Features

Interview with Jan Zalud

2018-10-09 Aya Nakamura

An interview with puppet maker Jan Zalud about the production Hansel & Gretel. Poet Simon Armitage and Guildhall School of Music & Drama professor Matthew Kaner have collaborated for a reimagining of the Hansel & Gretel tale subtitled "(a nightmare in eight scenes)", which receives its London premiere on 12 October 2018.

Tricks with Strings

2018-04-28 Sian Kidd

Animations Online interviewed Rachel Warr ahead of the marionette performance ‘Tricks with Strings’ at the V&A this weekend. 

Tricks with Strings is on at the V&A Museum in the Globe Space (European galleries) This Sunday 29th April 2018 at 1pm, 2pm, 3pm. 

Performances are 20mins, and FREE. 

 

This Is Puppetry: An Interview with Iestyn Evans

2018-03-21 

As part of Puppet Centre's This Is Puppetry campaign we'll be interviewing puppeteers from across the range of puppet activity, from opera to film, and from community workshops to the West End and Broadway. This month, as we celebrate Puppets in Film, we chat to Iestyn Evans. 

Iestyn's film credits include Star Wars: The Force Awakens. He has also puppeteered on stage and TV as well as the The London Olympics Opening Ceremony. He's also part of Talk to the Hand, who created puppets for the TV hit Mongrels. 

Women, Fairytales and Cultural Myths by Eleanor Margolies

2017-09-01 Eleanor Margolies

Eleanor Margolies writes a feature for Animations Online called Women, Fairytales and Cultural Myths in light of her time at the Charleville-Mézières International Puppet Festival 2017. 

Smoking Apples - Keeping Puppetry Afloat

2016-11-08 

Luke Breen from Smoking Apples talks about the state of puppetry and keeping it afloat. 

The Future of the Marionette

2016-03-03 Lori Hopkins

Lori Hopkins writes PCT an article about how she views the future of the beloved string puppet and why she thinks marionette theatre is becoming more scarce. 

Interview with The Broke 'N' Beat Collective

2016-02-16 Roxana Haines

20 Stories High and Theatre-Rites have joined forces to create a unique mash up of hip-hop, theatre and puppetry and Roxana spoke to two of the creatives behind this collaboration, Keith Saha and Mohsen Nouri.

Conversations with Frank Soehnle

2016-02-01 Roxana Haines

Roxana chats and laughs with Frank Soehnle of Figurentheater Tübingen ahead of their sold out show Wunderkammer this week at the Barbican. 

Interview with The Wrong Crowd

2016-01-24 Mervyn Millar

Mervyn interviews Bonnie Mitchell and Rachael Canning the co-directors of The Wrong Crowd talking about their show Kite and their making process as their appear this year at the London International Mime Festival. 

Interview with Certain Dark Things

2016-01-19 Roxana Haines

We meet with a relatively new company to discuss their next show and how support is integral in the world of puppetry. 

The Novelty Automation Arcade

2015-06-15 Jeremy Bidgood

A new arcade of automata has opened in central London. Time for an afternoon playing the slots!

'The Virtues of Things' – Royal Opera, Opera North & Aldeburgh Music

2015-05-18 Alexander Winfield

A brand new opera explores the power of objects and the creative process.

A history of the Puppet Centre | part seven

2015-04-02 Penny Francis

Founding member Penny Francis concludes her history series, this time looking at the period 2007-2014.

A history of the Puppet Centre | part six

2015-03-23 Penny Francis

As Puppet Centre clocks up 40 years, founding member Penny Francis continues her history series, this time looking at the period 2002-2007.

Devising 'Citizen Puppet'

2015-03-12 Alexander Winfield

Blind Summit's verbatim puppetry experiment comes to the New Diorama.

New Puppetry Development Consortium to be established

2015-03-11 Puppet Centre

The 'Working Together to Strengthen Puppetry' project ends with a proposal to create a new Puppetry Development Consortium.

A history of the Puppet Centre | part five

2015-01-16 Penny Francis

As Puppet Centre clocks up 40 years, founding member Penny Francis continues her history series, this time looking at the period 1995-2001.

A history of the Puppet Centre | part four

2015-01-07 Penny Francis

As Puppet Centre clocks up 40 years, founding member Penny Francis continues her history series, this time looking at the early 1990s.

Acting with animations – an interview with Shamira Turner

2014-12-22 Helen Babbs

Shamira Turner plays lead character Robert Robertson in 1927's new show 'Golem', now playing at London's Young Vic. We quiz her about what it's like to act with animations.

A history of the Puppet Centre | part three

2014-12-08 Penny Francis

As Puppet Centre clocks up 40 years, founding member Penny Francis continues her history series, this time looking at the period from 1984-1989.

Celebrating TV puppets with attitude

2014-11-28 Helen Babbs

A special screening at the BFI this December will star loveable puppets from the past. But what makes good TV puppetry?

A history of the Puppet Centre | part two

2014-11-03 Penny Francis

As Puppet Centre clocks up 40 years, founding member Penny Francis continues her history series, this time looking at the organisation's first decade.

A history of the Puppet Centre | part one

2014-10-20 Penny Francis

As Puppet Centre clocks up 40 years, founding member Penny Francis begins a four part history, starting at the very beginning.

Working together to strengthen puppetry

2014-10-09 Puppet Centre

Announcing a collaborative project that aims to build better infrastructure for puppetry in England.

Celebrating 40 | Q&A with Pete Gunson

2014-09-05 Helen Babbs

The Puppet Centre is 40 this year. To celebrate we're catching up with some of the people who have won Puppet Centre bursaries to find out how their eclectic careers have developed.

Puppetry and World War One

2014-07-21 Helen Babbs

Is puppetry a particularly effective way of exploring the challenging issues of the so-called Great War? We talk to Handspring, Les Enfants Terribles and Metta Theatre to find out.

Celebrating 40 | Q & A with Corina Bona

2014-07-14 Helen Babbs

The Puppet Centre is 40 this year. To celebrate we're catching up with some of the people who have won Puppet Centre residencies to find out how their eclectic careers have developed.

Celebrating 40 | Q&A with Nenagh Watson

2014-07-09 Helen Babbs

The Puppet Centre is 40 this year. To celebrate we're catching up with some of the people who have won Puppet Centre bursaries to find out how their eclectic careers have developed.

Celebrating 40 | Q & A with Mervyn Millar

2014-06-18 Helen Babbs

The Puppet Centre is 40 this year. To celebrate we're catching up with some of the people who have won Puppet Centre bursaries to find out how their eclectic careers have developed.

Changes afoot at the Puppet Centre

2014-06-02 Puppet Centre

You may have noticed the Puppet Centre website has had a bit of a makeover. We’re celebrating our 40th anniversary this year and have taken the opportunity to refresh our vision. We're now developing an exciting new plan to champion the sector.

An Eighteenth Century Puppet Hamlet

2014-04-23 Tiffany Stern

To mark the Bard's 450th birthday, theatre historian Tiffany Stern describes why director Beth Burns and her Hidden Room Theatre Company mounted an eighteenth century puppet version of 'Hamlet'.

The play's the thing – exploring the V&A's puppetry collection

2014-03-17 Helen Babbs

Ahead of a Shakespeare themed show using characters from the V&A's puppetry collection, we meet writer and performer Allison Ouvry who has been given unique access to the archive.

Celebrating 40 | Q & A with Sue Buckmaster

2014-03-07 Helen Babbs

The Puppet Centre is 40 this year. To celebrate we're catching up with some of the people who have won Puppet Centre bursaries to find out how their eclectic careers have developed.

The ballad of Peter Rinderknecht

2014-02-27 Alexander Winfield

Swiss performer Peter Rinderknecht discusses the important art of making intelligent and imaginative object theatre for young audiences.

Photographing puppetry – a conversation with Jemima Yong

2014-02-18 Joanna Hruby

A live performance photographer discusses her fascination with puppets, especially the relationship between puppet and puppeteer.

Silent speech – an interview with Rachael Savage

2014-01-13 Helen Jauregui

Ahead of their Mime Festival show, the artistic director of Vamos Theatre talks in-depth about the extraordinary process of creating full mask theatre.

Dancing with the wind – an interview with Phia Ménard

2014-01-08 Katharine Kavanagh

Founder of Company Non Nova, Phia Menard discusses working with wind and plastic ahead of two shows at the London International Mime Festival.

Abysses and dizziness – an interview with Philippe Genty

2013-12-18 Nigel Luck

Ahead of the 2014 London International Mime Festival, Philippe Genty discusses puppetry, performance and 'Forget Me Not'.

Creating the Elephantom – an interview with Toby Olié and Finn Caldwell

2013-12-04 Celia Mendizabal

As ‘The Elephantom’ opens at the National Theatre’s Shed, we talk to co-directors Toby Olié and Finn Caldwell about creating a new play with a huge ghost puppet as its star.

Between the familiar and the unknown – horror and the uncanny

2013-10-31 Helen Jauregui

It's Halloween – the perfect excuse to ponder the role puppets, particularly ventriloquists' dummies, play in the horror genre.

Listening to the material – a conversation with Rene Baker

2013-10-11 Ellen de Vries

Rene Baker discusses her object-centric workshops, where the materials run things as much as she does – they’re “co-collaborators in the creative space”.

Shape shifter – an interview with Jeremy Bidgood

2013-09-13 Leslie Burton

The new chair of British UNIMA, and one of the brains behind Pangolin's Teatime and the Great Puppet Horn, Jeremy Bidgood talks about his influences and the future of UK puppetry.

Animating theatre – an interview with Mark Holthusen

2013-08-26 Helen Babbs

A prolific photographer and film maker, Mark Holthusen’s most striking project is surely his recent venture into animation with 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner'. Ahead of the show’s London debut, Holthusen talks about animating for live theatre.

Directing puppet opera – an interview with Alex Sutton

2013-08-09 Helen Jauregui

Director Alex Sutton discusses the intricacies of bringing puppetry and opera together for 'The Crocodile'.

Designing puppets for opera – an interview with Roger Lade

2013-08-08 Helen Jauregui

Puppeteer and maker Roger Lade discusses his work on ‘The Crocodile’, a new opera featuring a large puppet beast as its star.

Designing puppet opera – an interview with Isobel Smith

2013-07-31 Helen Jauregui

Puppetry designer and director Isobel Smith talks about her involvement in the forthcoming puppet opera ‘Gala’.

Composing puppet opera - an interview with Ergo Phizmiz

2013-07-26 Helen Jauregui

Musician, writer and artist Ergo Phizmiz talks about his role as composer for the forthcoming puppet opera ‘Gala’.

Work in progress

2013-07-25 EJ Stedman

What's the point of a 'scratch night'? Does showing work in progress and inviting feedback from a live audience help or hinder performers?

Directing puppet opera - an interview with Bill Bankes-Jones

2013-07-23 Helen Jauregui

The artistic director of Tête à Tête talks about directing 'Gala', a new production about Salvador Dali's wife that sees puppetry and opera combine.

The Directors – an interview with Joy Haynes

2013-06-18 Helen Babbs

Director of Norwich Puppet Theatre, Liz Walker explains the unique challenges of directing for puppetry.

The Directors – an interview with Liz Walker

2013-06-03 Helen Babbs

Puppeteer turned director, Liz Walker of Invisible Thread discusses the delights and demands of devising and directing puppet theatre.

The Directors – an interview with Mervyn Millar

2013-05-29 Helen Babbs

Mervyn Millar - most famous for directing Handspring productions including 'War Horse' - shares the secrets of being a successful director of puppetry.

Packing a punch – an interview with Touched Theatre

2013-05-19 EJ Stedman

Since 2011, The Nightingale Theatre in Brighton has played host to ‘Punched’, a variety night that showcases puppetry from across Brighton and Hove. Miranda the marionette from Touched Theatre tells all.

Hunting the duck – a hand shadow workshop

2013-03-20 Kristin Fredricksson

This winter, a workshop with Drew Colby introduced us to the complex yet familiar world of hand shadows, where we hunted for the creatures in our hands and discovered it's a secret art into which initiation is necessary.

The Big Grin Symposium

2013-03-13 EJ Stedman

“Tradition is not tradition because it is old, but because it is alive.” As Mr Punch celebrates his 350th birthday, a host of academics and practitioners from around the world gathered to discuss the meaning and relevance of the great sinner in 2013.

Prehistoric puppetry – an interview with Erth

2013-03-06 Celia Mendizabal

Erth is a Sydney based theatre company that recently brought ‘Dinosaur Petting Zoo’ to London. Scott Wright, the Artistic Director, tells us about the company, the show and the Australian puppetry scene.

How to be an animator – an interview with Barry JC Purves

2013-02-22 EJ Stedman

Prolific director, writer and animator Barry JC Purves talks to Animations Online about spontaneity, industry brownie points and why puppets need never compete with CGI.

The collaborator – an interview with Charlot Lemoine, Velo Theatre

2013-02-06 Helen Babbs

Velo Theatre’s Charlot Lemoine tells Animations Online how the French theatre company has converted a jam factory into a flexible, creative space and explains the joy of returning to old favourites.

A load of 'Rubbish'

2013-01-02 Liat Rosenthal

As piles of post Christmas packaging mount up, it seems timely to find out about Theatre-Rites new production ‘Rubbish’, which uses puppetry and object theatre to explore the potential of thrown away things.

Pure theatre – London International Mime Festival 2013

2013-01-02 Helen Babbs

London's long running celebration of visual theatre returns on the 10 January. Festival Directors Helen Lannaghan and Joseph Seelig talk to Animations Online about what it’s like to be in charge of such a beast.

The theatre film hybrid – an interview with Paul Barritt

2012-12-19 Helen Babbs

As ‘The Animals and Children Took to the Streets’ returns to the London stage for a third time, 1927’s film maker Paul Barritt talks to Animations Online about his work, explaining why the combination of live action and animation is a such a heady one.

High artifice and self-deception

2012-11-14 Helen Babbs

What happens when you combine objects and operatics? Over a day of illustrated talks at the Barbican, practitioners from the puppetry and opera worlds shared their experiences and thoughts on why the two can be combined to powerful effect.

Devoted and Disgruntled of Leeds

2012-10-17 Rebecca Caputo

Rebecca Caputo debates the future of theatre with fellow practitioners in Leeds, at an 'Open Space' conference hosted by Improbable. Anyone can put forward a conversation by writing a catchy title on a piece of paper and sticking it to the wall.

Puppetry faces the lure of the big time

2012-10-10 Elspeth Murray

Puppetry is a provocative subject, and social media means discussions about the art form's relevance can rage for days. Ahead of a real life debate on puppetry's future, we review a previous debate on spectacle vs content via an experimental 'Twitter essay'.

Strings attached

2012-09-26 Randy Ginsburg

Join Randy Ginsberg as he spends two highly strung weeks training to be a marionettist. "We played with short string marionettes to get us started, which hang from about shoulder height to the floor. Most of us felt like we were lugging around a broken body on strings."

How to make a Circus Bear

2012-09-20 Drew Colby

The action is influenced by the way in which one hand can create part of one character while the other hand creates part of a second character, allowing interactions to occur. Sometimes two hands rapidly transform from one animal into another.

Edinburgh Voices III

2012-08-20 Shona Reppe

Voices is a series of interviews with puppeteers performing at this year’s Fringe. Here Shona Reppe tells us about taking The Curious Scrapbook of Josephine Bean to the festival. "Hallelujah for parents who take their kids to the Fringe - pick me, pick me!!"

Edinburgh Voices II

2012-08-15 George Mann

Voices is a series of interviews with puppeteers performing at this year’s Fringe. Here George Mann tells us about taking Translunar Paradise to the festival. "There's just nothing like the Edinburgh Festival Fringe - it's the craziest, most beautiful and ugly festival in the world for artists."

Edinburgh Voices I

2012-08-08 Jeremy Bidgood

Voices is a series of interviews with puppeteers performing at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe.Here Jeremy Bidgood tells us about taking the Great Puppet Horn to the festival. "We will be living by our wits, gathering by day and hunting by night."

Objects of Emotion

2012-08-01 Helen Babbs

It’s not often that neuroscientists are found in discussion with performers and that lectures are punctuated with puppetry. But, earlier this summer, puppeteers and scientists joined forces at the Wellcome Collection to explore the emotional connections we make with inanimate things and why.

Olympian Puppetry

2012-07-26 Liat Rosenthal

Amid all the build-up of the past few months and the sporting activity to come, there have been some incredible animated offerings – from puppets out and about in the community to epic street performance on a grand scale.

The Bauhaus, Puppets and Play

2012-07-21 Jeremy Bidgood

For the Bauhaus, puppets offered the opportunity to play. Getting back to a childlike idea of playing was seen as a way of stimulating the imagination and creativity.

Postcard from Palermo

2012-07-20 Isabel Lyster

As you walk through the city, people spill from cafes in true Mediterranean style as dust kicks up from crumbling streets. And, hidden within Palermo’s small alleys, are the cavernous puppet theatres of the Opera Dei Pupi.

Puppetry in Lebanon

2012-05-24 Randy Ginsburg

Puppetry in Lebanon reflects the country's varied cultural landscape. With such a large diaspora frequently travelling to and from Lebanon, there is a continual pollination of culture, especially throughout the capital Beirut, known for being a centre of art and sophistication.