This is the teaser image I’ve provided for BalletLORENT, the dance company I was lucky enough to work with on their production of Snow White, who are completing their trilogy gothic fairy tales with Rumpelstiltskin, premiering this October.
On 20th February they are holding a fundraising event for their community cast project, which is all about getting children and older people involved in theatre. Further details and tickets are available here.
The whole production is in its early stages and it’s going to be very exciting to see how it unfolds and what the company do with the story, and the Rumpelstiltskin character… I, for one, cannot wait.
This is the artwork I created for You I and the Sky, the debut album from Clark and Zuppardi, a foot-stomping UK bluegrass duo of which my esteemed brother forms one half.
I love collaborating with him and, given my musical ability is sorely lacking, it was exciting to have this chance to be involved in the project in a way that did not require me to play an instrument.
We wanted the artwork to capture something of the distinctively sky-dominated Norfolk landscape that is the duo’s home whilst also evoking a sense of the open-road American bluegrass tradition from which their music draws its inspiration.
The album is out very soon, you can watch them performing an exclusive track here, and it can already be purchased in digital form here. happy listening!
More about the album:
Blending original compositions infused with a passion for bluegrass and old time music with traditional songs and tunes the debut release from this acoustic duo showcases a uniquely transatlantic take on the American traditions of bluegrass and Appalachian mountain music respectively, strongly influenced by their own British origins. The album features an original repertoire of tunes and songs of their own composition, alongside a selection of tracks from the likes of The Carter Family, old time instrumentals, and a rendition of a shape note piece from the Sacred Harp songbook.
Both seasoned instrumentalists in their own right, the duo have developed their own unique sound with clawhammer banjo, tenor guitar, mandolin and guitar. Nic Zuppardi regularly performs with BBC-folk award nominee Dan Walsh, and is a third of the Georgia Shackleton Trio. Adam Clark is also one half of Nobodaddy, and has worked with a huge range of artists from Mobo award-winner Zara McFarlane to West African ‘Griot’ Sefo Kanuteh.
Radio On is an independent, music-themed comic strip anthology of short stories. I contributed a story to #1, which came out last year.
Excitingly, #2 is out now, with 6 exclusive stories and a wraparound cover.
My own contribution this time round is ‘Professor Valdemar’s Final Experiment’, a darkly comic tale that wonders what our souls might sound like if they could be turned into music…
Here’s a sneak preview:
Both issue are available to buy here, for a mere pittance, but I also have 3 copies to give away absolutely free. To get hold of one, all you have to do is answer the following questions:
The main character in my story takes his name from another character in a short story by a famous gothic writer. Which writer is it, and what is the story in question?
To answer, find me on Facebook (search Sam Zuppardi Illustrator) and send me a message detailing your answer, along with your postal address. (UK entries only, I’m afraid). The first 3 correct responses will all receive a copy of #2.
Good luck, and happy listening!
Another trip to the theatre this week, this time to Theatre Hullabaloo, a company that makes, tours and promotes theatre productions for young audiences.
Their latest production, Bear and Butterfly, combines puppetry, live music and beautiful storytelling to tell a charming tale about love, loss and friendship.
It opened last week and tours until Christmas Eve, be sure to catch it. Here’s the poster I designed for them.
A couple of years ago I saw an amazing production of Rapunzel by dance company balletLORENT, at Newcastle’s Northern Stage theatre. I was so inspired I went home and drew these pictures.
So I was hugely excited to learn recently that it was the first part of a proposed trilogy of fairytale adaptations, and that the next one – Snow White – was touring soon. I was even more excited when the company contacted me and asked if I would like to attend a preview performance and do a couple of illustrations for their programme.
With sketchpad and pencils I went along last Friday and was spoilt for choice in terms of arresting images to draw. balletLORENT’s Snow White – in a clever retelling by Carol Ann Duffy – is a powerful, visceral experience that uses a mesmerising mix of music and dance to tap into something primal and highly emotive.
Like Rapunzel before it, it is dark and evocative and not short of the distinctive visual flourishes that made that production so hauntingly memorable. No bumbling, cuddly dwarves here, instead a gaggle of gangly, sharp-edged miners, twisted and bent out of shape through years of toiling in the mines. Beautifully choreographed and performed, I think their scenes were my stand-out moments.
But there was no shortage to choose from – like the wild and seriously monstrous woods, the haunting magic mirror or the ongoing dance between Snow White and her mother, slowly soured by envy. I should also mention the stonking soundtrack by Murray Gold, which, interwoven with Lindsay Duncan’s elegant narration, holds everything together and ensures you can feel the beat of the dance in your very bones. The show opens 16th October and tours through the winter. I strongly urge you to catch it. The programme’s not bad either.
Interior Title Page
Kids’ Colouring Page
As promised, here’s another batch of letters from the kids at Selby Primary School…
Thanks again to everyone who sent one, you guys certainly know how to write a good letter. I wish I could share them all!
I’ve just received some fantastic thank-you letters from the kids at Selby Community Primary School, following their work on ‘The Nowhere Box.’ They decorated their letters with pictures and also drew their own portraits of the family from the book. I’ll be posting up a selection today and tomorrow for you to take a look…