Thanks for joining us, and great to see you all again. Please introduce us to yourselves, and to Amal.
BB: I am Bartolomeo Bartolini; a stilt walker and puppeteer for The Walk and graduate of East 15’s BA Physical Theatre course.
EL: I’m Emma Longthorne, a BA World Performance graduate from 2011 and I work as professional actor and puppeteer.
SC: Hello my name is Sebastian Charles and I trained at East 15 in BA Physical Theatre from 2011. The varied and creative course introduced me to many modules that helped shaped my idea of what direction I might start going in, with regards to my career in this industry.
EL: I first heard about The Walk when I was training in 2019 at the Curious School of Puppetry. I was excited to hear that this important humanitarian project would have a puppet as its central character. Amal offers a representation of the plight of young refugees making a treacherous journey in the hope of finding safety, a home and an education they deserve.
SC: I was invited to audition for The Walk in 2019 and thought the idea and the message was overwhelming beautiful and incredibly important. To even be a guide and helping hand for Amal on her journey would be enough, let alone walk in her shoes at 3.5 metres high.
BB: During the journey I've also been Producer of a platform for The Walk on the Bloomberg Connects App. I collected dozens of perspectives from artists with refugee or migrant background across Europe and with them, we recorded audio guides around what “home” means to them.
When the journey started from Turkey, along the way it was so exciting to meet all these artists who I had talked to only through Zoom, in their new home, I loved to see their faces at the sight of Little Amal.
The piece has been months long and 8000 miles of journey - what is your role on the walk and what have been the particular challenges and highlights along the way?
EL: I am 1 of the 10 puppeteers working on The Walk. It’s our job to help Little Amal on her journey and to accompany her every step of the way. It takes three puppeteers at a time to manipulate her, one on stilts operating ‘the heart’ of Amal controlling her legs, head and body and two puppeteers operating each arm.
SC: Walking in or alongside Amal has been a once in a lifetime experience.
BB: The weather, very hot, very cold, very wet, has been one challenge which all people without a shelter must endure - the feeling of walking through the elements, tired and hungry, whilst not being able to see home at the horizon has struck me as so real for all those whom Amal represents.
SC: For the most part she has been welcomed with open arms anywhere but we faced a challenging time in one area in Greece that tested the strength and unity of our group. Being attacked for supporting this message was a small but very real example of what it must feel like to walk in Amal’s shoes and those that have gone before us.
Amal offers a representation of the plight of young refugees making a treacherous journey in the hope of finding safety, a home and an education they deserve.