Monday, August 13, 2007

Pantaloon Toons



One of the fun things
about preparing to depart for the far side of the world - not that there are many believe me, is finding long forgotten doodles in the loft. I'm sure I've mentioned that amongst my many follies is fabricating extremely bad art. I do know good art when I see it and I occasionally showcase at House of Pants the work of brilliant artists of my acquaintance, so you can be assured I have no aspirations in that direction. I know my place.

However, I once had what I thought was an outstanding idea for a community project which aspired to high (in the purest sense) art. Naturally my enthusiasm wasn't shared by anyone else. In the early 1990s, I created The Theatre of Australian Native Animals, a classical theatre troupe in homage to Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh's immortal Old Vic (Sydney) company of 1948. Our Company would bring to the stage drama from all spheres and, for the very first time, provide opportunities for marsupials to participate in mainstream theatre. Previously they'd been shamelessly ghettoised in puppetry and, at best, could aspire to hop on parts in Skippy The Bush Kangaroo.

I storyboarded four in all - The Illiad, Hamlet, The Cherry Orchard and the great Australian classic Summer of the Seventeen Doll. Sadly, I can only find two full drafts, although I'm sure I saw a watercolour of 'Up there Cazaly' from Doll kicking around fairly recently. I would like to present the Company's first production for your entertainment in case you haven't made it to Edinburgh. From Behind the Fringe (as you know, Australian Native Animals are by nature quite shy), I give you a little later than planned and with apologies for the faded and jaded appearance of the stars,

The Iliad





















© Noosa Lee 1992



Next time on

The Theatre of Australian Native Animals Presents

HAMLET - PRINCE OF MARSUPIALS

18 comments:

Reading the Signs said...

I love these. Your idea sounds wonderfully bizarre and I can't imagine what exactly you were planning, but I do love these drawings. They remind me of the work of a certain cartoonist whose name escapes me, but anyway he's quite well known, and I like these more. They are funny and weird and touching. I don't know if that was intended, but they just are.

That's so pants said...

Hi Signs

Thanks so much. I'll tell you a funny thing. I turned these into separate frames and sent them out as Christmas cards. There are people who STILL give me funny looks because of it, especially as they got a frame of Hamelet the following year. You need to see the whole play really.

xxx

Pants

Annie said...

You are far too modest. The 'Dog, seek not to entreat me'picture in particular is tragic and comic, all at the same time. Poor smiling koala with an arrow in him. And pardon my ignorance, but what kind of animal is Menelaus?

Ms Baroque said...

Dear TSP. You have NO IDEA how depressed I have been all day - and I'm only telling you now so you'll know how significant it is that I laughed out loud, VERY loud, when I saw this. Specifically, I was enjoying it all very much, but most specifically Achilles with the arrow.

I've always said you deserved better. You genius you.

Ms Baroque said...

And bring on the Hamlet. I can't wait.

That's so pants said...

Hi Annie and welcome

Menelaus is, I think we can safely say, over-realised by a particularly earnest Echidna (a kind of ant eater). Thank you for your kind words. I'll pass them on to both Echidna and Koala. You show great foresight - although it's actually hindsight since these frames are now fifteen years old, but you weren't to know that! Koala goes on to star in Hamlet. You will LOVE him - such range (for a Koala).

Dearest Ms B

How awful that you've been depressed all day - but how wonderful that our native thesps cheered you so. Hamlet is in rehearsal, as I write.


xxx

Pants

Reading the Signs said...

Please put me on your Christmas card list if you ever send these out. Actually, I want the set. And yes, bring on Hamlet and the other plays too, please.

That's so pants said...

Hi Signs

I'll showcase Hamlet next week because I've got it handy. I thought Summer of the Seventeenth Doll was the best (it has cupie dolls in it) but I haven't come across the drawings yet - ditto The Cherry Orchard. I've always wanted them to tackle Pinter - perhaps next year I'll mount a great revival.

xxx

Pants

Andrew said...

Pants, I would like to say nice things about your artwork........but the words are just not coming to me. How about the animals look cute.

That's so pants said...

Hi Andrew

Works for me - thanks.

xxx

Pants

NMJ said...

i LOVE your drawings, pants, and you also have nice handwriting. x

That's so pants said...

Hi NMJ

Ta.

xxx

Pants

trousers said...

Please note I'm not just commenting because you've popped by on my own pages: I've lurked here on occasion.
But this is incredible stuff! It made me laugh, I love the thought that you spent time doing this, it's great and I'm glad you found these drawings again.

Something of the spirit of it also made me think of Michael Bentine's Potty Time, which I hope is taken as a big compliment. x

That's so pants said...

Hi Trousers and welcome

Not at all. I've visited you on a number of occasions - we have so many friends in common and we must be related in some way.

Thanks for what you said - I'll pass it on to the cast. They'll be thrilled of course. You know what these thesps are like.

Funny thing is, I've got several rooms full of idiot stuff that I've done over the years that served no purpose until the internet came along. Surely a reason to love it.

I'd not heard of Potty Time, although I knew who Michael Bentine was. It had finished before I came to Britain (1982). I looked on YouTube but there were no clips available. However, if as a compliment it was meant, so it shall be taken.

xxx

Pants

trousers said...

I CANNOT BELIEVE that no one has thought to post Potty Time up on youtube - I did several searches but the results were something different entirely.

I did find a link which gives a couple of paragraphs on it, worth checking out if you get the time:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/guide/articles/m/michaelbentinesp_7770670.shtml

Political Umpire said...

Pants, you can draw, sing, play Ellington on the piano and write. I'm unworthy.

That's so pants said...

Thanks Trews

It is a bit surprising given who it is. It can only be a matter of time.

xxx

Pants

That's so pants said...

Dearest Pumpie

But I do all of these things extremely badly. I am the cautionary tale that goes with the expression 'jack of all trades, master of none."

Thanks though.

xxx

Pants