How the tortoise got his shell, oh Best Beloved

11 May, 2013 § 2 Comments

You may have seen that we had a shell made for us in the UK, it was made of wicker-work by a local artist. It was environmentally responsible and beautiful. Once we got here, however we saw that it would not be able to take the kind of beating it would be expected to in the monkey bus from place to place. So we decided to see if we could get one made in Morocco that could take more abuse. We went to a few different stalls that sold weaving but all their products were either made elsewhere or they were selling to the trade rather than making. Ahmed had the idea of seeing if we could make it out of leather, over a wooden frame.

DSC04868We went down to the Artisan Centre and spoke to the leather-workers there and after some long conversations which made us giggle with Ahmed wearing a shell having a completely serious chat with the worker as though there was nothing amiss! Ahmed then set about making the frame by bending a pole to a shape and then attaching strips that curved to this. When we left it wasn’t finished but I am looking forward to seeing photos once it is done. I think in total it cost around 20 to 50 Euro.

Dressing Teshta

10 May, 2013 § Leave a comment

We bought or acquired the human characters’ costumes in Morocco in order to make them as genuine as possible, to increase the space in our luggage for our personal stuff and things we couldn’t get in Morocco as easily and to save some money! DSC00657We had several characters that would need area-specific costume such as the Village Man and Woman, the Grandfather and the Seller. Ahmed very generously donated things for the Village Man and the Seller and BMCRif had some fezzes which we could use for the Grandfather (only one!). So we went to the Artisan Centre, where the people are working on making their products and you can watch them while they do then they sell them directly to you so you don’t get a huge mark-up and they get to put all the money in their pockets. We bought two futas which are what the village women wear, they are stripey bands of fabric which can be wrapped round the waist or over the shoulders and keep the sun off and keep you warm in the winter.

For the young children in the show we spent a few days looking round in Tetouan and Martil to see what they wore. It turns out the boys all wear sporty jackets, tops and caps and the girls mostly wear pink! The young girls have a great variety of clothes from more traditional style clothes to kaftan-style things to t-shirts and jeans or skirts. The only common denominator is that there is a lot of pink for girls, particularly under 10. Once they get older they seem to lose the obsession. There are also a lot of pigtails.

DSC00610Once again Ahmed came through for us with a sporty jacket and a pink jacket for Yasmin and Dani. Then a cap and a head scarf for the children in the villages, the girls in the villages do tend to cover their heads. So in the end we only bought two futas for under 8 Euro and the tortoise shell. But that, oh best beloved, is a story for another day.

Off to Morocco and the new website

27 April, 2013 § Leave a comment

One more day here before we fly out to Morocco, bags packed, set made, costume done and now… website finished! I will blog when we are back from Morocco but wish us luck.

I leave you with a new picture from the photo shoot with Steven Foster yesterday. Showing the work of Hellen B on the backdrop and Christine Brewster on the shell.

Thanks to them all.

Monkey hugs til we get back
Tortoise forest 1

Monkey shrugs – Check!

10 April, 2013 § Leave a comment

I spent the morning making new monkey shrugs for Teshta and I am now covered in fluff! We still have the gazebo up in the living room for Hellen to come and finish the set. We are getting closer every day and I am beginning to feel like we are going to be ready. I have the basics for Muna to make and then Muna’s fluffy coat but then the sewing is finished! Then Christine Brewster has started making the Ahmed shell and we are desperately trying to find a bag big enough to fit it all in to! I am getting ready to pack our stuff and head out there. 19 days!

Excited monkey hugs

The artist comes

8 April, 2013 § Leave a comment

The talented Hellen Berascola came round yesterday and is back tomorrow to paint our new light-weight book for Teshta the Monkey, the show we are taking to Morocco. Aoife and I made the book the previous weekend, here is Aoife showing the finished product. Tada

I have more pictures on Facebook of the painting but here is one to whet your appetite for the beautiful backdrop Hellen has given the woods.

When she is finished I will put up pictures of both pages for all to see.

Aldenham Park – The debrief

8 April, 2013 § Leave a comment

We had a great time at Aldenham Country Park last Thursday. We had a great audience for the first show, we had to put out extra seating for them! The second show had fewer people but they were all really noisy to make up for their lack of numbers. I have been reviewing some of the footage we got and I am very excited about putting it all together! Big thanks to our actors Bryony Tebbutt, James Gribble, Ben Lawson and Kyle Pocock.

Also thanks to the Hexagon, Dinrino Theatre Services, Dan Bryan, Mike Gribble, Daddy Pocock and Mr Daddy for the lending of equipment that made everything possible. I sadly managed to get no decent photos of the day but I will post some less decent ones when I get a chance to edit them.

Thanks everyone so much

Monkey hugs

Aldenham Country Park here we come!

28 March, 2013 § 2 Comments

Costumes checked, set checked, cast learning lines… all we need now is a couple of great audiences to make the filming a success! Equipment has been generously donated by Dinrino Theatre Services to make sure we get great audio for our video. Really looking forward to it.

If anyone is in North London and fancies a trip out to Aldenham Country Park on Thursday the 4th at 12 and 2 (Stanmore is the nearest tube stop) then we would welcome noisy audiences. It is free to see the show.

Monkey hugs

Cast confirmed for April

12 March, 2013 § Leave a comment

We are happy to announce our new cast for two shows in April at Aldenham Country Park on the 4th. Bryony Tebbutt and Ben Lawson will be reprising their roles as the multi-part male and female characters and we are welcoming Kyle Pocock and James Gribble into the cast as the Roloway and Local Man respectively. Rehearsals start next month and look out for the upcoming video output!

Monkey Hugs

Laura’s off on tour

5 February, 2013 § Leave a comment

MASC would like to say congrats and break a leg to Laura Fisher who played Muna and the Roloway for us over the past year. She worked really hard for us and she now has a tour doing classical theatre so well done. We will miss her in March and May but we wish her all the best. Here she is being the Roloway in Cornwall for us last September.DSCF4979

Teshta script draft completed!

22 January, 2013 § Leave a comment

I have completed the first full draft of the script for Teshta the Monkey which we will be taking to Morocco in May this year with BMC-Rif. We are planning on teaching local actors how to do the show and I will help with the direction and then we will leave it in their hands to continue performing the show as much as they like. We will ask them to film it from time to time so we can see how it evolves as it goes on. I am feeling excited again now that draft is done! Hooray, just money and logistics to do now!

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