Make a shadow puppet performance
Follow this simple step-by-step guide to make your own shadow puppet performance inspired by RAMM’s natural sciences collection.
What will I need?
- Paper or card. The joy of shadow puppetry is that it doesn’t matter if it has been drawn or written on. A cardboard box such as a cereal packet would be perfect. It is simply the shape you need. TIP: if using paper, fold in half before drawing the puppet so it is thicker.
- Sticky tape
- Sticks or something to support and work your puppet eg. garden canes, straws, thick card, paper rolled into a thin tube.
- Split pins or something to hinge parts of the puppets. A small metal screw screwed through the two pieces will work. REMEMBER, you can put on an amazing shadow puppet performance using puppets without any hinged parts.
- Light source. This can be a table lamp, desk lamp, torch, even your phone torch
- White sheet. You can perform against a wall, as the picture shows BUT EVEN BETTER, stretch a white sheet between two chairs. With your puppets and the light source behind the sheet, you can work your magic.
Planning your performance
You will need a story line before deciding on your characters and any scenery. If you are good at thinking up your own stories, that would be great. OR you could use one you already know.
Decide if your characters are going to speak or if you are going to narrate (telling your audience what is happening).
Write down your script. It doesn’t have to be long as a good short performance can be very enjoyable for an audience.
Making your puppets
RAMM has lots of amazing animals, birds and insects in its collection. Check out some RAMMs Animal ideas or look at zoology section of our website for some great ideas.
If you are making a puppet with moving parts, which parts will move? For example, a waving arm, a kicking leg or a nodding head. Keep it simple, as it is hard to move lots of different parts.
Headdress Shadow Performance
Have you seen the Lion King performance on the West End stage? The actors wear headdresses to become the animals. You could do the same for a shadow puppet performance.
You will need to make a band of paper or card to go around your head and stick on the characters and scenery you have made
While you have the sheet up with the light source behind, why not ask a member of your family to sit behind so you could draw their silhouette on a piece of paper? Do they recognise themselves? If you cut it out and stick it onto a piece of paper of a different colour, it will look great.