I've been glueing all these pieces into Velvetta's workshop, and it's starting to come together. There's a few more finishing touches to add, such as I feel the dress on the mannequin isn't quite right, and some minor things to glue down, but this is basically it. It's my favourite of the three books - I'm such a sucker for all that sewing stuff - the buttons, threads, fabrics, laces... yum! I wish I could shrink down and work in there.
Paula and I are rehearsing like mad, trying to prepare the show to launch on 3rd May. So much to do before the launch, it's a bit scary. My props list is long, but I'm working through them faster than I expected so I may actually have a bit of leeway in there. There's music to sort out - and meetings with our sound designer who is creating it for us. Paula is working hard to become a puppeteer - it's a big ask to become professional in just a few months, and yet she is dilligently rising to the occasion. I spend a lot of time parked on the couch issuing instructions: "Eye gaze - make sure he's looking where he's going.. make him look down a little bit more so he's looking at the baby.. yes, that's it! Hang on, he's sagging... stand him up straight. Now pull the neck string, that'll make his posture look right. Yes, lovely!" And so on.. poor Paula, it's not fun for her getting told what to do all the time. We've tried to find another marionette expert in Melbourne who can give her lessons so that it doesn't have to be me, but no luck. I've only heard of two other people in Australia who do marionettes, and they live interstate. I haven't even been able to get email addresses for them. So Paula and I persevere, and magically, the puppets are starting to come to life in her hands. Every marionette sequence, which may take only a few seconds on the stage, takes us hours, even days, to choreograph, practice and perfect.