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Puppeteer and Company News

Horse and Bamboo

Horse+Bamboo Theatre has scooped a prestigious award.
The company, which is one of Europe’s leading visual theatres, has won a coveted Manchester Evening News (M.E.N.) Theatre Award for its current touring production, A Strange (And Unexpected) Event!
The show, which is enjoying a 4-week stint in Holland following a sell-out success in the UK, won the Best Special Entertainment Award.
Horse+Bamboo’s company manager, Aileen Grogan, said: "It rounds off a wonderful year for us and it is great to win the award ahead of the show going out across the UK again next Spring for another 8-week run."

Travelling Light Theatre Company

Travelling Light’s first co-production with Bristol Old Vic is an adaptation of Quentin Blake’s book, a story told without words. Director Sally Cookson has created a piece of theatre without text, to encourage the audience to take an active part in interpreting what they see and hear. Music, physical theatre, dance and puppetry have all been brought together to bring the story to life. Bristol-based Marc Parrett of The Stuff and Nonsense Theatre Co. has designed and created the puppets as well as directing the puppetry.
Bristol Old Vic until 15 January 05; for tour dates (27 Jan -9 April 05) visit

Blind Summit is back at BAC
Kevin does Kung fu, Bud gets into a school bag and an old man dances ballet... Blind Summit attempts to take experimental puppetry to a new low, in another high risk show. Don't miss it!
Friday and Saturday 21st, 22nd Jan 7.30pm
Sunday 23rd Jan 5.30pm
BAC, Lavender Hill, SW11
Box Office 020 7223 2223

Gavin Skerrit
Gavin Skerritt is delighted with Arts Council England’s decision to fund his latest theatre project Eastenda and is busy creating the unique event in his workshop and rehearsal space at London Docklands. He will be working with sound engineer Wolfgang Matejek and directions will be coming from Irene Hardy, David Alcock and Knut Østrådal (Adger Theatre, Norway). Eastenda looks at the history of the people who lived and worked in and around the docks and factories of East London. Using mask, puppetry, sound and inspiration coming from Gavin’s family and ex-Dockers, Eastenda reflects on the momentous changes and events that have affected and moulded this community, starting from the birth of the docks and factories to the present day, giving a voice to an isolated and now forgotten community. At present 3 public performances are booked for The Museum in Docklands, London E14 The first performance will be March 18th 2005 at 7.00pm(enquiries and tickets 0870 4443855). For information about EASTENDA and its development please visit E mail

Julian Crouch Collaboration with Welsh National Opera
Julian Crouch of Improbable Theatre, designer of such groundbreaking shows as Shockheaded Peter and Jerry Springer – the Opera, is designing a production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute for Welsh National Opera. The production, directed by Dominic Cooke, will open on May 14th 2005 in Cardiff, and will be in the WNO repertoire for a tour of Swansea, Bristol, Birmingham, Oxford and Llandudno until July 16th. Julian’s recent run of success includes the award of a NESTA grant, given to only a chosen few artists of high calibre. His Improbable colleague Phelim McDermott received a NESTA grant a couple of years ago. Julian is intending to use his in the research of illustration, animation, light and shadow.

Unpacked present:
The Fourth Violin from the Left
27th-29th January at 7.30pm
The Pauper’s Pit
Buxton, Derbyshire
Four spooks fill the time in peculiar ways while awaiting their final
orders. Infiltrating puppets, twisted romance and cruel tortures occur as their paranoia, suspicion and lunacy escalate to breaking point.

Figure of Speech Multimedia
Figure of speech is performing in the animation and live season at the Phoenix Arts Centre Exeter in February - see
Figure of Speech Multimedia
2 Pieces of Innovative New Puppetry
Mon Feb14 2005 / 8pm / £8 (£6)
Rama is a musical journey through creation, destruction and rebirth. Drawing on the epic Hindu tale, 'The Ramayana', it maps the struggle between good and evil through imaginative use of shadow puppetry, animation and video projection. 'Moontime' focuses on the themes of alchemy and transformation, and is an experimental combination of animation, puppetry, original music and dance, featuring a half-puppet, half-human performer.

Objets D’art
Objects Dart's One Small Step goes on at the Little Angel Theatre" on 26-30 January. The show is a text-based riot of table-top puppetry and object theatre, using found objects and hand-crafted puppets, all mixed together with a lively dash of Russian folksong. Directed by Louise Warren and Steve Tiplady,
The show relates to three key areas of the national schools curriculum for the 5-11 age group (technology, science and geography) and also explores a fascinating era in history, where the stories are stranger than fiction-but absolutely true! Any children's events organisers/education officers interested in seeing the show contact 020 8653 2766 for free tickets. The show is touring to schools in South East London during February. Further details are on the website

Bobroshkov's Dream

Abalino Dance Theatre, have been developing a magical piece combining the art forms of puppetry and dance. Bobroshkov's Dream is to be shown as part of the Resolution!2005 festival at The Place, London on Sat 15th January.
An old man dreams, and we are transported into the world of his memories and hopes through the struggles of his daily life. For further information contact
Alice Cade on T 01780 720521/07812 179486

Dynamic New Animation
DNA's new personnel contact details are as follows:
Adam Bennett - General Manager 07968 494094
Rachel Riggs - Artistic Director 07976 946003
Rosa Parkin - Tour Developer 07960 414808
Unit 13 The Watermark
Ribbleton Lane

The Little Angel Theatre Spring Season
The Little Angel Theatre
14 Dagmar Passage
N1 2DN
Tel 0207 359 8581
Book Tickets on 020 7226 1787
January 27th - 30th Objects Dart Present ‘One Small Step’ 5+
February 5th and 6th Ripstop Productions Present The Jumblies 4+
Over The Moon 4+
February 12th and 13th Garlic Theatre Present The Sorcerer’s Apprentice 4+
Fiddlesticks 4+
February15th Theatre of Widdershins Present ‘The Three Billy Goats Gruff’ 3+
February 16th - 20th Norwich Puppet Theatre Present ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ 3+
February 27th and 28th Indefinite Articles ‘The Magic Lamp’ 4+

Venues and Festivals

Norwich Puppet Theatre
Pinocchio continues its touring programme primarily into schools in the Essex region, with a Spanish language performance on 13th January, gala evening on 12th February, Jackson’s Lane 16th February and then on to the Bilbao ferry to start a couple of weeks work in and around Madrid for this year’s Teatralia Children’s theatre festival. Meanwhile, Jack & the Beanstalk will be performed at the Little Angel Theatre 16th-20th February. During January and February we will be working on a Creative Partnerships funded project with Mundesley Junior School inspired by Philip Pulman’s Dark Materials - including making puppets, devising stories and a final performance at NPT on 9th February.
January also sees a new intake for the City & Guilds courses in puppet making.
The spring programme includes working with Norfolk and Norwich Festival in May – check website for more details.

Puppet Theatre Barge
The Hare and The Tortoise & Other Tales from Aesop
Traditional fables, loved by generations are brought to life by the rich Caribbean voice of actor Rudolph Walker. He narrates the fables of The Lion and the Mouse, The Spider and the Gnat, The Fox and the Goat and of course the great race between The Hare and the Tortoise. All of these tales use beautiful puppets that add charm to Aesop's writing. With music, dramatic touches and gentle humour these tales are a delight to children and adults alike.
Tel 020 7249 6876 for full details
Children and concs. £7.00 Adults £7.50

The Little Angel
The Little Angel presents:
The Mouse Queen:
Music and Lyrics by Ben Glasstone
Book by Ben Glasstone and Tim Kane
Designed by Peter O’Rourke
Directed by Steve Tiplady
Tilly is a truthful, trustful mouse who wants to be big. Leonard is a brash, boastful lion who wants to be powerful. A chance meeting and a gold coin set them both on a journey to the big city to fulfil their dreams. There, our furry duo encounter strange food, weird machines and the most mysterious kind of creature – humans! This brand new musical is inspired by the Aesop's fables The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse and The Lion and the Mouse. The Little Angel’s artistic director Steve Tiplady directs a large cast of musicians, actors, puppeteers, animals and shadows on a modern day quest to discover the true nature of nature.
Box Office: 0207 226 178


Indigo Moon seeks Puppet Theatre companies for Tsunami Fundraiser
Haviel of Indigo Moon Theatre Co is from Indonesia and the company wish to start organising a weekend puppet festival as a fundraising event for the tsunami appeal. They have 3 interested puppet companies who might take part in a weekend festival possibly in February, in Beverley East Yorkshire and would be interested to hear from anyone else who might like to take part. Contact
Anna Ingleby, Indigo Moon Theatre Company E-mail T 01482 867646 / 07855 328552

Volunteering at The Little Angel:
The Little Angel Theatre relies on a team of reliable and committed volunteers to help with the day to day running of the theatre and the shows. We are currently looking for volunteers to help with:
Mailouts and Marketing
Database management and inputting of data
Front of House and Ushering on Saturdays and Sundays
They do not require any formal qualifications but volunteers should be both numerate and literate and have good communication skills and a common sense attitude. Volunteers must like dealing with the public, be enthusiastic with a good sense of humour and should enjoy working as part of a team. It is important that volunteers are excellent timekeepers and are prepared to make a commitment to working the hours agreed with The Front of House Manager. We would especially welcome enquiries from older and retired volunteers. Call Glen on 0207 226 1787

Training & Professional Development

CSSD New Puppetry and Object Manipulation Course
This new course at Central School of Speech of Drama in London will introduce you to the basic skills and history of puppetry and object manipulation. It will familiarize you with traditions from different cultures and periods via lectures and workshops. During the course you will develop techniques in movement, hand and object manipulation; develop the ability to explore the history of puppetry; explore and develop an understanding of how puppets can be engaging in performance; and develop an understanding of how to use objects and puppets in performance. Choose the term which suits you best:
Spring term 2005:
Mon and Wed, 7pm-9.30pm,
24 Jan – 16 Mar, inc.
Intensive Day Sat 12 Feb 1pm-6pm
Summer term 2005:
Mon and Wed, 7pm-9.30pm,
18 Apr – 15 Jun, inc., (no classes
on bank holidays, 2 and 30 May).
Intensive Day Sat 28 May 1pm-6pm
Cost:£375/£275 conc.

Forkbeard Fantasy
Spring & Summer Schools 2005
Spring School: 16th – 21st April
Summer School: 16th – 21st July
Forkbeard Fantasy are offering 2 six day residential courses in 2005. The Spring & Summer Schools give you the chance to discover new ways of working in an inclusive, stimulating and challenging environment. The Schools are located at Forkbeard's Waterslade Studios in the heart of rural Devon. The course will give participants a hands-on introduction to the diversity of practice which exists within Forkbeard’s work. For further details and application forms:
or write to Forkbeard Fantasy, PO Box 1241, Bristol, BS99 2TG.

Horse+Bamboo Theatre has just unveiled its fantastic programme of training and workshops for 2005:
Imaginary Leaps - Transformation Theatre. Saturday 26th & Sunday 27th February 2005. Rachel Riggs from Dynamic New Animation will lead a course using everyday objects & materials to create extraordinary worlds, puppets & props for performance. Starting with devising ideas from traditional folktales and creating original work using percussion, shadow projection and performers, participants will make and play.
Trainer: Rachel Riggs — DNA
Course Cost Per Person: £85.00
Group Size: 12

Stillness to Movement and Movement for Mask. Saturday 5th & Sunday 6th March 2005
This course will examine the relationship of masked performance to music. Starting with the body as the focus for both, participants will explore ways in which music can be created to support mask performance, and also how music can be an impulse for physical work. A wide range of instruments will be provided for the course, but participants are encouraged to bring their own also. The course will be fun, relaxed and enjoyable.
Trainer: Chris Davies
Course Cost Per Person: £85.00
Group Size: 12

Stretching the Shadow - Saturday 19th & Sunday 20th March 2005
An object placed in a beam of light casts a shadow. If the object moves the shadow changes but what happens if the object remains stationary and the light moves? What if there are 2 lights? How will moving the screen affect the image? Over the course of this workshop we will examine a variety of different techniques involved in the play of light and shadow, from the traditional to the experimental.
Trainer: Mark Whitaker
Course Cost Per Person: £85.00
Group Size: 12

Masks Inside and Out - Monday 20th to Friday 24th June 2005
This intensive week-long course will cover two of the elements which make Horse + Bamboo’s work so distinctive – the making and the performance of helmet masks.
With Alison Duddle, participants will design and create a full helmet mask, using some of the same stimulus and limitations we use in creating masks for our touring shows. With Victoria Lee, participants will firstly explore some of the techniques and skills used in mask performance using Horse + Bamboo masks, and then by the end of the week, create a performed sequence using their own mask.
Trainers: Victoria Lee and Alison Duddle
Course Cost Per Person: £220.00
Group Size: 12

Education, Community and Outreach

Horse and Bamboo

The pPod - A Private Experience in a Public Space
The pPod is Horse+Bamboo Theatre’s latest dazzling adventure that aims to captivate festival and community audiences. For more than 25 years, Horse+Bamboo has created high quality, intimate and unique visual theatre that has thrived in unexpected venues and the pPod, which will be available by May 2005, is the company’s bold new venture. The pPod is a purpose-built, easily installed and erected, portable, theatre space, suited to public spaces as well as more traditional, rural touring and education settings and can to be set up either indoors or outdoors. The pPod houses two exotic and magical productions, each told using different facets of Horse + Bamboo's distinctive style of visual theatre, but in miniature. Both shows can be seen during one day's programme, with a short turn-around time between. The shows will be suitable for family audiences. Anyone wanting more details about the pPod email, Tel 01706-220241. There is also more information at

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