Concertina For The Gods
with Barking Dog
Inspired by Dennis Silk’s short work The Marionette Theatre and Nenagh Watson’s research on Ephemeral Animation (the movement of urban debris by natural ele-ments), Concertina For The Gods was an exploration of the autonomy of objects in the framed, studio environment.
2 November 2011, Suspense Puppetry Festival 2011, Webber Douglas Studio, Central School of Speech and Drama, London, UK
Premiere: 1 World Puppetry Festival 2010, St Petersburg, Russia
Artist lead and performer: Nenagh Watson (Artistic Director of Barking Dog)
Co-creators and performers: Isabel Lyster and Jemima Yong
An extract from a review by Sita Thomas (female arts) on the performance of Concertina For The Gods at Suspense Puppetry Festival 2011
"...The most interesting performative moments were realised when in fact the performers relinquished control of the objects so that one object could affect another: the release of a balloon with a yo-yo attached to it, and the effect of the wind from an umbrella on a helium balloon created moments of astonishing freedom and beauty.
As a piece of theatre, the production needed a stronger focus on narrative in order to allow the audience to engage with the work more fully – emotionally and intellectually. However, once I abandoned my desire for clearer storytelling I allowed the images that the objects and performers were creating to lead me towards a sense of enjoyment. Watson voiced that her aims were not targeted towards audience experience, rather they were to further her research and I believe this was achieved.
A strong exploration by three women – it was recognised in the post-show discussion that the piece would have been very different in tone, energy and style with a male performer – that left me observing and discovering objects in natural settings in a completely new light."
An extract from preview article “PULLING THE STRINGS” by Irina Titova, The St. Petersburg Times
Published: 27/8/2010 (Issue # 1604)
“President Dmitry Medvedev, a native of St. Petersburg, welcomed the festival participants “to a city of long-standing theater traditions” in his address to the festival.The program includes highly diverse and often innovative performance styles. London’s Central School of Speech and Drama brings with it a performance titled “Concertina for the Gods” in which director Nenagh Watson presents what she calls “ephemeral animation.” The term is used by the director to describe the animation of debris by natural elements, such as a plastic bag blow-ing in the wind. After a year of research, Watson has taken the concept into the studio to take a fresh look at object animation. The approach begins with allowing the ob-ject to be autonomous and dictate its own movement in order to discover a more equal relationship between puppeteer and object.”