Puppet’s homage to Haverhill grandmother for Summer Bash

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Among those taking to the stage at the Summer Bash later this month will be a very special fox.

Mavis, the creation of Haverhill puppeteer, Laura Bacon, will be appearing at the Summer Bash in the Recreation Ground on July 19.

Laura, whose best known creation, Patsy May, who made it through to the semi finals of Britain’s Got Talent in 2014, will perform with Mavis.

She modelled the character, who speaks with a distinctive Suffolk accent, on people she know when growing up in Haverhill, in particular her grandmother, May Bacon, who sadly died last year.

“I used to always get in trouble for doing people’s voices,” Laura said. “But for some reason, I could never do the Suffolk accent, even though I’m from here, until after my grandmother had died. I used to have to write down everything phonetically so I’d know what to emphasise while speaking.”

Laura, who studied at what is now Samuel Ward Academy, used to sew her first puppets with her grandmother, but it was at a school play that her passion for puppetry really took off.

“I’d been cast as a gargoyle in a Terry Pratchett play,” she said. “I really didn’t want to be one, so I made one instead out of chicken wire and I loved it.”

Laura will be bringing both Patsy May and Mavis to the Summer Bash and hopes people will like the affectionate satire.

“I’ve always picked up voices, wherever I go,” said Laura. “There may be a few people in the audience who recognise themselves in Mavis.”

The Summer Bash will raise money for LAMP H parent and toddler group, the Haverhill Community First Responders, the Scouts and the Salvation Army. There will be a car show, stalls and live music. Laura and Mavis have produced a video, which you can see online, urging people to go to the Summer Bash.