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Beowulf - a contemporary version of the famous epic, combining table-top puppetry with live music and poetry.
90 backers pledged £2,220 to help bring this project to life.

About

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£2,220

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Kicking It Forward

We are pledging to return profit generated from Beowulf at Brighton Fringe 2014 to Kickstarter projects.

 What is the project?

Beowulf is a theatre performance taking place at the Brighton Fringe Festival in May

A Saxon poet performs his tale entirely in verse, bringing the story to life with a memorable cast of puppet characters, each with their own unique voice and style. They debate, dance, and battle their way through a story about bravery, fame and humanity.

Barely Human Puppets performing Beowulf October 2013
Barely Human Puppets performing Beowulf October 2013

Beowulf is a popular event, attracting sold-out audiences to four performances in Autumn 2013. Barely Human Puppets are a vibrant ensemble, bringing the legend to life with energy and humour.

We are working very hard to raise money from various sources in addition to this Kickstarter campaign. Daisy is running a six week puppet making workshop in partnership with Draw Brighton at New England House, Brighton. We are also delivering a series of school workshops, making puppets and telling stories with the children.

But all of this isn't even enough to pay the performers - we have applied to the Arts Council Grants for the Arts Scheme to hopefully find the £5,000 needed to cover their fees.

The Project So Far...

Barely Human Puppets began rehearsing in July 2013 - click the image below to see our documentation of rehearsals on Instagram,

Beowulf in Rehearsal
Beowulf in Rehearsal

Beowulf was first performed at the Theatre Royal Brighton as part of its successful Out of Hours season last October. 

Barely Human Puppets Theatre Royal Brighton
Barely Human Puppets Theatre Royal Brighton

 Read our review from the Theatre Royal Brighton here.

I can't afford to pledge...can I still help? 

YES!

If you would like to help - just spread the word - word-of-mouth is make or break for most Kickstarter campaigns. 

Here are some links you can share 

barelyhumanpuppets.tumblr.com

@BHPuppets - hashtag #Beowulf2014

Facebook

Kickstarter Video

The Puppets

The real stars of the show are the puppets, and we would like to share a little bit about how they were made. Daisy carves into Celotex insulation to create the faces, hands and feet. The Celotex is covered with a layer of paper mache before painting. The bodies of the puppets are made from wood and connected with wire. 

All costumes were provided by Kerrie Curzon. 

For more photos of the puppet making process click the heads below for Daisy's Instagram.

Puppet heads being painted
Puppet heads being painted

Brighton Fringe

The Dukebox Theatre is hosting our performances of Beowulf at Brighton Fringe 2014. The Dukebox is a superb venue close to the sea - and Latest 7 named them as Best Venue of the Fringe last year. 

Beowulf performance dates -

Saturday 3rd May 3.30pm

Saturday 10th May 3.30pm

Sunday 11th May 3.30pm

Tuesday 20th May 8pm

We've already got some great support for the project - we've been awarded the Ideas Tap Brighton Fringe Award which offers support and mentoring for the event, as well as £1,000 towards our budget. Only four events have been chosen so we're extremely excited to have this additional support.

Click the image above to see tons of photos and documents about Beowulf on Jessica's Ideas Tap portfolio.

Grendel
Grendel

Rural Touring

We want to perform Beowulf at Brighton Fringe to give us the best possible platform for inviting programmers from rural touring schemes and small-scale venues across Kent and Sussex. 

So, if you help to fund Beowulf now and we get to Brighton Fringe, you don't just get this show on the road for the 160 people that can fit into the Dukebox - you also help to bring this show to smaller, rural communities, who don't have easy access to theatre and the arts.

Why have we decided to use Kickstarter?

Barely Human Puppets have decided to use Kickstarter because we love the direct contact with backers. We want every one of you to be as passionate about this production as we are, and to invite you into the creative process. Kickstarter makes this possible by allowing us to message backers directly and thank them for pledges. It's not just about receiving money and spending it. It's a creative exchange. 

Remember, any amount offered is subject to us reaching our target, if we fall short, then no money will leave your account. 

We are an emerging company, so it's just as important for us to build support as it is to raise money. Kickstarter has helped many companies build their online profile and collaborate with other artists - we hope to expand our support.

Of course, we do desperately need the funds we hope will be raised by this campaign. Theatre is an expensive business and the income from ticket sales alone often can't guarantee any sustainability. 

With this Kickstarter money we will buy puppet and set making materials for the changes we will make in rehearsals leading up to the Fringe, boring but necessary things like insurance, postage and printing costs, and the money will help to pay our Project Manager - who is making all of this possible.

  • £400 - rehearsal space hire
  • £100 - insurance
  • £50 - admin costs, printing, postage
  • £200 - puppet and set making costs
  • £1000 - Project Manager fees
  • £250 - Registration and advertising fees for Brighton Fringe 
  • £200 - Kickstarter fees and transaction charges

How can I get involved?

Everyone who gives, no matter how small, will receive a Barely Human Puppets badge (we're all wearing them in the video if you want to see what they look like!)

£5+ also earns you a special thanks.

£10+ is worth a personal postcard with an update on the progress of the show.

£15+ gets you a whole set of badges! You can wear Grendel's face with pride. 

£25+ is an invite to the dress rehearsal of Beowulf. This exclusive peek behind the scenes will definitely include a post-show drink with the cast!

£50+ will award you with a signed copy of the script, specially bound and delivered with a personal postcard.

£100+ is such a bumper amount that Laura and Daisy will make you your very own shadow puppet. Whatever creature you want.

£200+ would blow us away so much that you can join Daisy on her course of puppet making workshops at New England House, Brighton

£1000+ is so stupendous that we will stage a private performance of Beowulf for you and your family - an ideal reward for someone living outside Brighton who can't see the show for the Fringe - maybe you and your friends can club together?!

Risks and challenges

There will be many challenges facing Barely Human Puppets as we get this show on the road again!

Promoting the event to audiences at the Brighton Fringe will be a big task, however with the combined experience of our Project Manager and the rest of the company we are confident that we have a really good shot at being able to put together a successful marketing campaign.

We also want to take some more artistic risks with the piece which is why we are employing outside practitioners to raise the quality and scope of the performance.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £5 or more About US$ 6

    Our Kickstarter badge - the Barely Human Puppets logo against a white background and a special thanks on social media.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge £10 or more About US$ 12

    As if I was there - in response to demand from overseas pledgers we are launching a new reward - a recording of 'Beowulf' so you can watch wherever you are in the world!

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    13 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge £10 or more About US$ 12

    Barely Human Puppets poster designed by Laura Dumbrell (same style as our black and white logo). Signed by the company.

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    Limited 6 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge £15 or more About US$ 18

    Set of four badges featuring the Barely Human Puppets logo and photos from the show - wear with pride!

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    Limited 4 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge £15 or more About US$ 18

    Due to great demand we have extend the £15 reward for another five backers! So if you pledge £15 or more you can secure a set of four Barely Human Puppets badges with photos from the show.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge £15 or more About US$ 18

    Want to let people know about your project, or begin to build a network online? Social media is a powerful tool, but can seem a little bewildering. Our Project Manager Jessica is offering a one hour social media coaching session in person or via Skype for only £15!

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge £20 or more About US$ 24

    A copy of Craig Jordan Baker's script of 'Beowulf' signed by the company and a set of Barely Human Puppets badges.

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    4 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge £20 or more About US$ 24

    A creative coaching session (one hour) with our Project Manager Jessica - she is offering the opportunity to talk through your creative ideas, either in person or via Skype, and help you to kick off your own projects!

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    Limited 0 backers
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge £20 or more About US$ 24

    One hour poetry session with the writer of Beowulf - Craig Jordan-Baker. Send him your poetry and he will give a session in person or over Skype working on your pieces.

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge £25 or more About US$ 30

    Exclusive invitation to the dress rehearsal of Beowulf in Brighton. Drinks and chats with the company post-show.

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    Limited 6 backers
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge £35 or more About US$ 43

    Barely Human Puppets poster designed by Laura Dumbrell (same style as our black and white logo) in a stylish black frame. Signed by the company.

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    Ships to Only United Kingdom
    Limited 4 backers
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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge £200 or more About US$ 243

    Secure a place on Daisy's puppet making course in partnership with Draw Brighton at New England House. Design and create your own puppet under Daisy's expert guidance.

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  13. Select this reward

    Pledge £1,000 or more About US$ 1,215

    A fantastic, exclusive reward.
    A private performance of Beowulf for your friends and family at the Dukebox Theatre, with the opportunity to meet the cast, have a play with the puppets and get right into the Anglo-Saxon spirit of the piece! Includes an additional reward of your choice from the range.

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  14. Reward no longer available

    Pledge £10 or more About US$ 12

    A personal postcard designed by Daisy with updates on the rehearsal process of Beowulf.

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    Reward no longer available 5 backers
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  15. Reward no longer available

    Pledge £100 or more About US$ 122

    Laura and Daisy will create you a unique shadow puppet. You will be part of the design process, resulting in a truly unique gift or memento.

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    Reward no longer available 3 backers
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Funding period

- (30 days)