Behind-the-scenes: Roald Dahl’s The Twits Puppets

Roald Dahl’s The Twits // Designing the Puppets

“Leon started looking at some of the art movements of the early 20th century that also rejected the established rules of the time that focused more on play and nonsense and irrationality. “He was looking at artists from the Dada movement and constructivism. The visual style fragments reality and creates something grotesque that’s quite sympathetic with Roald Dahl’s flavour.” – Director, Michael Barlow

We sat down with designer and puppet maker Leon Hendroff to find out more about the puppets in Roald Dahl’s The Twits!

What was the inspiration for puppets in Roald Dahl’s The Twits?
I was inspired by art movements like Cubism and Constructivism which rebelled against classical, established art aesthetics of the time and turned the aesthetics on their heads! I was also inspired by Bauhaus artists including Picasso and Marcel Janco.

Illustration credit: Leon Hendroff

How did you come up with the concept/design for Roald Dahl’s The Twits?
The concept/design resulted from the collaboration with the creators and directors who suggested the idea of moving away from the style of the Quentin Blake illustrations, which feature in the original book The Twits by Roald Dahl. We looked at numerous visual styles until we saw a raw and naive style cardboard mask by Marcel Janco which embodied the grotesque and unsentimental qualities wanted for this show.

Image credit: Danica Zuks Photography

Any interesting facts about the creative process?
The pipes for the Dead Tree were precisely tuned by a musician to play specific notes!

Image credit: Jessica Wyld Photography

What materials are the puppets and props made of?
The puppets and props are made from a variety of sourced and recycled materials including signage board, muslin, fabric tape, plumbing pipe and parts of various musical instruments! The frog puppet included a legitimate honking clown nose!

Image credit: Danica Zuks Photography

Roald Dahl’s The Twits // World Premiere

DATE: 8 – 27 January
VENUE: 1 Short Street, Fremantle
BOOK TICKETS online or call 9335 5044