A puppet which is operated from above by strings or wires that are attached to its head, back and limbs.
Bunraku is an ancient form of Japanese puppet theatre dating back to the 17th Century. Puppeteers, who are dressed in black and are visible to the audience, manipulate large puppets (3-4 feet tall) to the accompaniment of a chanted narration.
An ancient form of storytelling that traditionally uses flat figures that are held between a light and translucent screen or other backdrop.
A marotte is a simple version of a rod puppet that is just the head and/or body. Some marottes have a small string that runs down their backs and attaches to a handle, that when squeezed opens the mouth.
Stop motion is an animation film technique that involves physically moving an object or persona and have it look as if it is moving on its own. The object is moved in small increments between photographed frames in order to create the illusion of movement.
The ability to speak with little to no lip movement as if the voice is coming from another source, such as a dummy, doll or object.
Water puppetry is an ancient Vietnamese tradition dating back to the 10th century. The puppets are created out of wood and the shows are performed in waist deep water. The puppeteers use a large rod that is placed beneath the water to control them
A person who manipulates puppets.
Black light puppetry consists of brightly UV painted puppets being controlled on a stage that is only lit by ultraviolet lighting. Puppeteers perform dressed in black against a black background and manipulate the puppets under the light, remaining unseen.
During the 18th and 19th centuries, jigging puppets were frequently performed on street corners throughout Europe. They were made to dance by slight variations in the tension of the strings.
A rod puppet is a puppet that is fashioned around a central rod, covered by fabric, and is attached to the head. A puppeteer can control the puppet by moving the metal rods that are attached to the limbs and by rotating the rod.
A manuscript from the fourth century that is illustrated with pictures of hand puppet shows in booths.
Punch and Judy has its roots in the 16th century Italian Commedia Dell’arte tradition. Each performance consists of short violent scenes between Mr. Punch and one other character, who usually becomes the victim of Punch’s club. The show is usually performed by a single puppeteer and has been entertaining audiences of all ages for hundreds of years.
Muffin the Mule was the first puppet to ever become a television star. He made his first appearance on an edition of the television show For the Children on 20 October 1946 and was presented by Annette Mills, sister of John Mills.
Body puppets are generally made to be part of a large display, such as a parade, carnival, or demonstration. They are the size of a human, or even larger, and take one or more people to operate them. Well known body puppets include “Big Bird” from Sesame Street and “Sweetums” from The Muppets by Jim Henson.
These plays dealt with the principles of human decisions, choosing good over evil, and were most popular in Europe during the 15th and 16th centuries. When puppets are used for these types of plays the audience becomes more focused on the theme and plot rather than the actors.
A form of popular comedy developed in Italy during the 16th to 18th centuries, with stock characters such as Punchinello, Harlequin, and Columbine, in situations improvised from a plot outline. Performers wearing half-masks or puppets would travel from place to place to put on shows.
Scarecrow puppets are created by using two crossed sticks that are draped with old clothes. Two of these puppets are held up behind a bench, under which the puppeteer lies. Each of the plays generally ends with some sort of fight between the two puppets.
This type of marionette puppet is found in north western India. It is operated by one string the travels from the top of the puppet’s head, over the puppeteer’s hand, and down to one of the shoulders to control the body. Each marionette is handed down to each generation and when the puppet is no longer functional, it is guided down a river along with a prayer. However long it stays afloat is an indication of how kind the gods are judging it.
Animation is an illusion of movement.
To skilfully handle or manage an object in some process of treatment or performance.
Hand puppets or glove puppets are operated by sliding one hand into the interior of the puppet. The famous puppets Punch and Judy are hand puppets.
In toy theatre a puppet is cut out of paper and stuck onto card and is secured at its base by a stick. It is operated by pushing it in from the side of the toy puppet theatre. These paper theatres have been around since the 19th century where sheets with puppets were created for children to use.
The human arm puppet is also known as the “two man puppet” or “live hand puppet”, it is similar to a hand puppet, only much larger. One puppeteer operates the head/mouth and one arm, while the other operates the opposite arm and other limbs.
Light curtain presentations are made so the lighting is focused to highlight certain parts of the performance, making it so the puppet remains seen and the manipulator invisible.
A push puppet consists of a segmented character on a base which is kept under tension until the button on the bottom is pressed. The puppet wiggles, slumps and then collapses, and is usually used as a novelty toy.
Full length operas were composed for marionettes by composers such as Gluck, Haydn, and Lewis Carroll. The Salzburg Marionette Theatre in Austria still continues this tradition today.
Digital puppetry is the manipulation of 2D or 3D animated characters and objects that are created in a virtual environment. The difference between digital puppetry and computer animation is that the puppetry is done in real time rather than frame by frame. It is most commonly used in film, television, and also theme park interactive attractions and theatre.
This type of puppetry is when a puppet or person is used as a physical representation of the digital puppet in order to get an idea of how the character will move. Their movements are recorded and then matched by the digital puppet. The film Oz: The Great and Powerful used this technique for the characters of Finley and China Girl.
Supermarionation is a method that was created by Gerry Anderson, which involves electronically moving the marionette’s mouth so its lips are in sync with the words. However, the puppet is still manipulated normally.
BearDog is a collaborative and interdisciplinary performance company formed by improviser Calum Anderson and puppeteer Joni-Rae Carrack. BearDog makes high quality low-fi theatre for Fringe audiences. We ask you for an hour of your time and in that hour we’ll show you some beautiful, feisty, real theatre.
Joni meets someone special but how can she tell him she has a long-term mental illness? And is it really the best thing to talk about on a second date?
New puppet theatre incorporating Gregorian chant, on-stage scenography and carved wooden puppets by Christopher Leith; acclaimed and prolific maker, director and performer of puppet-based theatre for over 50 years and the former Director of Little Angel.
This is Christopher's first piece of writing, directing and performance since being diagnosed with motor neurone disease. Though not a religious piece, the story of Lazarus is used to explore issues around life, illness, death and regeneration, and the art of puppetry itself.
Founded in 1978, Green Ginger (GG) makes world class, innovative & award winning puppet theatre of universal appeal to both national & international audiences.
“Green Ginger push puppetry to the limit & disturbingly, a bit further” Terry Gilliam “An inspired mix of art & lunacy” The Guardian
The company’s previous full length show RUST, was created in 2005 & toured the UK & Europe for 5 years and was seen by over 20,000 people. Since 2004, Green Ginger’s Artistic Director (Chris Pirie) has helped to develop Puppet Place in Bristol into a thriving South West hub for puppetry creation & co-founded the Bristol Festival of Puppetry, a biennial event showcasing international world class puppetry.
Improbable is a non-venue based company that creates live performances. At the heart of our practice is improvisation. Every Improbable performance is a unique event that performers and audience create together.
Newspapers become swans, bristle bare brushes become creatures from the swamp and characters are (literally) constructed before your very eyes. Lead by Improbable’s Artistic Directors Phelim McDermott and Lee Simpson, with special guest Mark Down, Artistic Director of Blind Summit, Animo is a puppetry performance like no other: no script, no set, just a range of everyday materials, five improvisers and a completely different show every night.
Knuckle and Joint is run by Joint Artistic Directors, Peter Morton and Rebecca O'Brien. They are a Kent based duo specialising in intricate puppetry design and dynamic puppetry performance. With a playful nature at the heart of our work, we build creative and visually stimulating performances from the ground up.
Bear witness to the debauchery and murder of some of the most decrepit puppets to crawl out of a back alley. A puppet cabaret for adults. “Unique” ???? (BroadwayBaby.com)
"Mirth and Misery are a London based puppet company founded in 2012 by puppeteer and theatre-maker Sian Kidd. We make work that explores the contemporary string puppet, focusing on collaboration with musicians to emphasise the visual language of the marionette. Our aim is to create inspiring, darkly humorous theatre, which stimulates and engages as wide an audience as possible"
'Mirth and Misery invite you to enter their world of putrefied puppetry and witness their manipulation of the damned. Performed with a live four piece band, each character has a song and each song tells a story....Who lives? Who dies? Who cares?'
Movingstage acquired the barge [Puppet Theatre Barge] in 1981. The first performance was given in January 1982. This unique theatre has seating for 55. Marionette spectacles are presented throughout the year, spending the winter in Little Venice and the summer at Richmond. The theatre is fully licenced by the City of Westminster.
End Games aims to explore the disconnection between mind and body, using poetry, long-string marionettes and interviews with a range of adults who have experienced memory loss – interspersed are abstract visuals and a sound-track that fragments as the piece progresses.
Dik and Adam are traditional clowns in a very untraditional situation. They somehow find themselves in a world where everything is made of cardboard: chairs, tables, a lift, musical instruments and even a boat. They have no idea why they are here or what they are supposed to be doing; only that their actions seem to be beyond their control, almost as if someone else was making them perform against their will. Through a series of outrageous sketches, involving slapstick, mime and much audience participation,
the two clowns discover that they are indeed trapped in this cardboard world and being controlled by an evil presence: the diminuative yet terrifying Poco the Clown. The only way to escape their dilemma is to dupe two members of the audience into taking their places. Will this be possible? That depends on how persuasive they can actually be.
Rouge28 Theatre is a company of international theatre artists based in London. We fuse puppetry with different performance genres to produce original and intriguing visual theatre. Our work has been performed across Britain as well as in France, Poland and Greece.
Past performances include Urashima Taro and Mademoiselle Lychee.
KWAIDAN is a cinematic and atmospheric piece inspired by Japanese ghost stories and horror movies which combines life-sized puppets, humanettes, acting and video projections.
"Sandglass is inspired by a love of puppetry and live performance, engagement with local and international community, and respect for audience. Our mission is to advance the development of puppetry as a unique and unusual theater form that embodies the human experience."
"D-Generation: an Exaltation of Larks is a full-length theater piece based upon stories written collaboratively by groups of people with late-stage dementia."
Award winning Smoking Apples produce high quality theatre, that more often than not, works with difficult, hard¬-to¬-digest subject matter. Using puppetry and visual theatre, the company create innovative shows, making their subjects enjoyable and accessible for audiences. They combine puppets, live actors and an identifiable and unique style of movement.
In Our Hands tells the story of Alf, a trawler fisherman whose experience, camaraderie and loyalty have put him, and his boat, at the top of the game. But times are changing, and so are the rules and regulations surrounding the industry, will Alf adapt in order to survive?
"We're Joni & Dana, aka Sort of Theatre.
We make shows. Sort of.
But then they're kind of a little bit like lectures.
And then Joni likes to put some puppets in it.
And Dana talks a lot."
"Joni is a puppeteer.
Dana is not.
Dana is a Jew.
Joni is not.
Buttons is a show about their 'sort of' holiday to Auschwitz and the stories they discovered along the way; exploring the themes of memory, family & war"
For thirty years, Stephen has been touring the globe with marionette shows for adult audiences. Best known of these are In Suspension, The Seas of Organillo and The Seed Carriers. He also worked on films like The Little Shop of Horrors and Strings. Trained in London and Budapest as a mime, he has a deep interest in communication through movement and spends a lot of time nowadays teaching.
The music for The Seed Carriers was composed by Glyn Perrin. Jessica Shaw designed the stage. Lighting design was by Kenneth Parry and the show was directed by Melanie Thompson.
Susan Beattie is a puppeteer who works across stage, TV and film. Her first show Spirit was funded by the Arts Council, toured in the UK and the soundtrack was adapted for broadcast on Radio 4. The Husband had its beginnings in a Puppet Centre/BAC scratch performance.
The Husband takes as a starting point the story of Katharina Detzel. Trapped in a German psychiatric institution in 1907 for political protest she used whatever she had to hand to fashion a series of extraordinary companions.
The work of FLYING DUTCHMAN is characterized by its fairytale-like quality. We aim to bring back the sacredness into the theatre. The craft of storytelling lies at the heart of what we do. Our venture into puppetry went from big three headed dogs in Greek drama to flat cardboard people in a pop up book.
The Fantastical Tale of the Boy on the Run is a Willy Wonka-like visual spectacle about a boy trying to find his destiny. It is a cardboard miniature performance in a big pop up book.
Theatre-Rites is considered one of the UK’s leading companies making beautiful and challenging work specifically for children and adults to enjoy together. They are experts in puppetry and collaborate across artforms, creating small and middle-scale theatre and site-specific productions, which tour nationally and internationally.
Commissioners have included Sadler’s Wells, the Barbican and the Salzburg Festival.
One puppet whisperer, one puppeteer and a curious collection of puppets… Sue Buckmaster, one of the UK’s leading puppetry practitioners and Artistic Director of Theatre-Rites has created an evening of live un-rehearsed, improvised puppetry for ages 16 plus
Tidsrum is an interdisciplinary company creating cultural experiences. Based in theatre, our projects include puppetry, installation art, exhibition-design and co-creative learning spaces.
Working with the sensorial expression of materials, the curiosity and sometimes co-creation of the audience, we aim at an abstract, poetic and challenging expression.
Beatrice is a steampunk puppet show about Man’s (and Woman’s) complicated love of machines, based on a short story by award-winning Karin Tidbeck.
‘Do you count yourself among the contented or the afflicted?’
A playful exploration of Cervantes’ novel, combining incredible visual imagery, live music and dance.
Don Quijote featured as part of the 2013 British Council Showcase, this performance takes the same brazen attitude as Cervantes, presenting its own radical and absurd worldview. It is about how we don’t know what to do with individuals who want to affect change in unconventional ways; about our role as individuals within society – not necessarily to behave like Quijote; but to consider our response to those who do.
The title role will be played by a secret guest performer unique to each date.
Wattle & Daub is a Bristol-based puppetry and visual theatre company. We play with strange structures, striking visual imagery and the interconnections of puppet and puppeteer. Through exploring the ways in which humans bring life to puppets, masks and other performing objects, we are committed to creating theatre that audiences find magical, inspirational and transformative.
A monstrous chamber opera for puppets based on the true story of Tarrare the Freak, an 18th century French revolutionary spy with an insatiable appetite for live cats, amputated limbs and the occasional toddler. Tarrare’s grizzly story ends on the autopsy table - a defining moment in medical history.
Yael Rasooly is an award winning theater director, puppeteer, singer and actress. Her works have toured worldwide in over 30 countries and 60 festivals and have received immense critical acclaim.
All her productions, which vastly vary in theme and artistic means, fuse cabaret, singing, object theater and puppetry, for an adult audience. For More information- www.yaelrasooly.com.
A lonely secretary escapes her dull reality by bringing to life black and white photos from old film magazines. But as the story unravels, her romantic tale becomes a Hitchcock nightmare!
Camden People’s Theatre is a central London space dedicated year-round to supporting early-career artists – particularly those making work about issues that matter to people right now. Its mission is to refresh and strengthen the performance sector with a new generation of artists who bring a fresh perspective to contemporary concerns, and create new artistic forms with which to address them; and to present their work to a new generation of audiences.
Jacksons Lane is one of North London’s leading arts centres. The organisation creates, presents and develops innovative performance and live work, particularly circus and physical theatre, contemporary dance and children’s theatre. The building is home to a 160 capacity theatre, a large scale dance and rehearsal studio, a café-bar, and four other multi-purpose spaces.
Jacksons Lane supports up to 100 circus companies and artists every year through commissioning, producing, mentoring, year-round residencies, rehearsal space and advocacy. Through its Transmission and Hangwire programmes Jacksons Lane works with emerging circus artists on developing brand new work. Since 2014 Jacksons Lane has supported the Total Theatre Award for Circus at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, it is an annual venue for the London International Mime Festival, CircusFest in association with the Roundhouse and the UK-wide Up and Out Circus and Street Arts Network.
Through its busy participation and outreach department Jacksons Lane delivers artistic opportunities for people of all ages across the borough of Haringey.
JW3 is a state-of-the-art community and cultural venue, established for the benefit of the Jewish community, the local community, and for the people of London. JW3 and the London Jewish Cultural Centre (LJCC) merged in March 2015, forming a single, enhanced organisation. Designed by Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands, JW3 houses a 270-seat auditorium, a 60-seat cinema, a demonstration kitchen, dance studios, classrooms, and Zest, JW3’s in-house restaurant and bar.
Established in 1961, Little Angel Theatre is dedicated to the celebration and development of puppetry and live animation in all its diverse forms. The 100 seat theatre stands side-by-side with its famous workshop, where new productions and puppets are developed, carved and constructed.
Little Angel Theatre created suspense in 2009 and has curated the festival ever since.
Opened in 2010, New Diorama is a studio theatre in central London dedicated to supporting emerging theatre companies. With a truly national footprint, New Diorama have, to date, welcomed over 100,000 audience members and deliver an annual community outreach programme, the success of which led to NDT being named Mayor of Camden’s chosen charity in 2012/13. Our programme has won two Peter Brook Awards and we were the 2014 recipients of the Best Artistic Director prize at the OffWestEnd Awards.
From our home just off Regent’s Park, productions created at New Diorama have toured all over the UK, to festivals and, even, to national theatres across the globe.
Movingstage acquired the barge in 1981. The first performance was given in January 1982. This unique theatre has seating for 55. Marionette spectacles are presented throughout the year, spending the winter in Little Venice and the summer at Richmond. The theatre is fully licenced by the City of Westminster.
The multi award winning Rosemary Branch Theatre, once a Victorian music hall, is now a cosy space above a lovely pub that prides itself on its craft ales and delicious home made food. Cecilia Darker and Cleo Sylvestre have run it for 19 years and enjoy programming an eclectic mix of drama, opera, puppetry and just about anything else you care to mention.
The Pleasance Theatre Islington has been one of the most exciting Fringe theatres in London since it opened its doors in 1995, providing a launch pad for some of the most memorable productions and renowned practitioners of the past decade and staying true to its mission of providing a platform for the talent of the future.
Margate's Tom Thumb is one of the smallest theatres in the world. A converted Victorian Coach House by the sea, complete with a tiny stage, velvet seats and flocked wallpaper. At the Tom Thumb Theatre we host spoken-word nights, comedy and story-telling. We screen indie films and promote live bands, solo performers and DJs. Through a programme of residencies, we support and nurture cutting-edge theatre and experimental performance from across the country.
Matthew Robins is an animator and puppeteer, whose work combines music, live animation, shadow puppetry and film. His work has been seen at the National Theatre, the Barbican, the Unicorn, the Roundhouse, the Traverse, Opera North, Little Angel Theatre and many other venues aside. http://www.sadlucy.com/
Matthew is creating a new piece for SUSPENSE 2015.
The company was founded in 1999 by Colette Garrigan and Franck Bourget to make and tour shows specialising in puppet theatre and the related arts, and to perform shows to as wide a public as possible.
Colette will be presenting her hit show Sleeping Beauty, an adaptation of the fairy tale Briar Rose, for the first time in England.
Object Puppets can be created with found everyday objects either assembled in advance or during performance.
The Clockwork Moth are a small shifting collective, based on the edge of Dartmoor. All our work is inspired by stories, finding new ways to get to the heart of the old tales that we all carry around with us. Using the simple play of light and shadow, we fuse beautiful imagery with original music and wondrous words. Every puppet that escapes from our brains is hand cut and lovingly brought to life through the cunning use of sticks.
The devil with the three golden hairs is one of our biggest undertakings yet. With three puppeteers, two live musicians and a narrator on top, we work very hard to make it look as though it is all the simplest thing in the world. A traditional tale told in the darkly humorous style of Grimm.