Miss Murphy’s fabulous troupe of performing ‘Pantomime Ponies’ perform specially choreographed ‘dressage’ routines.
These performances are improvised to respond to different events, festivals and locations referencing local cultures, events and contexts. The process of their creation is highly collaborative, fun and often involves the participation of local communities, artists, dancers – and those burning to express their ‘inner pony’. We offer a range of costume and choreography workshops to create new breeds and pony performances
We welcome new members and are always open to opportunities and invitations to create performances that allow us to explore, create and celebrate different kinds of costume, new forms of choreography and to conquer new musical territories..
We are keen to develop performances, interventions and installations ponies new cultural, urban and countryside contexts across the UK and internationally.
We invite you to release your inner pony by joining our travelling troupe!
No previous equestrian experience is necessary, however a good sense of rhythm and ability to follow instructions is required. The ponies are a collaborative team who take it in turns to lead or follow, depending on aptitude and back health.
Testimonials from participants:
“Yes, Yes, Yes!” Andolie Marguerite, artist and writer
“I never thought that being the back end of a pony would be so exhilarating! From rehearsing the choreography together, then donning the costumes and performing in front of enthralled audiences, it’s always such a fun and rewarding experience” Chris McDonald, Advertising Creative
” Being a pony was a liberating experience – in your pony guise, you’re free to move and act in ways that you normally wouldn’t. The partnership between the front and back of the pony is wonderful for developing trust, communication and social skills. As a teacher, I’d recommend everyone tries being a pony – I know my class would benefit from the sheer fun and playfulness of it!” Amy Tupman, artist and educator
“Being a pony allowed me to get in touch with the playful part of me that is not usually part of my own art practice. For me being a pony performer had a certain gravitas and I enjoyed repeating this to friends on a regular basis “I’m busy this weekend doing a performance as the back end of a horse if you’d like to come….There is a certain ridiculousness to the act of being a pony with strong memories of childhood pursuits but oddly it does awaken a sense of pride in doing a good job of it and taking oneself as a back end of a horse really quite seriously…….memorising steps and not wanting to let the team down. The experience changes each time and for me the most memorable performance was as a black stallion in a car park entering the space via a lock up swishing our tails to Bhangra music.It allowed me to engage with the not so grown up in us all and truly horse about in the name of Art” Kay Walsh, artist and educator
“I have performed as one of Charlie Murphy’s panto ponies, in a front end role, in three events. From a performer’s point of view it’s like standing-in at the eleventh hour after the booked panto ponies have bolted after weeks of rehearsal but without the director seeming to have noticed.
There are other frightened performers, many, many cable ties, some bicycle helmets and gales of fabric. Fore and hind legs are selected for a shared hopeful outlook and, provided their inside leg measurements vary, are married together.
Then comes the theoretically impossible devising and learning of a dance without really being able to see, even if you’re the front end, involving direction, synchronised steps, beats, counting bars, rhythm, entrances and exits and, get this, repeatability.
The enthusiastic response of the audience is testament to Charlie’s genius in assembling the right elements that, when thrown together with her sheer belief, create the delight and magic of theatre”. Andrew Downs, artist and performer
“Being a pony was a lot of fun. I enjoyed the collaborative choreographic process with a group of folk who were mostly new to me, with various levels of expdrience of being a pony or performing/dance. I liked the celebratory feeling of the pony troupe-people smiled when they saw us. There’s an innocence about the ponies as well as playfulness. I’d be a pony again!” Jackie Adkins, artist and pony participant, Supernormal
We welcome performance invitations, donations, musical suggestions and commissions….get in touch..