Friday, 7 March 2014


Doris the Pangolin

From the front

From the side

One of my regular jobs is leading the Monday session of Prism Arts Studio Theatre Skills course. This a course for adults with disabilities and we cover a whole range of disciplines connected to theatre including writing, music, costume, puppetry and prop making. The course is led by the participants, they devise and produce performances supported by myself and Prism's lead artist and a range of professional artists who come in to help develop specific areas (for example, at the moment we are working with Haltwhistle Film Project to produce a film of the story we have written.)

Head shot

Scales detail

Our current production, which will be developed as a street theatre piece as well as a film, is called The Morphers and the Dream Vortex. It is set in two parallel worlds and as I don't want to give too much away I will simply tell you that it involves the Morphers (people who turn into animals,) the Dreamcatcher and Mr. Nightmare. Doris is one of the Morphers; as a human she is a helpful caretaker with a curtain obsession, she morphs into a practical pangolin...and that's all I'm going to tell you! In the theatre piece the Morphers will be played by the participants when they are human and will be puppets when they morph into animals.

Basic pangolin shape

Sewing on the scales

Fully scaled

Anyway, this week I have been busy making Doris and here she is. I began by making a simple pattern which I cut out of plain fabric. I then cut out and stitched rows of scales onto the base shape in a mixture of fabrics. I added a gusset underneath so that she would stand nicely and sewed wire into the tail so that it can be coiled up (like a real pangolin) and added buttons for her eyes. She's a little rough around the edges but I'm quite pleased with her.

With the gusset sewn in

Ready to be stuffed


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