…Plundered by the unscrupulous Director of a nursing home, miserable and sick people for whom time has come to sing a dirge; the flow of refugees flooding into Europe, what’s all this? Headlines? No — it is the performances of the genius puppetry Neville Tranter, which was brought to Moscow at the international festival in the theatre his famous “Matilda”. Matilda — a 102-year-old grandmother, sending curses to the nurses (not seeing that this nurse) that lost her favorite doll, and also for the fact that her reason gave a birthday cell phone she does not know how to use it…
…And suddenly this is a mobile lying in a beautiful box, ringing. Matilda “turns” his head to his puppeteer, Neville: “Who are you? Why are you in black? Why do you smell like earth? You — the gardener?”. Almost. Rather, the undertaker. Neville picks up the phone — “Yes. I understand. It’s time”. And leads her to the last dance, dance — like — with her lover, whom she had buried years ago, and which wants to re-connect. A moss-covered nursing home is decorated with balloons and tulips for the arrival of the journalists, intending to make a bombastic story…
— Do you know how I learned your art? Says Neville Tranter “MK”. — Puppeteer studied in Australia; and the first performances (rather sketches) were given in the restaurant of the theatre and the restaurant was called “the Last laugh”. The audience sat drunk. Her reaction was simple and straightforward. When they didn’t, they just yelled “get out! Get off the stage!”. Here is where I realized the price of the profession. Generally it is aerobatics — to be able to cope even with such aggressive environment.
And would you recommend all the puppeteers go through such a school? To know how much a pound down and out?
— Yes, this is the best school, which only can be, but we can not exclude the fact that I learned from great teachers, and many already know how. No teachers — no profession. And so — Yes, the best young bands, which I can commend, began his career with street shows. Learn there how to attract attention and keep it.
— The violins are very jealous of the violin, not loving, when the owner changed it with another… As you build relationships with dolls?
Even if the viewer does not notice some emotional impact when working with a doll, even if episodic, serious relationship chemistry is still there. Little is the role of a doll, a big if, but I for myself always work in full respect of its “partner”. There is nothing Holy or sacred, it’s just a good working relationship. It’s like a part in a great sport — we should always keep level.
— As unloved puppet no?
— Each character is equal. Because the dolls, in contrast to the people-artists, no past. They come alive again in the here and now, she re-see the world. It is very important to remember. That doll looks down at his hand… surprised. The movement of the doll as it moves in your move: here’s a look — they have disproportionately long arms and neck. It is in order to gesture were more expressive. Work with the doll are choreographed, it’s plastic. And in this plastic all — submission, then domination. Action — reaction to it.
— How your performance is improvised? Or all the stunts, the gags worked for many years?
The hard part is, of course, the Prime Ministers: the reaction of the audience completely unpredictable. And at this stage it is so important the art of pauses, that happens most importantly in the performances, not the dialogue. Need to give the audience experience what the character is experiencing. We take a bow, take arrow, pull the string and… silence. A good puppet theater is the only way works. This is one of the most difficult arts in the ability of the actor to listen and hear. And not only themselves. But the voice of the public. Of course, you don’t notice from the audience, but I’m on the play turn into a huge elephant ears. So, returning to the musical theme, so important in the hall of good acoustics. And for me becomes a nightmare if I work in space where there is no possibility to help him with his hearing… Because each show is a visual Symphony, each character has its own voice. Here, in the theatre — everything was just magical in that sense.
— As far as I understand, now you put a performance about refugees…
— A year and a half working on it: there is the text and the music. Begin to rehearse, premiere in may 2017. And the plot… I was inspired by a children’s book where all the characters walk past the fence and the fence sits a dragon. In my case, the devil. And here is someone dragon devour, and someone smiled. So this chance is a manifestation of our charity.
— When we go to the toy store, we see a “beautiful” doll, a kind of consumer goods, the generally accepted standard. You have to “Matilda” — the ugly old men and women, but they are truly beautiful. You are not afraid to go to the toy stores?
— Of course, my puppets are, by definition, cannot be the object of Commerce and mass culture. The doll is something that can in the fullness to Express the person at the scene, all aspects — its beautiful and ugly sides, funny grotesque and poignant pity… which, of course, can not mass consumption products. My dolls are so full, that often against them I prefer to play the role of a servant remove his actor’s ego out of sight.
— You play alone on the stage, or attract other actors?
— 99% of my work I’m on stage a single actor living plan. It all started with the fact that I could not afford someone to pay. The reason is prosaic. But then it became the reason for the study — where the end of my limits, how wide and deep I can go in my work with dolls. It is simply a necessity. Because life is so short. But there is always a place of mercy and light that I wanted to Express in “Matilda”.