Cloth, bone, ash, mud, puppeteer
30 minutes duration
Commissioned by Radar, Loughborough University for Object Theatre, 2012
Radar presented two days of performances, films and critical debate that considered the communicative potential of the object. Object theatre has commonly been associated with puppetry and over the two days this understanding was challenged, expanded and redefined through newly commissioned works by internationally renowned artists Heather & Ivan Morison, Aura Satz, Clare Stephenson, and Joanne Tatham & Tom O'Sullivan.
Heather and Ivan Morison have regularly used puppetry within their work, most notably with the ambitious work Mr Clevver a traveling sculptural artwork in the form of a puppet theatre, which toured small rural settlements in western and north-western Tasmania. In their commission for Radar they used a single puppeteer sat atop an umpires chairs. The puppeteer, Cynan Davies, used new and old mud hand puppets to act out a story of love lost through the slow atrophy of desire in a time of hardship and depression.
Cynan Davies is a puppeteer of international repute known for his inventiveness and dark mythic creations. His life and career to date has been an extraordinary journey, one of shocking hardship and heartbreaking loss. In Empire of Dirt, a play specially written for him by Heather and Ivan Morison, he tells for the first time his tale and searches for what meaning can be taken from it. Cynan is working with a pair of bone ash and mud hand puppets that have been with him for many years. He has collaborated with the actors Tom Bevan and Victoria Gould to develop voices for the puppets for this show and has also asked that Tom voice his own parts..
Object Theatre, Radar, Loughborough University, Spring 2012