Multi-award winning puppetry innovators Blind Summit present the UK premiere of their brand new show Henry, a three person, one puppet theatrical memoir from beyond the grave, at the 2018 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Mark Down, puppeteer, writer and director, spoke with The Fountain about how Henry came about, his previous productions and his sleeping plans post-Fringe.
TF: You are performing at the Edinburgh Fringe this year, how exciting, what can we expect?
The show we’re bringing up is currently now a one man, three man show with puppetry called Henry. It’s narrated by puppeteer, director and “control freak” Mark Down who explores the mystical power of puppetry, assisted by two, slightly sinister, masked puppeteers. Things get out of control when the spirit of “Henry” enters the puppet. Who is “Henry”? What does he want? And is he dangerous?
At least I think that’s what is unique about it – we’re still making it!
TF: And this puppetry masterclass sounds great, how long have you been working with puppets?
Thanks! I’ve been working with puppets for over twenty years now. I founded Blind Summit back in 1997 and we’ve been making our Bunraku inspired ‘Extreme Puppetry’ ever since. We want the work to be provocative, funny, political, outrageous and accessible – theatre that pushes the boundaries of puppetry. We’ve also collaborated on large scale productions such as Anthony Minghella’s Madam Butterfly, for the English National Opera, and Danny Boyle’s Olympic Opening Ceremony!
TF: And what drove the project, where did your influences lie?
Most projects come from something that didn’t work in a previous project, and the continuing need to keep trying to make work that I would like to see. As an idea Henry has been in development for twenty odd years. It started out at an idea for a dinner party performance for friends and has been percolating ever since.
If our previous show The Table was the life of a puppet – Henry is about the life of a puppeteer.
TF: What are your plans for the Fringe, have you been before?
TF: And what are your future plans beyond Blind Summit?
If you mean beyond and after Blind Summit at the Fringe, the answer is sleeping! And thinking about making the next Blind Summit show.
Henry, Pleasance King Dome, Pleasance Dome, Venue 23, Saturday 11th – Sunday 26 August 2018, 15.30 (60 mins)