Taking the stress out of your child's annual celebrations!

Posts tagged ‘South Africa’

The International Language of Puppets

Painting by children, International Peace Day ...

Image via Wikipedia

One of the wonderful advantages of being a London Children’s Entertainer is the opportunity I get to meet people from all over the world and to share in that cultural festivity that is a children’s birthday party.

I’ve performed for people from all over the the world in my 18 years of being a children’s entertainer including Japan, Russia, Saudia Arabia  and Australia. In the past week  alone I have done parties for people from:

South Africa : land of braaivleis ( barbecue to you and I) and boerewors ( very yummy meaty sausages) the Springbok rugby team and also the land where I lived between ages 10 and 21. The party children sat enraptured and giggling their socks off at the antics of the silly puppets.

 

India: It was a splendid outdoor party for a lovely gentle couple with the sweetest daughters. I wish I had a waterfall in my back garden.

 

Italy: This was a fun, boisterous but enjoyable party with energetic boys who relished being vampires and tigers. I loved performing in their ‘football ‘ room complete with it’s full sized football stadium wall piece. Go Chelsea!

Fifi loves giving hugs

Fifi the fairy got lots of  hugs at this party. Boys really do love her!

 

France:  The French really appreciate puppets. I have  many French clients and they are always a joy to work for. It’s always fun to practice the French I learned at school. My puppets mask my ineptitude as I struggle with my vocab. Joyez Anniversaire! ( The cake is always splendide!)

 

 

Spain: Pinata! The wonderful spirit of the Latin party, full of noise and ebullience and fun. Not for the shy and retiring , the spanish party is a family affair with the grown- ups having just as much fun as the kids. This last party I was really touched by grandma of the birthday child coming up to me and saying: ” Diane, my English is not good but you were magnificent. ” Thank you Grandma. I appreciate the love.

 

I just love London. What other city is such a wonderful melting pot?

 

 

 

 

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Out of Africa

an Axatse (rattle from Ghana)

Image via Wikipedia

I was born in the midlands, England ( ahem) years ago. When I was ten my parents decided to emigrate to South Africa so I packed my teddy and prepared  to see lions.

I never really did see lions, except in a Zoo. My childish ideas of Africa were born in the mythology of the childhood Jungle where the Lion is the king. I didn’t expect the bright lights and heaven forbid, fish and chip shops! Cape Town and the beautiful Table Mountain became my home for over a decade.

I lived at the very tip of Africa for eleven years, and soaked up the sun and the culture and vibrancy until I decided it was time to return to my roots. I didn’t regret my African experience, far from it, Africa fired my loins and gave me my love for bright colours and a deep passion for African music ( and an awakening of my political awareness as I was dropped into Apartheid South Africa which shook me to my very core).

Today in my job as a children’s entertainer and storyteller, I told African stories at a South East London school. It was lovely to be able to bring a piece of my African memory and passion to such lovely children. They lapped up the stories of the trickster Spider Anansi, and were enthralled at my clumsy rendition of Nyame the Sky God,

My vision of Nyame the Sky God, in papier mache

as I hid behind my paper mache mask. They chuckled at the burping Lion and the silly witch called 5 and we explored yams and beautiful African fabric.

The box of stories and the sticky doll

I spoke about the web of stories that Anansi has spun around the globe, reaching far and wide from their origins in Ghana , travelling across the Caribbean and over to North America and all over Africa and we ended the stories by jumping on an imaginary bed with Jaffa, my monkey.

The cast and crew from the Anansi Spider tales

It was a delightful day at work.

The last time I told Anansi stories at a school in Brixton, upon showing the children the Sky God mask and the magic box of stories, one boy declared that he was going to call the police as I had stolen stuff from the museum. Bless him. I had to get him up to the front so he could see that the mask and box were just made of cardboard. 🙂

Storyteller Diane of Diane's Puppets tells Anansi Stories

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