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Nathan Ritson

Prop Maker, Story Teller

Bio

Sheffield born and bread, with a three year stint down in Brighton, where I recently graduated from the university of Brighton studying 3D design and craft, it is here I developed a love of puppetry and storytelling to compliment my work with props. After volunteering with a local theater and free lancing with a prop making company in Brighton for the summer of 2018, circumstances have led me back up North. 


The Frog and Bone 

Currently I am part of a start up enterprise with other recent graduates looking at heritage and local history and exploring these themes through craft and theater, Collectively we are "The Frog and Bone Theater company". A video clip from our recent show Fire in the Fens, in which we drew inspiration from some of the more obscure local folklore of the Cambridgeshire area, can be seen bellow. 

The Fire in the Fens show was an alternative bonfire night, where the focus was on the folklore of the area rather than the politics of 17th century Britain and beyond. It involved a set built entirely from dead or dying timber, recycled cardboard and chipboard, some old sheets that were going to be thrown out, and thatch made from fallen and pruned branches. All the nails that were used in it's construction were collected from the ashes the next day with a magnet, keeping production costs nice and low. 

I say the ashes, because at the end of the night, the whole set was burnt to become the bonfire. This was the culmination of a plot running through the shadow puppet show that we put on, in which the landlord of the Frog and Bone pub burns it down whilst an old man tells the tales of an almost forgotten time. 

As the set burned, we brought out some of the large Puppet/costumes we had made and set them loose in the audience, before a small firework display and stew, cooked on an open fire for the spectators to indulge in! 

To a Bright and Zesty Future

Now, for anyone wondering why I have a lemon in my mouth, that's down to my final year project at university, a conceptual work where I posed the question to myself, 

What would Britain be like if we powered everything with lemons?

The answer, probably not that great. I created a series of 3 videos, teaching myself as I went, that included three lemon based props and featured a scrip that I wrote, and performed with a friend. Those can be seen on my vimeo profile.