Close-up: Liz Walker
Is your puppet in crisis? Meet the woman who can pull some strings
Sunday 11 January 2009
It's been a long time since puppet shows were solely the preserve of children's entertainment; these days they can be a very serious business indeed. Just ask Liz Walker, co-founder of Faulty Optic. For 20 years, she and partner Gavin Glover have explored the art form's nightmarish limits, with surreal dramas about puppets in crisis that have been likened to the works of David Lynch and Samuel Beckett.
Walker began her string-pulling career at Islington's Little Angel Theatre in the 1980s. It was there that she met Glover and, in 1987, they set up Faulty Optic to pursue more experimental storytelling. Using 3D animation and electronic soundscapes, their wordless productions have included Soiled, a love story featuring a boxing ballerina and a sparrow with Tourette's; and Dead Wedding, a macabre reinvention of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth.
Fish Clay Perspex, Walker's first solo production, premières here at this month's London International Mime Festival, now in its 32nd year. And she's going back to basics. "Video in theatre has become overused, and often doesn't add a lot," she says. "I wanted to see if I could return to simple puppets and scenarios and still draw the audience into a different world."
Fish Clay Perspex is described as a series of character studies based on "chance, expectation, futility and denial". Tough themes to tackle when you're made of wood, plastic or clay, but Walker says her "actors" are more than up to the task: "I can believe in a puppet more than a [human] actor. I'm always aware that actors are playing a part, whereas puppets have an intrinsic honesty as they can't do anything but be what they are."
'Fish Clay Perspex', Friday to 24 January, Shunt Vaults, London SE1. For details: www.mimefest.co.uk
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Notting Hill Carnival: Woman shares selfie after being ‘punched in face for telling man to stop groping her’
- 2 Keira Knightley topless: Usually conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
- 3 Oil tanker with $100 million cargo goes missing off Texas coast
- 4 George Galloway left with severe bruising after attack in Notting Hill by man 'shouting about the Holocaust'
- 5 Medina: Saudis take a bulldozer to Islam's history
Strictly Come Dancing 2014: Gregg Wallace joins line-up as final celebrities revealed
Great British Bake Off 2014: Ofcom receives 13 complaints about Baked Alaska episode
Nicki Minaj suffers wardrobe malfunction during MTV VMAs performance with Ariana Grande and Jessie J
Best movies on Netflix UK and US: 32 films that will end your endless scrolling
Friends reunion: Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow and Courteney Cox perform mini sketch on Jimmy Kimmel Live
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ukip Douglas Carswell defection: Tory MP jumps ship to join Nigel Farage
- < Previous
- Next >