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In Mosaic the magic box is discovered by two buffoons by the names of Strifnos and Mamtor. It is under the magic influence of this box that they bring to life the stories of the Prince and Princess, becoming increasingly confident, multi-lingual and connected to each other, the children and ultimately the world in the playing out of these stories.

Buffoons were created in the mid-70s by respected theatre practitioner Jacque Lecoq drawing on the traditions of medieval carnival. They are grotesque characters – a mix of tragedy and clown – that question and mock society’s unquestioned truths, and challenge the myths of their times. “Buffoons are people who believe in nothing and make fun of everything, they are mysterious, grotesque and fantastic (Lecoq)”. They are misfits and rule breakers who are kept at a distance, they have seen the worst that society can throw at them, and have survived.

The use of buffoons was originally explored in Mosaic to avoid establishing English as a dominant means of communication (buffoons have a language of their very own).  The intention behind this was to allow the other languages used in the programme to take on an equal status, both in performance and in terms of a multi-lingual response from children.  Later in devising the buffoons’ position as outsiders, their lack of linguistic resources, their playfulness and sense of mischief provided rich opportunities for children to participate, teach, support and play alongside them.


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