Blind Summit’s mission is to reinvent the idea of puppetry and bring contemporary puppeteering to a new audience. In their own words, they say that they ‘see puppetry as a radical part of the reinvention of theatre in our time.’ Mark Down acts as Blind Summit’s Artistic Director, and has held the post since founding the company in 1997 with Nick Barnes. He plays an active, engaging role within the company; directing, designing, writing and performing, drawing upon his dramatic training at the Central School of Speech and Drama.
盲顶的使命在于重新定义木偶艺术,并将当代木偶戏带给新的受众。用他们自己的话来说, 他们“视木偶艺术为我们这个时代对剧场再创造的关键一环。” 马克·道尓（Mark Down）是盲顶剧场的艺术总监，他自1997年与尼克·巴恩斯(Nick Barnes)共同建立公司起便担此职务。由于他曾在中央演讲和戏剧学院深造，有良好的戏剧功底，在公司里他亲历亲为，从导演，设计，撰写，到演绎事必躬亲。
Blind Summit work with a rigorous and exciting form of puppetry: inspired by traditional Japanese Bunraku, a team of three performers work together with a single puppet to create a riveting show. As a touring company, they are allowed a degree of flexibility within their productions – they devise shows, commission new works from artists with raw talent and create bespoke puppets for each production. Blind Summit therefore pioneer and advocate new and exciting pieces of theatre that are not purely categorised by their usage of puppets.
盲顶的木偶剧形式严肃而有趣：他们的灵感来自传统的日本文乐木偶，三位表演者同时操纵一只木偶而为观众带来引人入胜的演出。作为一个巡回剧场，他们的制作可以允许一定的灵活性 — 他们策划剧目，向技艺高超的艺人委托新剧本，并定制相关的木偶。因此，盲顶带领并提倡创新而新颖的剧场并不局限于木偶的运用。
Lowlife, the company’s cult hit which began life in 2005 and toured internationally for four years, is a prime demonstration of their company ethos. Down and Barnes have always maintained that the company seeks to bring puppetry to a broadly adult audience, and the gin-suffused cabaret, with its melancholic and darkly comedic tone, took from Charles Bukowski’s short stories to create a show which redefined the concept of puppeteering within theatrical convention.
As a flexible and adaptable company, Blind Summit has brought multiple productions across the world and to China. Their latest venture, the original devised piece ‘The Table’ creates a fascinating tension between comedy and philosophy through the medium of a cardboard puppet named Moses, who seeks to tell his audience a story about life and death, whilst also being ‘like a cross [between] Tommy Cooper and Eddie Izzard’. The image onstage is an intriguingly stark one – all there is to the set is a smooth white table with a slouched, wizened cardboard puppet striding about his tiny confines, operated by three black-clad puppeteers. The show seeks to explore the Biblical character of Moses, delving particularly into the idea of his absolute mortality and role as God’s mouthpiece. Exploring Moses’ humanity alongside God’s absolute divinity pushed Dawson to draw upon influences such as Beckett and Sartre in order to create a devised piece exploring the existential and almost absurdist nature of God’s relationship with mankind.
作为一个灵活的而变通的公司，盲顶为全世界，以及中国带来了许多戏剧制作。他们最新的尝试，独创剧目‘桌子’，以名为摩西(Moses)的纸板木偶为媒介，营造喜剧与哲学间的迷人张力。他们尝试为观众讲诉一个生命和死亡的故事，同时又“像一个汤米·库珀(Tommy Copper)和埃迪·伊扎德[(Eddie Izzard)之间]的十字架”。舞台上的图像了充满魅力的质朴—- 唯一的东西是一张光滑的白桌子，干瘪的纸板木偶跨越于他的小框框间，被三个黑衣木偶艺人操纵着。这个戏剧旨在探讨圣经人物摩西，尤其是探究他的必死的命运以及神的代言人的身份。为探索摩西的人类性，与上帝的绝对神性，道森(Down)从贝克特(Beckett)和萨特画(Sarter)那里找寻灵感与线索，以设计出一部关于探索存在主义，以及几近荒诞本质的神和人类之间关系的剧本。
The company has also consistently collaborated with other theatrical pioneers, including Anthony Mighella on the ENO’s Madama Butterfly, and more recently, Simon McBurney’s Complicite on The Master and Margarita and A Dog’s Heart. A Dog’s Heart, an original opera by Alexander Raskatov and which was the first opera McBurney directed, was widely heralded as a completely innovative form of opera, the likes of which had not been seen before. An opera which contained such directorial devices as arias belted out of megaphones and brash, braying electric guitars updated the art form into something less elitist as it was perhaps previously thought to be, and this proved a natural way for Blind Summit to find their way into the production. Bulgakov’s story of a dog which is transformed into a man in a horrific, Frankenstein-type story pushed McBurney to seek out the company in order to create the most fundamental part of the piece. Blind Summit’s dog puppet, a charcoal coloured, skeletal monster which limped across the stage accompanied by inhuman shrieks and growls interspersed with Peter Hoare’s stunning operatic voice, was the pivot of the production and an image which remained with the audience long after the dog transformed into a lecherous man at the end of the first act.
该公司还坚持与其他戏剧先驱合作，包括ENO剧院“蝴蝶夫人”里的安东尼米赫拉 (Anthony Mighella)。Complicite剧院“大师与玛格丽塔”与“狗的心”里的西蒙麦克布(Simon McBurney)则是近期合作对象。“狗的心”是一部前所未有的由亚历山大拉卡托 (Alexander Raskato)原创的歌剧，这也是他第一部执导的歌剧，被广泛誉为一种完全创新的形式。这场歌剧中用到的导演设备包括让咏叹调轰出的扩音器，吵闹的叫声电吉他等。这些运用减少了歌剧的精英主义意识，完全更新了人们对这种艺术形式的观念。因此，盲顶采用他们的手法是自然而然的。布佳(Bulgakov) 的狗的故事逐渐转化成一个类似 “科学怪人”里的人的恐怖故事，致使麦克布(McBurney)寻找剧组来创作出这段故事的最基础部分。盲顶的狗木偶是一只木炭色，骨骼般的怪物，伴随着惨无人道的尖叫与咆哮，穿插着彼得·霍尔 (Peter Hoare)的惊艳歌喉，这只怪物一瘸一拐的走向舞台。他作为剧作的支点，他塑造的形象直到狗变身成为一个好色的男人，以及第一幕结束后，仍深深印在观众心中不可磨灭。
One of their most exciting productions seen by Chinese audiences was the company’s production of Mozart’s seminal opera, The Magic Flute, which premiered in 2013 at the world-renowned Bregenz Festival, directed by David Pountney and containing twelve Blind Summit puppeteers. A performance that can only be described as a huge spectacle was produced on the world’s largest floating stage on Lake Constance, and contained huge bird puppets operated by three puppeteers and fire breathing dragons. Taking on an ‘Alice in Wonderland’ type tone, the puppets used were revived in 2014 in a production of Le Rossignol, directed by Down.
他们被中国观众最为熟识的是该剧团的制作，莫扎特的种子歌剧“魔笛”。它由世界著名导演大卫庞尼(David Pountney)执导，带领12位盲顶木偶艺术家，首映于2013年布雷根茨艺术节 (Bregenz Festival)。这是一出史无前例的表演，它在世界最大的漂浮舞台康斯坦茨湖(Lake Constance)上制作，带出由三位木偶艺人操纵的庞大鸟木偶，以及会喷火的飞龙。采用的“爱丽丝梦游仙境”式的色调，这些木偶在2014年道尓(Down)导演的夜莺(Le Rossignol)制作中再次被启用。
As a company, it appears Blind Summit have consistently and without fail looked to create stimulating theatre above all else, with their puppets acting as more of a conduit for this aim rather than anything more extraneous.
Mr China’s Son
Holly Flying Circus
Call of the Wide
Puss in Boots Production
Olympic Opening Ceremony
The Paper Story
The Table – R + D