some books would jump out at me, to help with our devising process. One particular book did, Body, Space, Image by Miranda Tufnell and Chris Crickmay. I want to briefly share a couple of my findings. I will try to explain my thoughts as best I can...bear with me!
"Our bodies are the reflections of our lives: sitting, walking, standing, we absorb the impact of each day. Each thought and sensation makes changes in the body".
This rings very true when it actually comes to puppeteering Ted. There are three stages we wish to achieve: a healthy Ted, MND at a mild/moderate form and MND completely taking over his body. The MND has the biggest impact on his body each day and this in turn creates inward feelings and thoughts of frustration, anger and even humour. These feelings therefore, also have an impact on his body, so what the audience are seeing is the physical impact affecting his emotions/thoughts and those emotions/thoughts impacting his body. This is something to keep in mind within the rehearsal process.
"The body, how it moves and dreams, becomes a route to the imagination".
This backs our idea that when the body physically begins to decline, the mind expands, creating a wonderful imagination in Ted. A crazy example of this would be the puppet, unable to moves his arms to reach for a glass of water, would imagine tiny toy soldiers flying in on parachutes and all working together to lift his arm, extend it, wrap his hand around the glass and take it to his mouth to drink. So, the physical everyday tasks that become harder and harder to do trigger an imaginative story that is delivered to our audience.
"The head directs. The torso is the power house. The arms act upon the world. The legs move the body around"
To demonstrate the decline of the physical in our puppet Ted, we need to act upon these things now, the head directing etc. The more competent we are as puppeteers, the more dramatic and impressive the degeneration should be. This has led me into writing exercises for tomorrows rehearsal. Looking forward to the outcome!