Puppets for music concert

PuppetCraft have been asked to add puppets to a classical music concert of Dvořák’s The Spectre’s Bride.
Dartington Community Choir will be performing this musical ghost story with professional conductor, orchestra and soloists. In a complete departure from the choir’s usual recitals, the orchestra and choir will be in near darkness, while a miniature puppet show will be performed next to the orchestra. The puppets will be filmed and projected live onto the enormous back wall of Dartington’s Medieval Great Hall.
It is going to be exciting! 6th and 7th November.
Booking now open.

Puppet exhibition

Photo by Russell Sach

John Roberts has been planning this exhibition of puppets for around 3 years. At last most of the puppets are beautifully displayed and ready for the public to see ….. BUT…. because of covid restrictions the gallery is dark and locked up!
Till the doors are opened and we can welcome you in, here are some photos and a little video to whet your appetite.


Summer courses in Devon cancelled

Due to the virus upheaval PuppetCraft has cancelled all of its summer puppet carving and performing workshops for 2020.

Puppet exhibition

An exhibition curated by John Roberts at The Devon Guild of Crafts should be happening now (May/June/July 2020)… but because of the virus pandemic the exhibition is postponed till next year: January to April 2021.

Summer carving course photos

Weeks 1&2: Carve a Wooden String Puppet and Carve a Wooden Puppet

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Week 3: Make a Complete Puppet and Perform

…Involving a trip into Totnes to perform to passers-by!

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Well it was a busy few weeks but enormous fun and I’m always overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and hard work of everyone who joins us.

Will you be coming along next year?

Choreographer and voice coach join us for July’s Monkey rehearsals

July’s rehearsals for Monkey!, which begins touring in September 2014, have helped to fine-tune our production, helped in no small measure by our wonderful choreographer Belinda Chapman (who has worked with the amazing Matthew Bourne company) and voice coach Joe Richard.


Belinda and Joe have been working with us to get our movements and voice work just right for the complex show, which features string puppets, shadow puppets and live music. As you can imagine, getting the sound balance and voices just right is hugely important.

A range of traditional and modern instruments

The Monkey cast is made up of a wide array of characters, so our movements have to reflect the mythological animal world we are bringing to life.

Some of our cast members hanging out and relaxing between scenes

We will be touring from September 2014 to October 2015 with two shows: Monkey! a show for children and families aged 4+ and SuperMonkey aimed at children aged 3-5. Both are scripted by the brilliant Michael Rosen, and we will also have workshops linked to the shows with lantern making and shadow puppet making.

Please visit our booking enquiry page for more information – hope to see you there!

Michael Rosen joins in Monkey’s June rehearsals

Things are moving quickly here at PuppetCraft HQ for our new show Monkey!

Our rehearsals stepped up a notch in late June as children’s author and Monkey! script writer Michael Rosen came down to Devon for two days to join in rehearsals and put the final touches to his two scripts: Monkey! (for children aged 4+) and SuperMonkey (ages 3-5).

Michael looks like he is about to become a flying superhero!

The string puppet stage is constructed.

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Smile please!

Monkey, Michael and the rest of the creative team looking rather serious.

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Monkey getting a look in as Michael writes the script.

MONKEY swings into action!

Work is well underway on our new show, MONKEY!

John has been carving new puppets in the workshop round the clock – monkey puppets, heads, hands, feet… and has even been working on a giant head.

Head carving

Monkey having costume fitted to legs

Making of “Big Head”.

John has also been working with an amazing Chinese brush painting artist, Li Xiao Bai, who lives in Plymouth. He has been creating original images for the show:

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John is not alone on his quest to make the show:
Martin is making the “Big Face”, Sarah is making a dragon, Sue is doing all the fabric work, Jo is drawing a comic book, Rachel is composing music, Joanna is making an egg and fish, Jane has carved many hands and feet, Mike has made close to a dozen monkeys, Archi and Brian are welding and jointing the stage, Libby is making paper-cuts as shadow puppets and Jen is keeping you up to date with the show’s progress on social media… wow what a lot of work being done by a lot of people!

A troupe of monkeys and maker

Mike and his troupe of monkeys!

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Sarah and her dragon sketches