Thursday, August 18, 2011

Foxes, the game.

Most of Hide & Seek is up in Edinburgh right now for a big project for the fringe, but they've got a game on Saturday for the Hayward Gallery- so I've been brought in to run it. (I can't tell you how thrilled that makes me.) The game is for some unspecified number of families (or adults, but probably families) in the afternoon. I'm preparing for somewhere between 50 and 80 groups with the option to expand significantly if we need to.

The game is a sort of naturalist fox hunt. There is a fox who magically can turn into a human somewhere in the Southbank centre. We know what the boundaries of his territory are, but we're not quite sure where is earth (den) is. Can you help us? Foxes mark their territory with scent and faeces markers. They also mark important landmarks within their territory. Find some poo and dissect it, hopefully what they have been eating will give us some clues as to where they are currently. Oh, and his foot prints look like you go.

Today I needed to pick up quite a lot of odds and ends for what has turned out to be rather a crafty game set up. It was great fun, and quite a lot like a treasure hunt looking for all the things I need. (still don't have fake flowers...will continue to hunt tomorrow.)

Something it would have been good to keep in mind:
Meters and Yards are quite significantly different. I now have three METERS of orangey brown fake fur...This is a ridiculous quantity.

At the end of the game when the earth has been found there will be a craft table with supplies for making fox tails to take home with you. It turns out that construction paper is difficult to find in London, particularly if you want only one specific colour and not a rainbow. So I was delighted when, after dejectedly finding absolutely nothing of use in the craft store, I went to the bookstore next door and found a bin filled with rolled up pieces of thick, brown packing paper. Which is perfect  for what I need. And totally unexpected. Also, they had sidewalk chalk. Best store ever. Also, what? You're a bookstore!  

In addition to making fox tails, players will need to dissect the fox poo that they find. (In order to discover what the fox has been eating to aid in locating them....this totally makes sense. Go with it.) So that means that A) I had to make quite a lot of salt dough to be used as fox poo and B) I had to figure out how to make it brown.

You know what people don't seem to sell? Brown food colouring. So I bought, along with 5 kilos of flour and bunch of salt: cocoa powder, soy sauce, onion gravy granules, and instant coffee. It's been exciting discovering what sorts of weird chemical reactions happen when you try to combine all of that together. So far the best in terms of colour has been cocoa powder mixed with a bit of oil and then kneaded into salt dough which has been made with coffee instead of water. It's a perfect colour, but unfortunately REALLY difficult to knead. Which I'm not particularly interested in considering how much of this I'm making. More experimentation proceeds apace.

My hands are currently covered in the lingering smells of soy sauce and cocoa powder with a just a slight hint of onion gravy.

It's gross.
Best Shopping Trip Ever

1 comment:

mrtoomey said...

Um, Casey... sometimes you scare me.

But this hide and seek thing sounds cool. Though making "fox poo" is ridiculous.

Best of luck. :)