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News from Puppeteers and Companies

Soma Cabaret Decadanse at Edinburgh; Puppet Pike from Nutmeg The Rubbish Show; Puca Puppets - Songs in Her Suitcase - Photo by Ros Kavanagh
The Ding Foundation
Their latest production Unexploded Bomb is an eerily beautiful exploration of dark and delightful stories remembered by forgotten objects. It weaves a spellbinding story creating unexpected characters from animated domestic items, clothes and furniture to explore the threat of an unexploded bomb in both real and metaphorical terms. The show has been commissioned by and developed at BAC. Devised by the company with music by Hannah Marshall it runs at BAC nightly until 18 July.
BAC (Battersea Arts Centre)
Lavender Hill, Battersea, London SW11 5TN
Box Office : 020 7223 2223
30 June - 18 July 2004 o 8.30pm o Sun 6.30pm
Tickets £10.75 / £5.50 concs
Tues Pay What You Can

Sophia Clist wins Arlyn Coad Award for Scenic Design For Puppetry

The Arlyn Coad award was established by Luman Coad of Coad Canada Puppet Theatre in memory of his late wife and puppeteering partner. Congratulations to Sophia Clist, who has won the first occasion of this unique prize, which consists of a trophy and a cheque. They will be presented to her on Canada Day 2004 (July 1) at Canada House in London by the High Commissioner. Sophia is principally an installation artist and sculptor, as well as a freelance stage designer. Her extraordinary work with the puppet company theatre-rites, in close collaboration with Sue Buckmaster the company’s artistic director, has contributed in large measure to the success of shows like The Lost and Moated Land and Catch Your Breath, and the interactive exhibition at the Theatre Museum in 2003. She understands and responds brilliantly to puppetry’s need of transformation, and the dramaturgical use of colour, shapes and material. Last Christmas she made her own interactive installation called Stretch which was in NottDance, an international festival of dance, and also worked with The Public in West Bromwich. Sophia is now collaborating once again with Sue Buckmaster and theatre-rites in collaboration with the Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith, on a new touring production entitled In One Ear.

Faceless - Puppet Café
Having spent a year in organisational development, Faceless have secured £29,631 from the Arts Council for their new street arts work, Puppet Cafe. The production, which has recently been through a research and development phase will be a cafe staffed by puppets and actors serving coffee, pastry and generous helpings of puppetry and interactions to audiences seated within the cafe and around the perimeter. The Cafe is the first of three new streets arts works which make up the company's 7 year street arts development plan and will be available in the summer of 2005.

Púca Puppets

Púca Puppets were founded in 1997 to perform water puppetry on Dublin canals for which they won an AIB Better Ireland Award. Púca has since performed children's shows nationwide and as far afield as Bangkok, where they represented Ireland in The Europe Asia Puppet Festival, 2002. Púca Puppets won the Guinness Living Dublin Award (2004) for 'Songs in Her Suitcase', their second original work for adults, which brings the story of the late actress and cabaret performer Agnes Bernelle vividly to life. Using an ambitious combination of puppetry, mask and film, this new show features music produced by Philip Chevron of The Pogues, a long time friend and former collaborator of Agnes.
Produced by Púca Puppets, in association with Project Arts Centre
Songs In Her Suitcase – Performed Live By The Late Agnes Bernelle
By Niamh Lawlor, Directed by Leticia Agudo, Musical Director Philip Chevron.
Performance dates, and venues for July and August in Ireland:

Friar's Gate Theatre, Kilmallock – July 8 Box Office: (063) 98727
St John's Theatre, Listowel – July 9 Box Office: (068) 22566
Linenhall, Castlebar – 4th August Box Office: (094) 902 3733
Feile An Phobail, Belfast – August 6th Box-Office: (028) 9031 3440
Pavilion, Dun Laoghaire – Aug 8th Box-Office: (01) 2312929

The Little Angel Theatre - Summer Listings

The Classic tale of the puppet who wants to be a boy and the puppet maker who wants to be a real father. The Little Angel's Artistic Director, Steve Tiplady, conjures with shadows and illusion to fire the imagination.
Suitable for 4 years and over
Tickets £7.50 Adults, £5.00 Children and concessions
Sat 14 and Sun 15 at 11am and 2pm
Sat 21 and Sun 22 at 11am and 2pm
Sat 28 and Sun 29 at 11am and 2pm
Sat 4 and Sun 5 at 11am and 2pm
Sat 11 and Sun 12 at 11am and 2pm
Sat 18 and Sun 19 at 11am and 2pm

Participation-Make Your Own Puppets (inspired by Pinocchio)
Saturday Puppet Club for Children age 5 - 11
Saturday mornings 18 - 27 November
Cost £65 (£55 concessions)

Compass points season at the little angel: a mouth-watering menu of the finest puppet performances from the regions of England, performed by some of the best of English puppeteers.
Joy Haynes - Banyan Theatre
For 3 yrs and above 10th + 11th July 11.00 am
The Steadfast Tin Soldier
For 3 yrs and above 10th + 11th July 2.00 pm
Rod Burnett- Storybox Theatre
For 3 yrs and above 17th +18th July 11.00 am
The Snow Queen
For 5yrs and above 17th +18th July 2.00 pm

Martin Bridle - Hand to Mouth Theatre
For 4 yrs and above 24h +25th July 11.00 am
A Fishy Tale
For 4 yrs and above 24h +25th July 2.00 pm
Ronnie le Drew (aka Zippy from ITV's Rainbow).
Snitchity Titch
3 yrs and above 31st July+ 1st Aug. 11.00 am
Snitchity Titch on Safari
3 yrs and above 31st July+ 1st Aug. 2.00 pm

Ticket prices
Adults £7.50 children/concs £5.00
Special offers:
See both shows from same company for £8 per child £12 per adult
Compass points season ticket for £24 per child £35 per adult
Little Angel Theatre
14 Dagmar Passage
London N1 2DN
Box Office: 0207 226 1787

The Puppet Barge Summer Tour

The river tour starts on Saturday 17 July 2004 at 2.30pm at
Henley-on-Thames with The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse
A show for the family.
On Saturday evenings performances of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight at 8pm.
Box Office and further information:
Mobile: 07 836 202 745
Office: 44 (0)20 7249 6876

Nutmeg ‘The Rubbish Show’ Show Tour of the Broads 2004

The show aims to increase awareness amongst children of sustainability and will be followed by a series of schools workshops and inset days in the autumn term. Summer dates:
1-Aug Sun 1:00 PMRanworth Church Meadow, Norfolk
2-Aug Mon 11:30 AM, 3:00 PM Bungay Castle, Suffolk
3-Aug Tue 11:30 AM Upton Staithe, Norfolk
5-AugThu 11:30 AM, 3:00 PM Nicholas Everitt Park, Oulton Broad, Suffolk
6-Aug Fri 11:30 AM, 3:00 PM Martham Village Green, Norfolk
8-Aug Sun 3:00 PM Chedgrave Common Open Day, Norfolk
9-Aug Mon 3:00 PM Somerleyton Duke's Head, Suffolk
10-Aug Tue 11:30 AM, 3:00 PM Burgh St Peter, Waveney River Centre, Norfolk
11-Aug Wed 11:30 AM, 3:00 PM Hickling Pleasureboat Inn, Norfolk
14-Aug Sat 11:30 AMGeldeston Village Green, Suffolk
15-Aug Sun1 3:00 PM Stokesby Village Green, Norfolk
16-Aug Mon 11:30 AM, 3:00 PM Horsey Mill, Norfolk
17-Aug Tue 3:00 PM Rockland St Mary Staithe, Norfolk
20-Aug Fri 11:30 AM, 3:00 PMToad Hole Cottage, How Hill, Ludham, Norfolk
21-Aug Sat 11:30 AM Hoveton Riverside Park Open Day, Norfolk Broads Authority
Information Telephone Number: 01603 610734
All Shows Free. No unaccompanied children

Norwich Puppet Theatre Performances and Workshops

Snow White
Grimms story of Snow White is brought to life in this unique production using rod-marionettes and live music especially composed by Santi Puente. Suitable for everyone over the age of 5.
Runs Tuesday 29th July - Saturday 28th August at either 11.00 am or 2.30pm. See for full listings of dates/times or e mail, tel 01603 629921
Adults £6; Children £3.75; Students and Concessions £4.20
Norwich Puppet Theatre Children's workshops:
Tuesday 20th July – 10.30am
Clay Modelling Masks. For ages: 5+. Price £6
Thursday 22nd July – 10.30am
Playing with Shadows
Friday 23rd July – 10.30am-12pm & 1pm-3.30pm
Rod Puppet and Performance skills
For ages: 5+. Price £11
Monday 26th July – 2pm
Double Rod Animal
For ages: 5+. Price £6
Wednesday 28th July 10.30am-12pm & 1pm-3.30pm
Stick Puppet & Theatre workshop
For ages: 5+. Price £11
Thursday 29th July – 10.30am
Glove Puppet. For ages: 5+. Price £6
Friday 30th July – 10.30am
Wooden Marionette
For ages: 5+. Price £6
Monday 2nd August – 10.30am
Rod Puppet with sculptured head
For ages: 5+. Price £6
Tuesday 3rd August – 2pm
Moving Mouth Glove Puppet
For ages: 5+. Price £6
Friday 6th August – 10.30am
Dragon Puppet
For ages: 5+. Price £6
Monday 16th August – 10.30am-12pm & 1pm-3.30pm
Glove Puppet with Legs & Performance Skills
For ages: 5+. Price £11
Tuesday 17th August – 10.30am
Mask Making
For ages: 5+. Price £6
Wednesday 18th – 10.30am
Table-top Puppet
For ages: 5+. Price £6
Thursday 19th August – 10.30am
Pop-up Puppet
For ages: 5+. Price £6
Tuesday 24th August - 10.30am
Sicilian rod
For ages: 5+. Price £6
Thursday 26th August – 10.30am
Clay Modelling
For ages: 5+. Price £6
Friday 27th August – 10.30am
Bird Marionette. For ages: 5+. Price £6All held at:
Norwich Puppet Theatre
St James, Whitefriars, Norwich NR3 1TN
To book or for further information:
Box Office 01603 629921

Australia's Black Hole Theatre bring adult puppetry to Aurora Nova, Edinburgh Fringe 2004

As part of the acclaimed Aurora Nova festival-within-a-festival, Australian company Black Hole Theatre present the UK premiere of ‘Caravan’ : award winning adult-only puppet theatre. When puppetry meets Pulp Fiction, all hell breaks loose!
Aug 6 – 7: 4pm (£5.00)
Aug 8-9, 11-16, 18-23, 25-30, 4pm (£10.00)
St Stephens, St Stephens Street, Edinburgh. 0131 558 3853

Montreal's Soma at the Edinburgh Fringe

Soma's award-winning avant-garde cabaret puppet-show Cabaret Decadanse returns to the UK with a run at the Edinburgh Festival
Fringe. The show will be held from August 13 to 30, 2004, at 19:15 at the Metro Gilded Balloon Teviot. Cabaret Decadanse showcases extraordinary puppets in sensual, surprising and hilarious short musical numbers that range from tango to African music, blues, jazz, Broadway and pop, and swings between theatre and variety- highlighting the virtuosity and ingenuity of the two puppeteers. See

Buxton Festival

The British Puppet Guild and the Buxton Opera House are presenting the second Puppet Festival from Monday July 25 to Saturday July 31 2004. If you can get there on Sunday the 24th at 3 pm you can go to Puppets and Praises, billed as a Christian act of worship that promises noise, Good News and Rock and Roll. There are about seven British companies plus those included in a Toy Theatre one-day festival, two international companies, from Bulgaria and Japan, a Scratch night of works-in-progress and street entertainments.
More details from Peter Charlton on 07931 550365 or e-mail him on:

Visions - An International Festival of Puppetry and Visual Performance

The next visions festival will take place in Brighton from Thursday 21 – Saturday 30 October 2004 - ten days of visually amazing performances on stages, in studios, streets and other unusual spaces. UK premieres include 'The Star Keeper' by Theatre de L’Oeil from Montreal which will be presented at the Gardner Arts Centre (23 – 23 Oct). Marionettas do Porto from Portugal will perform 'Nada ou o Silencio de Beckett', a bold and playful visual interpretation of Beckett’s theatre of the absurd (26 – 27 Oct). Visions is also bringing 'Queen of Colours' by Erfurt Puppentheater/Fadenzieher from Germany to the Sallis Benney Theatre at the University of Brighton (26 – 28 Oct). Visions will also present work by British companies working creatively with contemporary visual performance for the Launch-Pad event. For further details see
Lunatique Fantastique
April at the Drill Hall off Tottenham Court Road, London, saw the brief appearance of Lunatique Fantastique from California with Objects in Predicaments, directed by Liebe Wetzel, a show suitable for almost all ages. A company of six has produced a series of wordless short pieces, using various materials and objects (foam shapes and sweatshirts and feathers and the like) which makes for unusually good entertainment. The show is scheduled to return to England later in the year. For further information see

Avenue Q Triumph At The Tonys

At this month’s announcements of America’s prestigious Tony awards, the musical Avenue Q, mentioned in the last edition of Animations Online, received no less than three! However, on another less triumphalist note, the booklet that accompanies the CD of the music of Avenue Q uses neither the word ‘puppet’ nor ‘puppeteer’ anywhere in its pages. As the production is wall-to-wall puppets and puppeteering, this has to be some sort of record*…

De-Stigmatising Condoms

Is there no end to the benefits and uses of puppetry? The Independent reported (May 22nd 2004) that three characters called Dick, Shaft and Stretch are a huge hit in several countries including South Africa and Canada. They are three animated condoms known collectively as the Three Amigos, and their comic adventures are part of a TV and advertising campaign to halt HIV and make the use of condoms ‘macho’. Although some U.S. religious leaders have denounced the series, the Ethiopian Health Ministry has asked for several copies in different tribal languages, and Archbishop Tutu has endorsed the initiative wholeheartedly. He is quoted as saying: Animated characters are a non-threatening, non-authoritarian vehicle for communication.
And so say all of us.

News from other Puppetry Organisations


The PUK AGM will be held in the afternoon of Thursday 8 July 2004 at Midlands Arts Centre, Birmingham for all PUK members. A map and directions for finding the centre can be found at The PUK Council is meeting in the morning.
We have received a request from the British Centre of UNIMA to hold their AGM on the same day. This has been scheduled to commence at 1.30pm to which non BrUNIMA members are invited as observers. This meeting will be followed immediately by the PUK AGM no later than 2.15pm, possibly earlier. We plan to conclude at 4.00pm and look forward to meeting many Members and Associates of PUK.
This is a good opportunity for puppeteers to meet each other and to participate in the democratic structure of PUK and to discuss future developments

Union Internationale de la Marionnette (Unima) Four-Yearly Congress

At the Congress 2004, held in the neighbouring Croatian seaside towns of Opatija and Rijeka, UNIMA members and their Councillors or delegates from the national centres converged in their hundreds. Elections were held for a new Executive Committee, Secretary General and President for the association. Massimo Schuster who lives in France but is a true internationalist, travelling all over the world and speaking at least four languages, became President. Vice-Presidents are Tamiko Onagi (Japan) and Stanislav Doubrava (Czech Republic). Miguel Arreche (Spain) remains as Secretary General. The new Executive Committee for the first time in many years has no British representative, with Bart Roccoberton (USA) and Jennie Pfeiffer (Australia) the only native English speakers of the eighteen members, of which only seven remain from the previous Exec.
Margareta Niculescu, former President, was voted as Honorary President jointly with Henryk Jurkowski. She was nominated Chair of the Publications and Communications Commission, breaking with precedent (up to now the Commission Chairs have been members of the Executive) and will continue to lend her energies most actively to UNIMA.
A priority of the work of the association is the preparation of a World Encyclopaedia of Puppetry - the first edition of the WEPA will now be in French, and it is hoped that a publisher will soon be found so that this very important work will see the light of day in 2005.
The British Centre of UNIMA continues to offer an excellent service to all internationally-minded puppeteers and enthusiasts and welcomes new members. Joining brings you the satisfaction of knowing you are contributing to a network of puppetry art and artists that makes its contribution to international understanding: a member acquires a sort of (abstract) world passport and a vast number of contacts. In addition there are several national benefits like an international newsletter and journal, an annual lecture, and occasional special events. The AGM will be in Birmingham on July 8th
The next international Council meeting is expected to be in Switzerland in two years’ time, and the next Congress and Festival will be in Perth, Australia in 2008. It promises to be a beaut and should include a lot of south-east Asian performances.
To join the British Centre, get in touch with the Chair, Meg Amsden of Nutmeg Puppet Theatre at Bulcamp House, Bulcamp, Halesworth, Suffolk IP19 9LG or e-mail:


Ever Stars International - Taiwan Calling

An international arts festival organizer in Taiwan
called Ever Stars International have a festival called 2004 Kaohsiung
International Puppet Festival.that will take place in Taiwan from Oct 9th to 31st
If you wish to take part, the festival organizer will pay for meals, accommodation and transportation in Taiwan, although air tickets to Taiwan would have to be met by the puppet company themselves.
If you are interested in this festival project, please send show programme and show photos to: [mail to:}
Tel: 886-7-3981216 Fax: 886-7-3981215
No.91 Da-Yu Road, 807 Kaohsiung, Taiwan R.O.

Puppetry Training and Continuing Professional Development

Summer Evening Workshops at The Little Angel

Puppet Carving - Jan Zalud
6 places
This course will take you through the processes involved in the creation of a carved wooden puppet. You will be given the support needed to design and carve the type of puppet of your choice (e.g. glove, rod, marionette, bunraku style etc.) It will cover safety, selecting wood, sharpening of chisels, carving and assembling the puppet and the puppet control. Jan has carved puppets for many of the productions at The Little Angel over the last ten years, most recently for Sleeping Beauty in the Wood. If you intend to make a marionette please note Jan's course dovetails with Jonathan's performance course.
9th 10th 16th 17th 23rd 24th 30th June 1st 7th 8th July
6.30- 9.30pm Cost: £250 / £170 concs. (inc. materials)
Puppet Manipulation - Ronnie Le Drew
10 places
The purpose of the workshops is to explore ways of expressing movement techniques with different puppets. Finding a puppet's character through voice, its weight and walk. The four basic types will be used: rod, glove, shadow string and combinations of all four. Working three operators to a single puppet, learning to work as a team, as well as on your own. As well as being Zippy in ITV's Rainbow Ronnie has worked on shows at the Little Angel for over 30 years most recently in the Secret Garden.
24th 25th June 1st 2nd 8th, 9th 16th 23rd 30th July & 6th Aug. 7.00-9.00pm. Cost £180 / £130 concs.
Mixed - Media Puppet Making - Lyndie Wright
6 places
Bring your own puppetry ideas to life! Learn to design and make jointed, animated marionette, table-top, glove or rod figures in wood, foam, rubber, polystyrene, papier mache, cloth or leather. Lyndie Wright is Co-Founder of the Little Angel and has been making puppets for over fifty years.
4th 11th 18th 25th July & 1st Aug. 10.00-4.00 Sundays. Cost £250 / £170 concs. (inc. materials)
Marionette - Jonathan Broughton
8 places
This invaluable, practical course, aimed at beginners and those with some experience of operating string puppets, will teach and develop skills in manipulating marionettes, combined with expressing the voice through the puppet in performance. The course will use some of the Little Angel's world-renowned puppets in its uniquely specially-built puppet theatre. Jonathan Broughton has worked on many productions at the Little Angel most recently directing Beauty and the Beast, he is a master marionettist and voice coach.
6.00-9.00pm.12-15 July 19-22 July 26 July & 2 Aug. Cost £200 / £150 concs.

The Little Devil - a puppet club for adults.
100 places
Invited workshop leaders, tryout performances, cabaret nights and the odd beer. A chance for the puppet community to flap, argue and kiss and make up without a committee in sight. See you there....
Starting : 7.00pm,Tuesday 17 August
To book for any of the above, call the Box office on: 0207 226 1787
Little Angel Theatre
14 Dagmar Passage
London N1 2DN
Norwich Puppet Theatre
Adult Workshop
Monday 12th July at 6.30pm
Adult's Large Rod Puppet Making Workshop
No experience required. All materials provided.
Pre-booking essential. For ages : 14+
Price £16
Held at:
Norwich Puppet Theatre
St James, Whitefriars, Norwich NR3 1TN
To book or for further information:
Box Office 01603 629921

Object Workshop with John Wright

‘Do you know what it is yet?’
A workshop in playing with objects. Real objects bring their own reality, their own history and meaning into a scene. If you use a saltshaker as a hand grenade, it has the potential to accrue many different meanings. In this workshop we will examine objects as an inspirations for imagery, action and narrative.
July 10th and 11th
10.30am – 5.30pm
£70 (concessions available)
the Jerwood Space, 171 Union street, London SE1 0LN
Please send a deposit, of 50% course fee to 331 Bowes Road, Arnos Grove, London N11 1BA.
Cheques made payable to John Wright.
Enquiries contact Becky Kitter 079 5195 8665
Institut International de la Marionette
Charlevillle-Mezieres, France
Tel 00 33 (0) 3 24 33 72 50
Summer workshops 2004
Advanced professional training in puppetry. Open to puppeteers, actors, mime artists, dancers:
From the Body to the Puppet - July 2- 23. Led by Hoichi Okamat (Dondoro Theater)
The Shadow's Other Side - Aug 2 - 20. Led by Luc Amoros (Amoros and Augustin)
Fee for each course: 750 euros
Also run 3-year National School of Puppetry prof training course, residencies for researchers and other creative initiatives. Publishers of Puck.

Conferences & Symposia

Drawn to Perform - a symposium at visions 2004

Thursday 21 October 2004 (9.30am – 5pm) at University of Brighton, Grand Parade, Brighton.
Visions, University College, Winchester and Total Theatre Network present Drawn to Perform, a symposium to explore visual springboards for performance. Opening event for visions, the biennial international festival of visual performance.
Standard fee £40; reduced rate for artists/students £20 ; £15 to TTN members if booked by Sep 1st . To book tel 01273 643194 or e mail See for full details.


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