John has been a puppet-fanatic from the age of 8. He trained as an architect in South
Africa. Studied and worked in the Space Theatre in Cape town ( South Africa’s first nonracial theatre) before being invited to join London’s Little Angel Theatre, Britain’s most famous puppet company.
As Deputy Director of the Little Angel Theatre for 10 years John made, directed, performed and coordinated puppet tours to international festivals in Europe, U.S.A., Scandinavia, Japan, Malaysia and China.
“John Roberts is one of the most talented members of the puppet theatre profession in Britain”.
Penny Francis MBE, General Secretary of the Puppet Centre, London.
1990 – 1993 The Bewitched Baobab Tree
Large rod puppets retell an African legend, accompanied by a narrator/musician playing authentic African instruments. For Theatres, Arts Centers and Schools up to 400 seats.
Performed by 4 puppeteers and a musician. 55 performances.
1991 – 1995 What Next?!
Short studies exploring a variety of traditional and modern puppet forms. A two performer show for small scale venues and schools. Often linked to workshop sessions. For audiences ranging from primary school children to adults. 210 performances.
1994 – 1995 Sir Fool’s Quest
A large scale production with live music and song, written by Adrian Mitchell for PuppetCraft. Five performers used hand puppets, water puppets, marionettes and giant dragons and 28 musical instruments. For family audiences.
103 performances in 75 venues, nationwide, and toured to Ireland and a puppet festival in Germany.
1996 – 2000. 2003 The Pied Piper
Based on Robert Browning’s poem. A small scale show for audiences up to 180. Toured to primary schools, village halls in the South West and Arts centers nationally and to Ireland. Performed by two puppeteers, using glove and string puppets. Live voice with a recorded sound track of sounds and music composed by Ian Wellens.
1996 – 2001 Tristan and Isolde
A large scale production with live music and song, written by Nick Stimson for PuppetCraft. For older children, family audiences and adults. Music composed by Ian Wellens. Toured to 40 secondary schools in the South West and 60 public venues, nationwide and to Ireland.
1997 – 1998. The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde
A two-hander for primary school, village hall and theatre touring for ages 4 years and over. Narrator/musician (Rowan Wylie, previously of Footsbarn Theatre) and a puppeteer. Live music. 180 performances.
1999 – 2002. The Mousehole Cat
Based on a well known children’s book. Performed by Rachel Miller, musician and narrator, and John Roberts. Toured very successfully to over 200 schools, theatres, village halls.
2001 – 2003. The Amazing Adventures of Sindbad
Commissioned from Devon writer Patrick Cooper. A string puppet show that carries a “nomadic tent” for the audience to sit in. 106 shows.
2005 – 2007. Nobody Rides The Unicorn
A magical, gentle show based on the book by Adrian Mitchell. Rod puppets, live music and video projection. Performed 120 shows. Seen by 15,390.
2006 – 2007 & 2009/2010 Perseus and the Gorgon’s Head by Adrian Mitchell
From the Greek Myth. 5 performers. Songs. Puppets. Live music on the bouzouki. Video projection. 44 shows seen by 5,878.