As part of our research we went to watch a professional shadow puppet show. We went to see A Clockwork Moth who were telling the story of ‘The Devil with the Three Golden Hairs’. Ruby contacted Clockwork Moth and managed to arrange a meeting for us before the show. Charlie Scullion and Victoria Narewski are the main founders of Clockwork Moth, they also have a professional puppeteer and musicians. This was a great experience as we got to see how they made the puppets and gave us a better idea of how to make the mechanisms of our own puppets. Charlie took us behind the performing area to show us how they changed the scenes and show us the general set up. He gave us plenty of tips for making the puppets and the general set. He advised us that we used some tracing paper over the front of the torch to act as a diffuser (softening the light also makes the sticks less obvious to the viewer) and to use soft material for the screen, something like muslin or calico. This adds a soft quality to the light.
We were really worried that hand cut puppets wouldn’t give us the desired effect but Clockwork Moth hand cut all of their own and they looked so beautiful when they were lit.
After spending sometime with Charlie we watched the show which was so beautiful, it reinforced that shadow puppet shows aren’t just something for children, the audience when we watched the show was full of adults all of whom enjoyed the show. Victoria did an amazing job of narrating and playing all the characters, the whole show looked effortless and we left feeling very excited about our own attempt at shadow puppetry.