Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Art of Play: The Ebenezer Scrooge Marionette, 1979

Marionette of Ebenezer Scrooge
Frances and Peter Grant, 1979
The Victoria & Albert Museum

Though made in 1979, this marionette puts me in mind of the Victorian puppets made in the Nineteenth Century by the Tiller-Clowes troupe. Here, we see Ebenezer Scrooge. He was made, along with twenty-two others, by Peter and Frances Grant for their puppet production of “A Christmas Carol.” Their Theater of Marionettes toured Britain in 1979 with this production. 

The Grants had a long history of puppetry. They began their company in the 1960s, and, over time made their way across Britain and Europe to the delight of many.

Frances Grant sculpted the bodies of their marionettes. She used obeche, a tropical wood valued for its smoothness and lack of resin. The faces, hands and feet were also sculpted by Frances who employed epoxy resin to create expressive features. Peter Grant costumed the figures and created all the props. 

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