Polar bears

West Yorkshire Playhouse
'His Dark Materials'

After my work experience at the West Yorkshire Playhouse, I was employed for a month or so at the Playhouse mainly to make/assemble polar bear puppets for the 'His Dark Materials' production which was to open at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre in March 2009 and then to go on tour. These polar bear puppets were a full costume for the actors and were designed by the Blind Summit company. 'His Dark Materials' was adapted from Philip Pullman’s three novels into two full-length plays, written for the stage by Nicholas Wright and directed by Rachel Kavanaugh.

Plastazote was used for the entire puppet, the pieces were cut to shape, glued together and spray painted. I particularly enjoyed making the armour for the bears, painting them to look rusty, aged and worn, and I also enjoyed fitting the eyeballs for the polar bears as it instantly made them all come alive.

For more information on the Blind Summit company: