Saturday, November 3, 2012

Haunted Playhouse

I'm drinking Earl Grey tea and looking at the new pretty flickering electric candles on the windwosill. Last night, they represented the souls of lost children in a Halloween game I helped to set up and run at a warehouse near Tower Bridge. The warehouse is the same that they film "Dragon's Den" in, it's a wonderful venue, scuffed wooden floors and beams and old brick walls. I spent Thursday building a playhouse that filled a whole floor, using a huge roll of cardboard, assorted sheets and ropes and things from my own collection of toys and illustrations. I really got into it, picked a soundtrack and made a ghost costume from a sheet and a white mask which succeeded in frightening people a lot from what I could hear.
Friday night I dressed up in a crocheted bearskin, and spent all night telling a never-ending crowd of visitors the tragic story of these lost children, and how they could rescue them from the haunted maze. I had a magic frying pan that I banged to give signals, and my main discovery that evening was that if you dress up in a bearskin and bang a pan with a wooden spoon it really helps with getting people's attention.
"These children built their playhouse in a very very very unfortunate place... on an Indian burial ground or something - I'm actually not sure what's downstairs but you're probably safer up here. Well I say safe, that's not true, I mean it's teeming with ghosts. Teeming. - Excuse me" (bangs pan) "You will learn to love this sound. It's the only thing keeping us safe. I try not to use the magic pan too much because to be honest it's pretty weird that it works in the first place, I don't want to break it. Anyway, you are the only ones who can save these children. Or what's left of them. If you find one, pick them up gently... carry them one at the time back to me. ONE AT A TIME! Do NOT put children in your pockets! IT IS WRONG!" (bangs pan again) (screams from the haunted playhouse) "So. Did I tell you what happens when a ghost touches you?"
... and so on. It was quite a strange thing to do, I am not sure where I got that impromptu persona from, and I don't think I would have taken that part of the show on if I hadn't still been in performance mode from doing a two hour workshop for Nintendo.
Here are some of the results from that workshop by the way:
I think they are the print-outs that people didn't pick up at the end of the day, I think they are brilliant but there were some seriously wonderful ones that I didn't get pictures of, I just snapped the leftovers when people had mostly left already. Nintendo Art Academy is actually a lovely bit of software, if you have a DS I'd recommend getting it to turn your console into a digital sketchbook.
Anyway, I'd already been doing a good lot of talking and presenting and explaining, so dressing up as a strange person and banging a drum while making up ghost stories wasn't too hard. Maybe someone will send me a photo, all I have is a picture of myself sitting around with a cold glass of red wine, here:
Anyway, today I have no voice, my legs hurt, and I don't want to communicate with anyone for as long as possible. I watched "Moonrise Kingdom" and read some ghost stories. Tomorrow it's back to work, I have a picture book to make...
But tonight I'll just sit on this sofa by the little flickering fake candles.

2 comments:

HARVEYJAMES said...

did you love moonrise kingdom as much as I did (a lot)

Viviane Schwarz said...

"That's a loaded question."