The quartet are always up for trying something different. After previous forays into accompanying djembe drumming, or providing background music for a blood-soaked classical play we recently took on a new challenge – shadow puppetry!
A few months ago we acquired a sax quartet arrangement of Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf” where each of the saxes gets to be a different character in the story. The sop gets to be a bird and Peter, the alto is a duck and a hunter, the tenor is a cat and a wolf and finally the bari is the grandfather. We’d played through it and it seemed to work pretty well, but it went back into the pad since we couldn’t really think of an occasion where we’d ever play it – it’s not the kind of thing you can easily slip into the middle of a set.
Fast forward to this summer and we were contacted by Wilburton theatre group, with whom we’ve done a range of activities previously, to ask if we’d be interested in performing at a cabaret evening they were arranging. We suggested the idea of Peter and the Wolf and they in turn suggested that it might be fun to get some of their members involved to act out the action with shadow puppets whilst we played. We weren’t going to turn that down!
The show ran for two nights and featured a wide variety of acts, from two complete short plays to solo singers to small ensembles and, of course, shadow puppets. In terms of a variety show it doesn’t get much more various than that.
We had great fun with the piece. The one regret we had was that due to the way we were laid out on stage we didn’t get to see much of the puppetry, but we heard good things from the people who came to see it. Many thanks to Wilburton theatre group, and Emily Starr in particular, for helping to organise this and we look forward to the next thing we can do together.