I was approached and asked if I could design and create a string marionette theatre for a client in the film industry. His family had a theatre when he was a boy and he was keen to create something similar now that he himself has a young family.
The theatre had to fit in his home in the middle east so I was provided with the plans and I liaised with the architects so that we could ensure we could get it in the building and that it would fit under the lights.
I was given a very open brief and starting from a blank sheet of paper I designed a theatre which would be quite compact and neat when not in use and which would safely house the string marionettes out of harms way and yet could quickly transform into a large and impressive theatre. The brief required a theatre which was capable of putting on professional puppet shows for the client's family and friends.
The theatre also has storage space for props and accessories, a sophisticated lighting set-up, a sound system complete with mics for the puppeteers and extra hanging space for puppets during shows.
I also worked in four hand-carved balconies with real gold and velvet curtains, from which children can operate hand puppets during shows and an area underneath the stage where the youngest children can operate hand puppets at a small balcony and a window through which they can peep out and see the audience's reaction.
The stage curtain is reworked from vintage Indian embroidered garments from Lucknow.
There is also, at my client's suggestion, a wonderful automata orchestra with five eccentric looking musicians and a conductor, and a goat harp and a Hoopoe that sings while it is enjoying the music.
I would be pleased to discuss what kind of marionette or hand puppet theatre we can create for your family.