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A blog, reflection or arguments on the marionette

argy-bargy [ahr-gee-bahr-gee]

-noun, plural -gies. Chiefly British Slang
1. a lively or disputatious discussion.
2. a verbal dispute; a wrangling argument

1595–1605; argle-bargle


A report on an Argy-Bargy evening on the Puppet Theatre Barge

'Dispute' and 'argument' are words generally perceived as having

negative connotations but when it comes to creativity a heated

discussion can sometimes be quite a productive means of bashing

around an idea and consolidating ones own thoughts on a particular

subject. Anyone who has sat around the dinner table on Eroda on a

Saturday evening and indulged in Grenville's infamous post-show

curries (both meaty and veggie, Gren being a pioneer in the battle

for vegetarian's rights) will know that there is very rarely, if ever, a

shortage of volunteers to voice their opinion on a myriad of topics

and debate everything from world politics to whether or not it is cruel

to dig up and eat dead carrots. The highly charged atmosphere

encourages even the shyest of wallflowers to chime in with their

tuppence worth.

But talking is one thing, actually 'doing' is another kettle of fish

altogether. It is one thing to debate the positive aspects and the

flaws of somebody else's work but quite another to thrust one's own

work into the glaring spotlight of constructive criticism and weather

the blows. However, undaunted by this prospect (be it from arrogance

or naivety) regulars to the curry feast set aside their knives and forks

and donned their headscarves, took up their controls and put forward

a showcase of work which inspired discussion and debate akin to that

of the 'eating a carrot is the same as killing a cow' argument.

mv Maybrent hopes to host a number of London's marionette

practitioners in this, the first of (hopefully!) a regular series of Argy-Bargies!

Puppetician, Kevin Griffiths (BAFTA award winner!) kicked off the

proceedings with a chirpily titled shadow puppet show 'Is Ted Dead?'...

Tom loves bouncing on his bed...But not today. He's looking for his friend Ted...

We all had our fingers crossed for Tom!

Amy Hazeldine showcased a shadow puppet piece, freshly scissored,

entitled 'Scarlett's Cape'. A modern retelling of Perrault's fairytale

'Little Red Riding Hood'. Warning: Very dark undertones, not Disney-coated!

Kate Middleton presented a poem in which a father recounts his thoughts

as he watches his son play. Themes of time, space and age were poignantly

explored with the use of marionettes and original music written and performed

by musician extraordinaire Joshua Percy Middleton helped out by fellow operator

Stanley Middleton (in one of his roles of the evening) and Director/Lighting

Technician, Rob Humphreys (also renowned for his acclaimed role as 'Snow'

in the 2008 production of 'Scrooge').

Athena Vassilakis, in typical well-rehearsed style, down to the finest detail,

presented 'The Blossom Tree', with monumental, groundbreaking soundtrack

featuring singing by Celeste Sykes.

Grenville Middleton together with Juliet Rogers and Stan Middleton presented

scene 2 of work in progress. The work is about a quest for wisdom and is also

a quest for the same objective by Gren.

From left to right Grandfather, Gren and Tom Wrigley
Photo by Antonio Escalante