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Welcome to Animations Online!

Animations is a quarterly online magazine run by the Puppet Centre Trust. It is a voice for contemporary puppetry and related theatre forms, offering discussion and debate on recent puppet-theatre events, reviews, and news from the puppet community and elsewhere. It’s an essential read for anyone interested in puppetry in all its diverse manifestations. Animations Online aims to represent the full spectrum of professional practice, from traditional puppetry to experimental visual theatre using puppetry or animation.

In this e-dition of Animations, we have a varied selection of features. In Ball, Stick, Rope – Puppet? we take a look at the manipulated object in circus. In Missing Punchline, Punch Prof Glyn Edwards argues that political puppetry is alive and well (thanks to Old Red Nose). In Where Have All the Puppets Gone? Penny Francis states the case for a national collection.

Our company profile looks at Improbable, who over the past decade have brought puppetry into devised theatre with such great success. Their latest production, Wolves in the Wall, premieres this Spring.

In our reviews section, there’s an eclectic mix of puppetry and visual theatre shows, large and small scale, mainstream and fringe; we also have a book review of the latest volume of Schattentheater/Shadow Theatre by Rainer Reusch.

From the Frontline is a new section for Animations, in which we bring first-person reports from artists working in puppet theatre or with puppetry in any context. Future issues will bring you stories from puppeteers and theatre-makers working in professional production, in the community, in health, in education and training. Established and emerging artists will have a voice and a space to write about their work: in this issue we hear from graduating student Tom Scutt. If you would like to contribute to this section, please email

The News and Noticeboard section is the place to read about the current and future plans of puppeteers and puppet-theatre companies, and to catch up on other news and events.

We hope you enjoy this latest e-dition of Animations Online – as always, your feedback is very welcome!

We look forward to hearing your news, views and suggestions for future content.
Please send your news items and suggestions for editorial content to

Animations Online editorial team:
Dorothy Max Prior – editor
Beccy Smith – project manager/ PCT director
Penny Francis – contribution editor/ PCT board representative

Design/webmaster: Gabz Digital Media

The views expressed or opinions stated in Animations Online are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the publisher, Puppet Centre Trust. Reasonable care has been taken to ensure that information is correct, but no liability will be accepted for any errors which may occur.


Ball, Stick, Rope
– Puppet? object animation in circus
by Dorothy Max Prior
Missing Punchline:
Mr Punch and political puppetry by Glyn Edwards
Where Have all the Puppets Gone?
The case for a national collection by Penny Francis

Company Profile: Improbable

Stephen Mottram’s Animata trilogy at the London International Mime Festival, Sketty Production’s Imogen, the RSC, Oily Cart, Tbilisi and many more!

Book Review: Schattentheater/Shadow Theatre 3 by Rainer Reusch

From the Frontline:
The 4Story Building by Tom Scutt

News and Noticeboard:
Updates from puppeteers and puppet-theatre companies; news from other arts organisations; training and professional development; conferences and symposia; publications and media

comments, corrections, clarifications