After posting my video with Fifi the Fairy I feel I should explore the feelings connected with this special puppet.
When I first made Fifi 16 years ago, my intention was to make a fairy puppet. She quickly became a baby character and I realised that her value lay in her innocence and congruence and her cheeky feisty character. She had terrific comedy value as she says what she sees with no inhibitions, with the simple view of a very young child, full of awe and wonder. She was also a wonderful vehicle for comedy, with the natural ‘bottom’ humour that all young children possess. For so long our children’s lives are taken up with nappies, potty training and eventually graduating to a full size lavatory, so little wonder that our humour as children can be very basic. A lot of pride and achievement is connected with this progression but children are not really ‘allowed’ to talk about it as that side of life isn’t really polite, so it builds up this head of steam that is perfect for release with comedy. Yes, I share this simple sense of humour, but I like to think that it isn’t coarse or vulgar the way it is presented with my young audience, but just a big bucketload of belly laughs. I’ve witnessed a six year old boy laughing so hard sitting with his legs crossed on the floor that he bent forward from the waist and bashed his head on the floor. Ouch! But he laughed it off.
So Fifi is easy for children to relate to as she shares the small triumphs that all children experience.
She isn’t very pretty, to say the least but I believe she is beautiful and it shows from within. Believe it or not , Fifi is probably more popular with boys than girls as Fifi challenges young girls perception of how a fairy should look and sometimes they are a little annoyed to see that she is far off the Disney Tinkerbell ideal. But she has this inner strength and a twinkle in her purple eyes and this is how she manages to woo her audience with her faded charms.
Fifi is very good at giving magic wishes with her wobbly wand to birthday boys and girls and loves to sing happy birthday too. She also has two of her own original puppet shows , one where she goes to school for the first time and manages to turn her teacher into a witch by mistake and the other where she goes to London Zoo and gets lost running away from the reptile house but manages to have an animal adventure all of her own before her mummy finds her with the help of Zoo security. ( My puppet PC Porker)