This spring I have been immersed in a rather special project. I have been working in close collaboration with writer/storyteller Tom Hirons and artist Rima Staines, who together make Hedgespoken, a travelling storytelling theatre company, and Hedgespoken Press, an independent publishing company.
This April, we rehearsed and launched the first two public shows of Iron-Brow and Thorn-Coat, a retelling of a classic Lithuanian folktale. Steeped in old magic and half-familiar memories, this beguiling tale of magical transformation, love, betrayal and endurance weaves together storytelling, puppetry, mask-work, foolery and live music…
I had the pleasure of co-directing and co-producing this piece, working with an extraordinarily creative, compassionate and good-humoured team of artistic folk (credited opposite). I also got to do what I love best - wood carving! The puppet for this project was carved by myself and Rima Staines, with advice from master puppet makers John Roberts and Jan Zalud. To view more photos and videos of the puppet being made, visit Iron-Brow and Thorn Coat - the making of part 1 . Iron-Brow-Brow and Thorn-Coat will continue it’s journey this year as we take it into the great outdoors. More news to come!
Iron-Brow and Thorn-coat
Storytelling - Tom Hirons
Puppetry, maskwork, foolery - Helen Aldrich
Artistic direction and production - Sarah Vigars
Performance direction and puppet direction - Howard Gayton
Design and artistic direction - Rima Staines
Puppet-carving - Rima Staines and Sarah Vigars
(with assistance from Jan Zalud and John Roberts)
Mask-carving - Jan Zalud
Writing and story-development - Tom Hirons
Production Photography - Lawrence Galloway