NEWS: Winter 2010/2011
Little Angel Theatre: As a remedy for the sweeter offerings of its Christmas season, in February Little Angel Theatre host the New Model Theatre with Oh! Smith, The King of Terror,a tribute to the life and performances of 19th century actor of the monstrous, Richard John Smith, known as O. Smith – billed as the 'Devil par excellence', and player of bandits, wizards, demons, monsters, vampires and other villains. The celebrated actor and toy theatre collector and writer Peter Baldwin stars as O. Smith, recalling his life on and off the stage, with much of the action depicted on the new model theatre stage of Robert Poulter. Playing 6 February 2011.
The Barbican: There's a Shona Reppe double bill at the Barbican this coming spring: 24-28 February 2011 there's another chance to see Shona's classic solo show Cinderella (the winner of a Total Theatre Award, among others), and then 4-6 March the newer Olga Volt The Electric Fairy, the story of sideshow star Olga Volt and her incredible family. Part of The Barbican's extensive bite11 season.
Southbank Centre: Coming to the Southbank Centre's Purcell Room 26 & 27 February 2011 Long Nose Puppets' new show Penguin is based on the award-winning book by Polly Dunbar. Ben is delighted when he rips open his present to find a penguin. 'Hello,' says Ben. But Penguin says nothing. Ben tickles Penguin, pulls a funny face, sings a silly song and does a dizzy dance, but still Penguin won't say a word! Not until a passing lion intervenes does Penguin finally speak – and when he does, Ben discovers something that was really worth the wait.
Norwich Puppet Theatre: Horse + Bamboo's show Storm in a Teacup visits NPT 26 February 2011. It’s not always easy making friends, especially when you live in a lighthouse surrounded by dangerous rocks, towering waves and troublemaking seagulls. An exciting opportunity for a tea party with a friend arises when the supply boat comes, but the lighthouse keeper’s nervousness turns what could have been a delight into a disaster. It is only when a storm blows in and real disaster looms that he can find the courage to save the day and rebuild his friendship.
Tobacco Factory Theatre: Following last year’s multiple sell-out performances of The Little Red Hen and The Enormous Turnip, the inexhaustible Stuff and Nonsense Theatre Company return to the Tobacco Factory with 3 Little Pigs, a brand new retelling of the favourite children’s story. Taking its inspiration from 70s children’s TV programmes, the show is a feast of comical puppetry, mime, comedy, wonderfully cheesy music and rather loud wallpaper! For ages 3-7.
Puppeteers + Companies
Ivan Thorley: In 2010 Australia- and London-based puppetry and performance maker Ivan Thorley (mrthorley) successfully toured his unique animatronic/sound installation Birdmachine to the Brisbane International Festival and live-art venue HQ in Melbourne, Australia. It was the first showing outside of London for the work, an installation environment where interdisciplinary perspectives relating to movement, sound and materials coexist. Ivan is now working on a new project that incorporates large-sale body-puppets through a newly formed company, Puppets with Guts.
Horse + Bamboo: It’s not always easy making friends, especially when you live in a lighthouse surrounded by dangerous rocks, towering waves and troublemaking seagulls. An exciting opportunity for a tea party with a friend arises when the supply boat comes, but the lighthousekeeper’s nervousness turns what could have been a delight into a disaster. It is only when a storm blows in and real disaster looms that he can find the courage to save the day and rebuild his friendship. Storm in a Teacup is a show for ages 4 and above, combining masks, puppetry and specially written music by Chris Davies. Horse + Bamboo will tour nationwide January to March 2011 starting at The Royal Exchange Studio 12 January.
Training + Professional Development
Hands On! Symposium in Applied Puppetry: In its 10th year of producing unique participatory puppetry projects in a variety of educational and community settings, the education department at Little Angel Theatre invites you to explore the notion of using puppets for a purpose. The symposium will feature guest speakers, roundtable discussions and hands-on activities. The topics being explored include teaching literacy in primary school classrooms, storytelling for early years, psychotherapy, puppetry in hospitals and special education needs. 28 January 2011 at the Little Angel Theatre. £50 / £30 concessions.
Adult Puppetry Courses: Little Angel Theatre's popular adult courses are returning again for the spring term. There are courses for beginners, makers and performers in puppetry. Beginners will learn basic puppet manipulation and simple puppet-making. Makers will construct a glove/tabletop puppet in a human form using fabric and sewing techniques. Lastly, performers will learn the art of object and shadow animation, culminating in a performance for friends and family. £160 / £110 concessions.
Marionette Design and Construction with Stephen Mottram: Stephen Mottram will be teaching a short course on the construction of marionettes in Pinerolo, Italy from 10 – 17 January 2011. The workshop is aimed both at performers who will experience puppet theatre for the first time, and at performers with craft experience and puppet-makers wanting to develop their understanding and abilities with marionettes. Each participant will make a wooden marionette with excellent movement to take away at the end of the course. The basic cost of the course is 380 Euros, plus board and lodging and insurance. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com for more details.
Puppetry Snax: Puppet Centre Trust in collaboration with Tara Arts is inviting applications from puppetry companies and artists who wish to showcase new work or try out work-in-progress in a professional London venue – Tara Arts Studio. There will be two showings, on 28 January at 7.30pm and 29 January at 5.30pm, to which you can invite potential producers, programmers and festival directors to see your work. The showings are for works-in-progress, not full-scale productions, and there's a maximum of twenty minutes for each performance. For technical details on the venue see the Tara Arts website, or for an application form e-mail Linda Lewis on firstname.lastname@example.org by noon on 6 January.
Puppets About: A Puppetry Residency: Puppet Centre Trust (PCT) in collaboration with Bristol Old Vic (Ferment programme), Farnham Maltings and mac Birmingham is calling for applications for a one year (1 April 2011 – 31 March 2012) puppetry residency opportunity at each of the above venues. mac is particularly interested in receiving applications from artists and companies working in outdoor arts and street theatre, and all venues are interested in receiving applications from artists and companies in their regions (though this does not exclude others from applying). This project has been initiated by PCT and is based on the experience of a three-year residency programme at BAC in collaboration with the Central School of Speech and Drama in London. The residencies provide research and development opportunities to explore an idea and an aspect of puppetry. The selected artists/companies will receive practical advice, support and mentoring for their specific needs in terms of artistic, technical and business skills. See the Latest News section of the PCT website for more on what's being offered and application procedures. The deadline for applications is midday 10 January 2011.
Puppets on Film Festival: Reel Islington have teamed up with the Little Angel Theatre to hold a unique festival for puppet films 25-27 March 2011. The festival will screen films for adults and for children, showing rare films alongside more contemporary work, shorts and features. Performances, workshops and Q & A sessions with invited guests will also be part of the event. If you have a film you’d like to submit, then it should ideally be under twenty minutes in length, in any genre: comedy, drama, documentary, music video, the weird, the fantastical or the everyday. Reel Islington are interested in films made with all forms of puppetry – including shadow films. Deadline for entries is 1 February 2011. For details on how to submit your work visit the Reel Islington website.
Manipulate Visual Theatre Festival returns with a programme packed with innovative visual theatre and film. Taking place 31 January – 5 February 2011 at the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh, the festival presents work from Belgium, England, France, Netherlands, Scotland and the USA, with a film programme from all global points in between. Highlights include Gisele Vienne’s uncompromising exploration of the darkest corners of the human condition, Jerk, and company Duda Paiva, who return to the festival with Malediction, a delightful fusion of puppetry, dance and multimedia. The festival also features a masterclass with Compagnie Philippe Genty. Visit the Manipulate website for more details.
International Student Puppet Festival / Accidental Festival: For its 5th edition the Central School of Speech and Drama’s International Student Puppet Festival will be merging with the Roundhouse's Accidental Festival. The overall ethos of the festival is to showcase new, experimental and interdisciplinary work with a particular focus this year on community participation and engagement with the Roundhouse's local areas of Camden and Chalk Farm. The festival is currently welcoming proposals for walkabout, installation and outdoor pieces as well as more traditional work. The organisers will also be programming a series of workshops for local groups leading up to the festival, and encourage proposals for workshops which educate and connect people with artists' practice. The festival cannot offer payment to contributors, but if you would like to submit a proposal then download the application form from the Accidental Festival website and return it by 10 January 2011.