Dear Caldwell family, I wish to begin my letter by saying thank you for allowing me to benefit from the Cymbeline Fund this year which gave my peers and I a fantastic career opportunity to work with Trigger Arts company in Plymouth on the theatrical spectacle: The Hatchling.
It was 6 weeks of rigorous training with physical conditioning, ensemble bonding and high-quality theatre practice followed up by a 2 day performance that brought out thousands of locals, as well as hundreds of visitors and tourists to Plymouth Hoe to engage and watch our dragon puppet come to life.
The rehearsals were intensive, and yet whilst we worked 6 days a week physically training our connections throughout this record-breaking puppet, we were also forging great friendships and networks to industry professionals, and people we would never had had the chance to meet without this opportunity.
The performance was unforgettable; there were hundreds of people involved and thousands came to see it. The dragon puppets (juvenile and adult) prowled across Plymouth’s town centre over August Bank Holiday, engaging with the curious smells of Pretzel shops, the open fields of the Hoe and the unpredictable people that entered the dragon’s gaze. When the puppet transformed into a kite at sundown on the Sunday evening, crowds swarmed prepared with their folding chairs and blankets. They were not disappointed. Despite the low winds, the puppet-now-kite was lifted into the air with a giant helium balloon and it flew across Plymouth Sound attached to boats down below. It really touched the people of Plymouth. For them it was a world-class performance happening on their doorstep. For us it was a reminder of the possibility of the arts and how we can change perception and engage communities that would not normally see theatre.
Our next stop will hopefully be in London with the dragon taking to a new town, it is an exciting time to be a dragon puppeteer.
I once again wish to thank your family graciously for the donation to the Cymbeline Fund because it has led to the improvement of many people’s lives, not just mine and my peers, but the people that this project touches. Yours sincerely,
Adam Yeomans MA Theatre Practice