The “Propagandist” Characters
(Videos below text)
When I was researching lace folklore, one thing that I found really fascinating was the fact that a lot of the lace legends didn’t seem to surface until the nineteenth century – after the invention of machine made lace.
There were many patrons of handmade lace (for example, the Catholic Church) and also the people profiting from it (such as the lace dealers) who wanted to perpetuate various romantic tropes about lacemaking. These include, for example, the humble, pure lacemaker toiling at her lace cushion, and the intervention of the Virgin Mary. It interests me that these lace legends almost served as propaganda, or even a political tool. These people, or propagandists, would probably have wanted to encourage these motifs in order to preserve the special status of handmade lace as the machine pushed it into decline.
We are currently thinking that we might like the eventual show to include two characters which represent the propagandists, who spin various tales about lacemaking for self serving reasons.
These puppets will probably be glove puppets, and will be able to interfere and manipulate the smaller rod marionette puppets. So far I have made very quick, rough versions of these characters for devising purposes.
The Lace Patron/Historian (a well-to-do Victorian woman, based loosely on Fanny Bury-Palliser, author of A History of Lace)
Below is a short video of the clergyman talking about lace.
Below is a video of the clergyman in conversation with The Night Tangler (Old Bob)