So we threw everything out and started again. Took him out of the shopping trolley. Cut his speeches. Changed the dialogue. Added a 2 more people to the cast. Out with the old in with the new.
Having spent 6 months almost going over and over old material the penny finally dropped. The solution we were looking for wasn't there. The original idea behind "Tramping the Boards" came from thinking that the stage picture of me sitting on a chair beside the puppet, which was sitting on a shopping trolley, could be a son nursing his dying father. The idea was to make a text that grew out of this puppet-puppeteer relationship. We were exploring the same idea in The Spaceman. And in Mr China's Son. And The Table. Going back to this old material, the image no-longer looks like that to me. A son does not nurse a father by sticking his hand inside the head and waggling him around! A father does not turn into black plastic bags and stuff himself in a shopping trolley when he is dying. These need different explanations for me now. Explanations I can't find.
So after repetitious workshopping and helpful feedback from the students after a couple of tryout performances at Wimbledon College of Art now we're going a different route. With 2 months to go we will start again. With this burnt out Tom Baker lookalike creature. And with a slightly grown cast of three. D-Day 4th May in Il Funaro!