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At last! The ideas start to lift off the page and the word is made flesh (and bone).

Thanks to our grant from the Wellcome Trust, we spent two highly profitable weeks at the congenial fh space in Forest Hill, testing out the draft script and exploring some of the theatrical styles to be used in the storytelling. The first of the weeks allowed us the greater freedom to experiment; in the second, the emphasis moved towards the preparation of sample scenes for the concluding showcase.

Garfield assassination

Beyond the testing of character, plot and dialogue, we were able to try out (and approve) three storytelling conventions in particular – the deployment of two skeletons as comic narrative commentators ; the use of melodrama in silhouette for  violent semi-offstage action; and the device of the lantern slide for bringing to life the newspaper accounts of the assassination of President Garfield.

Finn Caldwell with puppeteers

We were also able to gratefully seize the opportunity to collaborate with key non-performing team members, advisers and consultants.

Designer:  Mila Sanders

Dramaturg: Neil Haigh

Puppetmeister: Finn Caldwell

Surgical Technique: Dr Laura Coates

Medical History: Laura Newman


The Cast: Joe Darke, David Emmings, Nadia Morgan, Bradley Wayne Smith, and Ian Summers.

Producer: Josh Cockcroft  (Sheep and Bison Productions)

Assistant Producer: Matt Parvin

With special mention to Elliott Roberts as Assistant DirectorBandaging Curly Bill Bradley with skeleton Dr Laura Coates demonstrates surgical technique

OK Showdown

Shadow melodrama Nadia and Dave with skeleton OHP work Skeleton falling Skull and hat Stagecoach skeletons