Public Anatomy is a seven minute long puppet slam adventure created as part of LaMama Experimental Theatre Clubs 2017 Slam. The piece follows a bird-like creature that has found itself in a lab of sorts. The audience and puppet together discover that the essence of its being is being harvested.
The tabletop bunraku style puppet at the centre of the piece comprises of five smaller puppets, each representative of an aspect of human nature. These elements are coaxed out as the piece unfolds by a sinister technological presence. Originally conceived as a subway busking show, the piece uses imaginative design to send a simple message about the modern age.
Building the puppet.
The puppet was designed according to the ideas each element hoped to express. The lightbulb in the puppets head representing it's 'hopes and dreams', twisted lips, opened to reveal an insidious tongue, 'the truth we won't admit'.
Each puppet element uses a mechanism to conceal something, which is then extracted during the performance.
Eyes concealed in the puppets' ankles blink open to reveal 'the path you didn't take'. While a tentacle 'heart' guards 'your biggest fear' located in its birdcage 'stomach'.
The tentacle heart is designed so that each individual tentacle is controlled via a panel at its base. The puppeteer levers this panel in different directions to vary movement.
The performance was created as a collaboration with Ben Elling, who produced the script and video concept. Rosa Douglas gave the initial idea and designed and constructed the puppet. Travis Wright produced the soundscape underpinning the piece.
With additional help from Danny Wirtheim, Andrew Jones, André Revels and Lily Rosen.