The Puppet Wagon Pipe Dream

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Hello Peter Slight curator of the Puppet Challenge here.

I thought I might take this opportunity to tell you about my puppet related pipe dream.

OK here goes…

My idea is to convert an old ice-cream van into a touring puppet theatre. The idea has evolved over time and seems less silly the more I think about it, which could be a bad thing i’m not sure?! I believe the vehicle would lend itself rather well to my new purpose with only a few minor alterations! It has an existing area for performers to crouch down and perform in, although this might get a bit cramped if there were several performers inside at once, a one man show may work best! The former serving hatch makes for a ready made stage and there is a built in sound system for music and sound effects. Plus it could be quite a stylish and fun way to tour the country.

After hitting the road the wagon would stop off at festivals, fetes and village greens in towns all over the country to put on a show. Each performance would feature the Folk tales and Legends local to the area, making every show different. Who knows if it were to take off maybe I could go tour a few other countries too?

Above: The Puppet Wagon ready to roll

Above: The Puppet Wagon ready to roll

I think maybe I need to tone down the Evel Knieval style paint work a little bit!

Above: a mock hand bill

Above: a mock hand bill

I roughed out a crude hand bill, it’s a bit more P.T.Barnum than I intended! Before each show commenced I would have to remember to send my young son around with a collecting tin for petrol money!

Above: The curtain call

Above: The curtain call

There may be a reason why no one has done this before….

16 thoughts on “The Puppet Wagon Pipe Dream

  1. Travelling round the country as a family in an ice-cream van puppet theatre sounds like one of the best things one could possibly do, perfect! Please don’t tone down the Evil Kneival paintwork though, it’s fab 🙂

    • it seems more do-able the more I think about it!
      I could make all the puppets and props myself, and the stage / serving hatch area would work for most puppet types, as there is crouching space for hand puppets and standing space for marionettes and with a removable opaque screen it would work for shadow puppets too.
      I could also hire it out for birthdays and weddings!

      • There are a number of examples of puppeteers working out of wagons, DoLores Hadley in America being a notable one. She too got her children to join in, making the business a kinda puppet-version of the Von Trapp Family Singers!

        Me, I’d get Jack to do the cash-gathering with little panniers strapped to him. Those melting Jack Russell eyes would be sure to do the trick, getting punters to dig deep into their pockets. (Though he might come back loaded with biscuits and edible tidbits rather than coins, as he’s a bit of a gannet!)

        • It’s nice to know that I would be following a tradition.

          Good idea getting Jack to do the money collecting! 🙂 I would probably opt for a sausage dog that way there is space for bigger panniers!

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