I have previously told you all about how Suzy and Granny and some of the other puppets came into being.
They obviously need a Theatre to perform in, so:-
A Theatre / Booth ……. which has to be easily set up and dismantled, for transportation in the bakkie, and putting up and down ( sometimes twice a day when we were touring.)
The first one was made out of wood, but we were doing a show on the beach front Amphitheatre one day, and a huge gust of wind blew it away, leaving me there with the puppets on my upstretched arms !!
Hence, the very sturdy metal theatre we have now.
Backdrops …… Eileen RIchards painted our Christmas backdrop and designed our first Christmas cards.
Another friend painted a beautiful garden for the Birthday Show.
Our son painted our Seaside Suzy backdrops.
Since then I have used fabrics for The North Pole, and John made a masonite cut out backdrop of all the continents for Globe Trotting Suzy.
Props …..This is where John is so marvellous. He made all the Procenium tops.
He finds or makes the “Suzy Sized” props that we use. The Christmas Tree, The Globe Trotting Suzy flags, animals and the dolls and the stands, and The Mulberry Bush.
I must admit I don’t use many props as manipulating and changing the puppets is quite enough to concentrate on !!
Music ….. When we first started in 1987, John bought a keyboard and a drum machine to accompany the songs I wrote or gathered. Over the years, even our workhorse DX7 gave up the ghost.
Thank goodness for the Cakewalk programme, so I programmed all the accompaniments for Orchestral instruments, based on John’s original arrangements, and it is these cds that John uses on cue for the puppets to sing along with.
Sound system ….. We started out with a small system, and over the years, we bought bigger and better equipment as we did larger venues.
John had to pack and unpack all the systems and wires – I called it his spaghetti, but he was very particular about correct winding and keeping them clean.
Transport ……We started out with a Datsun 1800 long wheelbase with our logo on the doors, then we bought a more sturdy one – a Nissan 2.4 long wheelbase, and that was our workhorse for the last 25 years. I think John can pack a show in his sleep. We always carried snacks, and sometimes, if we were far away, a picnic. John is an excellent mechanic, so, fortunately, our maintenance expenses were kept to a minimum.
For the past few years, as I have said before, we have been lucky enough to do ‘runs’ at The Rhumbelow Theatre, which has been such an amazing experience !
Arriving at a venue with everything already set up – Heaven !!
Still, our days on the road were great fun.
Love, as always,