Written by Colette
Moonbeam are pleased to announce that our first live performance as a company, at Creative Folkestone’s ‘The Plinth’ festival, was a success! Despite the weather not going our way, we pushed on, determined to perform and showcase our work to the public. In the times we are living in, we cannot be sure when the next opportunity to experience live performance will be, so we didn’t want to miss this chance to share a live experience with the people of Folkestone.
Moments before we were due to start our performance, the heavens opened, dispersing the public audience who had gathered for the brilliant artists before us and soaking our awaiting audience. Umbrellas were propped up and the stage was slippery, and we were advised to wait and see if the rain would ease. After a while the rain did not show any signs of stopping, but we had come prepared with a gazebo (just in case!) and so it was assembled in the rain. Our bird costume was an integral part of our performance and was made largely of tissue paper so without cover would have disintegrated before our eyes! Therefore using a gazebo, although not ideal, was the best and safest option for us to perform. Our audience, shielded under their umbrellas, continued to support us and wait in the rain, which we were extremely thankful for.
Once all set up, we were ready to perform for our audience and I am pleased to say they said it was worth the wait! Combining makaton signing, singing and story-telling, our piece depicted a short tale about four pixie woodland creatures in awe of a beautiful flying bird. Our bright green costumes, combined with the multi-sensory colourful bird costume – meant the performance was bright and eye-catching, especially given the dreary circumstances of the performance. So that’s one thing to thank the rain for! With added moments of audience interaction, including call and response and audience puppet-making during the piece, our performance was engaging and entertaining.
Although, overall, we were pleased with how the performance went, we took time as a company to evaluate and see where improvements needed to be made. It highlighted to us how important it is for our puppets and costumes to be weather resistant and going forward we will ensure that our creations are waterproof and made of a durable material. This was a further issue when our audience were making their own puppets out of tissue paper as the rain was causing the material to tear and fall apart in their hands. This moment was not as effective as we had hoped but we will adapt this in the future.
It was an amazing first experience performing as a company and despite the weather not being on our side, we adapted and did not disappoint our audience or Creative Folkestone, the hosts of this festival and to whom we are very grateful for giving us this opportunity. And it has given us a new motto – “come rain or shine, the show must go on!”