News round-up

Added 3rd November 2009

I can’t believe how fast this year has flashed by… it has been crammed full of running puppet workshops, making for TV and theatre, touring and reviving 2 shows.

News round up 3 News round up 2 News round up 1

3 very busy weeks of Puppet Carving Courses were run in Devon by John in a beautiful new location.

Horse and bamboo2 Horse and bamboo

Horse and Bamboo Theatre hosted a week of puppet carving in their lovely base in Lancashire…
and a week of carving was well attended in London at The Little Angel Theatre.

A TV advert had us making a Meerkat and a Businessman.

Meercat

Look at YouTube for Meerkat Puppet Theatre.

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John designed the set and carved marionettes for The Little Angel Theatre’s production of Petrushka.

SONY DSC Petrushka 2

110 performances of The Tin Forest were completed. This is PuppetCraft’s first non-verbal show, so was a challenge. It has had a great response.

Tin Forest man close
Perseus and the Gorgon’s Head has just been revived for Bath International Puppet Festival and London’s Suspense Puppet Festival… and has just completed 5 sold-out performances.

Perseus gods
A grant from The Lottery through the Arts Council England has made it possible to resurrect this show.

Selfish Giant
The Selfish Giant has just opened and will be touring all over the place for the next 8 months. We hope you meet you at a show.

Busy Workshops

Added 31st August 2008

Three weeks of busy workshops took place at Dartington in July and August, with 20 puppet enthusiasts coming from around the world – from USA, Spain, Turkey and Britain.

Busy workshops 1

Two weeks were devoted to carving wooden puppets, with a wonderful range of inventive puppets being designed and created.
Comments from participants:“Brilliant.. don’t think the course could be improved…except too many biscuits!” “Very relaxed atmosphere… spot on… fantastic…exceeded expectations.” ” Emphasis was on producing a puppet of high quality with attention to detail.”

Carving workshops

One week was a “Finishing and Performing” course.
For people who had nearly complete puppets this was a chance to be guided through painting, stringing, wig and costume making and the devising of a short performance that was shared with the public of our local town, and even made it onto BBC TV.
Comments: “Exciting to see my puppet come to life.” “Such fun.. and informative. Gave me the push I needed.”
See GALLERY for pictures from the courses

Tin Forest has opened

Added 12th July 2008

Our latest show and workshop The Tin Forest opened at the Barbican Theatre, Plymouth on 28th June and then rushed off to Dorset to Beaminster Festival… then all the way up to Yorkshire to perform in a puppet festival in the lovely town of Beverley.

Tin Forest man and bird small
Audience response has been excellent: “The workshop was just brilliant and
the performance of The Tin Forest was enchanting, witty and colourful… everyone was absorbed and delighted by it.” Beaminster Festival Director.
“absolutely loved it… what an enchanting show it was.” Audience comment.

Brains dances

Added 4th June 2008

The hit advert of Thunderbird puppet character BRAINS dancing was a very fast making job for PuppetCraft: in 3 weeks John Roberts carved two puppets to closely copy the original TV puppet, but with the ability to perform the fantastic dance that had been choreographed for him.

Martin Corbin painted the puppet, Jane Eve made controls, Sue Field made costumes and Sarah Wright painstakingly made a wig.

Thunderbirds Brains Drench TV advert


Rehearsals and filming took place in London, followed by weeks of postproduction cgi work to erase the 5 puppeteers that worked around the puppet. Puppeteers were: Ronnie LeDrew, Sarah Wright, Sue Dacre, Libby Granger and John Roberts.

The Making of Brains from the Thunderbirds Drench advert

Brains2 Brains1

Arts Council Grant for The Tin Forest!

Added 23rd March 2008

The Arts Council has awarded a grant for PuppetCraft to work on a new project.

The Tin Forest will be a show and linked workshops based on the book by Helen Ward, illustrated by Wayne Anderson, published by Templar.

Tin Forest grant
Reviewers have described The Tin Forest as “a beautiful, thought provoking, inspirational book. A fantasy and morality tale about a dream that can make a world of difference. It not only tells a good story, it might even inspire you to run out and transform the next rubbish heap you see into paradise.”

We will tour the show nationally performing 110 times.
Bookings are now being taken.

From BUNRAKU ……….towards a future theatre

Added 25th November 2007

Nori SAWA

A performance-based course with Japanese master-puppeteer Nori SAWA.

25th to 29th March 2008 at Dartington, Totnes, Devon, England.
For Puppeteers, Actors, Designers, Arists, Dancers, Musicians.
A rare opportunity to engage with the traditions of the ancient art of Japanese “Bunraku” puppet theatre…  and to bring these skills up to date and make work relevant to today’s theatre.
10 places are reserved for people living and/or working in the South West.
Grants will be given to allow 3 people from the South West to pay only £50.
Please express an interest as soon as possible, so PuppetCraft can show funders that there is a need to run this course.

A new project: The Tin Forest

Added 20th September 2007

PuppetCraft has got permission (after 2 years of trying) to adapt a book “The Tin Forest” into a show and workshop.

Tin Forest
The book is by Helen Ward, illustrated by Wayne Anderson, published by Templar.

Reviewers have described The Tin Forest as “a beautiful, thought provoking, inspirational book. A fantasy and morality tale about a dream that can make a world of difference. It not only tells a good story, it might even inspire you to run out and transform the next rubbish heap you see into paradise.”

We have applied to the Arts Council for a grant to fund this project… so we are holding our breath till we get news … towards the end of February 2008.

New show Perseus is a wow!

Added 17th March 2006

Perseus and the Gorgon’s Head had its world premier on Saturday 11th March at a festival in Dorset.

It was a packed audience, who declared the show to be “a wow!… beautiful, funny, the best theatre we have seen for years…”
We have teamed up once again with renowned poet/playwright Adrian Mitchell who has adapted this Greek myth specially for PuppetCraft’s style. We are also working with talented composer Andrew Dickson who has produced songs and music, all performed live, to drive the drama on. We are so lucky to have had a painting made for the show by one of the world’s great illustrators – Ralph Steadman.
ePerseus and the Gorgon's Head