Spotlight on the Granny Smith mask
The Granny Smith mask, as she is known today, was originally created in Britain in 1991 as part of our collection of half-faced workshop masks. Made out of paper, she was designed as a “mid performance mask”. We always design our workshop masks with three “levels of status” in mind: low, mid and high, thus creating a mix of characters form varying levels of society: low life, humble, noble…
The first stage performance with this mask was in 1992. Jacky Riddell used the mask to create Harold in the show One More Time.Harold lived up to his mid status (although he saw himself as being rather higher!) He was on the old and grumpy side but his heart was in the right place.
At the end of the run the mask went back into the workshop box.
In 1994 he was back out of the box, and still male. He was next chosen and performed by Jean-Pièrre Casazza, director and actor of the Compagnie de La Befana for a coproduction called Mascarade. The show used most of our half -aced masks and Harold became a young father with a six year old boy; a jolly, easy-going character.
Back in the workshop box, he did not get back on stage until 2009.
The Granny Smith mask has always been a popular choice amongst workshop participants, and it was during a workshop that Tracey saw it performed, for the first time, as a female character and a very funny one at that.
In 2009 Tracey was approached by a secondary school teacher looking for a performance piece dealing with British culture. Tracey dipped into the mask box and out he came again, except that ‘he’ became ‘she’ and GrannySmith was born.
Granny Smith is an older female version of Harold. She’s not grumpy, but she does have her moments! She is exuberant, full of life and energy. Granny Smith is loved by all ages and audiences, partly due to her humble mid status but also because of her intelligent and rather quick tongue. She is a fluent French and English speaker, globe trotting is her game. Canada, Cumbria, Calais … oh and not forgetting a lovely tour she did in The Hebrides. Just a few of the exciting places she has visited.
There are no signs of her going back into the workshop box for now. She’s hoping to travel to many other countries to entertain young and old alike.
So long may she live and perform!