Friday, September 18, 2009

New Victory Scottish Festival: Shona Reppe & CINDERELLA

An Interview with CINDERELLA creator and puppeteer Shona Reppe

What inspired you to adapt the story of CINDERELLA? Cinderella is the most well known story in the world. It was an exciting challenge to retell the story in my own style. Assuming the audience is familiar with the story meant I could be more abstract with the way I told it.

What makes your version unique?
It’s based on the Grimm’s version of Cinderella and is darker and stranger than the one Disney tells!

Where did the idea for the unique tabletop puppet stage come from?
I love the possibilities for the solo puppeteer using a tabletop set. It means I can switch from puppeteer to character very easily. There is a tradition of tabletop puppetry in Eastern Europe and table top puppets have always fascinated me.

How many places has the show traveled to?
As well as touring all over the UK, CINDERELLA has been performed in France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Japan, Canada and the US.

What has been your favorite so far?
Without sounding boring they have all been great in different ways - performing in Japanese was a challenge!

As the only performer in the show, playing so many roles, how do make each character distinct as you switch from one role to the next?
They are all versions of myself and I've done the show so many times now they are firmly fixed in my head. I love doing the Ugly sisters. I think they are based on people I know....

How long did it take you to develop and rehearse the show and these characters?

Not long - about 3 weeks. I rehearsed in quite a short space of time and have fine-tuned the show as I have gone along. I love performing CINDERELLA.

Are there any other fun facts or anecdotes about the show or your career that you would like to share with our audiences?
Cinderella’s legs falling off once, was quite memorable and the lights and sound blew during a show recently. Oh yes, and I've done a show in a greenhouse on a hot day and my audience started to slowly leave as the heat became unbearable and I was left with one very red-faced girl determined to see it to the end (as was I!).

Photo by Douglas McBride.

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