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A Letter from PCT Director Linda Lewis

The summer is over for another year and with it the magical experiences of festivals both in the UK and abroad.

At Charleville, Puppet Centre and British UNIMA launched a new publication called ‘Puppets Abroad’ – a directory of puppetry companies from England , Scotland, Ireland and Wales who are keen to tour internationally. The copies we had with us flew off the shelves but we still have some here in the office for anyone who would like a copy.

Festivals I visited at Bristol and Skipton were exceptionally well supported by local audiences – each festival with its own characteristics. It was exciting to see one of our ‘Puppets About’ residents, Corina Bona, performing in Pickled Image’s production of Little Edie in Bristol.

What a wonderful, picturesque town Skipton is for a family friendly festival with lots of free events and some interesting international work to be seen. This festival had huge support from local volunteers.

In the last few months Puppet Centre has hosted a number of highly successful workshops in conjunction with the Handspring Puppet Theatre Company at BAC, Winchester Theatre Royal, the University of Winchester and Norwich Puppet Theatre. We have also worked with British-based artists who have worked on Warhorse to deliver workshops at all the venues on the Handspring Woyzeck tour organised by UK Arts International. Toby Olie, Al Nedjari and Finn Caldwell gave us an inspiring  'Weekend Workout ' at the Barbican when the show was playing there.

Looking forward to autumn, the Suspense Festival is about to kick off at the end of October (28 October – 6 November). Puppet Centre has been collaborating with the steering group under the direction of Pete Glanville from Little Angel Theatre.

We will be presenting a Director’s Talk at Little Angel on Wednesday 2 November at 3-5pm. We have a really superb panel including  Mark  Down, director of Blind Summit; Kristin Fredricksson, director of Beady Eye Theatre Company; Dominic Hill, artistic director of the Citizens Theatre, Glasgow; Mark Sussman, the co-founder and co-artistic director of Great Small Works, a collective based in Brooklyn, New York; Levan Tsuladze, the director of the Kote Marjanishvili Theatre in Georgia; and Pete Glanville from Little Angel Theatre. The afternoon will be chaired by Dorothy Max Prior, editor of Animations Online.

On Sunday 6 November from 1-5pm, as part of the Suspense Festival, Puppet Centre will also be presenting a workshop led by Georgian puppeteer Nino Namicheishvili called the Choreography of Puppetry at Jacksons Lane.

To book for both these events contact the box office at Little Angel Theatre on 0207 226 1787.

The last event Puppet Centre is producing this season will be a chance to learn about how to write a Grants for the Arts application, to be held on Monday 21 November at Little Angel Theatre.

Claire Saddleton and Lucy Murray, Relationship Managers from the Arts Council’s London Theatre team will be leading a session on demystifying the Arts Council, in particular the process for applying to Grants for the Arts for all kinds of theatre funding, including R&D and touring applications.

This session is specifically aimed at puppeteers and puppetry companies and is open to anyone who has a project in mind and is thinking of applying to Grants for the Arts or has done so in the past. This event is free. For further information please look at our website and to register please email

Looking forward to 2012, we have received funding from Grants for the Arts to create and design a new website and logo. There will be a new look and format for Animations Online too. Look out for this early next year along with a pilot initiative called Critical Voices for journalists and artists who wish to write critical reviews about puppetry. If you are interested, do contact me.

Finally, we will be saying goodbye to our project co-ordinator and administrator Emma Leishman, who is leaving at the end of October to pursue her career in production and event management. She has been  instrumental in the setting up of all our new systems and databases at Puppet Centre over the last two years and her enthusiasm and energetic approach to all the projects we have delivered has been greatly appreciated. We all thank her for her hard work at Puppet Centre and wish her every success for her future career.

Our new administrator, Louise Alexander, will take up her post on 7 November.

Wishing you all a glowing autumn,

Linda Lewis
Director, Puppet Centre

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