Blind Summit return with Extreme Puppetry

[HENRY] _[blindsummit]_pressimage1

Multi-award winning puppetry innovators Blind Summit present the UK premiere of their brand new show HENRY, a 3 person, 1 puppet theatrical memoire from beyond the grave, at the 2018 Edinburgh Festival FringeHenry will be staged at the Pleasance Dome (venue 23) from Saturday 11 to Sunday 26 August 2018; and follows the huge Edinburgh Fringe successes of Citizen Puppet (2015) and The Table (2011), both Scotsman Fringe First Award winners.

Henry is set within a puppetry Master Class on the subject of ‘puppetry possession’, hosted by master puppeteer Mark Down.  Mark brings to life a puppet made of bin bags which begins to take on the character of his father, celebrated actor and old ham of the title, Henry Chessel.

With the help of two slightly sinister, hooded puppeteers (Fiona Clift and Tom Espiner) masquerading as students, Mark tells the story of Henry’s rise to fame, fall from grace and the last week of his father’s life.  Haunted by his father’s recent death and a neglected childhood Mark explores the relationships between father and son, acting and puppetry, form and function, life and death.

In an absurd twist all is not as it seems. As Henry tells his actor’s tales, Mark reveals that he never actually knew his father and the entire basis of the relationship between father and son, actor and puppeteer, puppeteer and puppet, narrative and truth are drawn into question.  Is Mark making it all up? Is his father? Does it matter?

Henry is an entertaining but thought provoking show that ultimately acknowledges that everything is invention and the greatest truth is found in the biggest lie.

With their brand new show Blind Summit tear up the puppetry rule book again, employing their own unique performance style – ‘Extreme Puppetry’ – a character led, improvisational reinvention of traditional Japanese Bunraku puppetry – together with their trademark irreverent humour.

Blind Summit Artistic Director and Master Puppeteer, Mark Down, performs in and directs Henry.  The incredibly accomplished puppeteers Fiona Clift (The Table, Citizen Puppet) and Tom Espiner (The Table, Madam Butterfly) play the hooded students.  Julian Spooner, Co-Artistic director of Rhum and Clay Theatre Company, and Freelance Theatre Director Alex Crampton are collaborators and assistant directors of Henry.  The production was devised by Blind Summit and written by Mark Down.

Blind Summit is a London based, internationally touring producer of puppet-based theatre under the artistic vision of Mark Down.  The company was founded by Mark in 1997 and is considered one of the world’s leading puppet theatre companies.

Blind Summit are an Arts Council England NPO and Henry was made in association with Il Funaro, Pistoia.

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