From BUNRAKU ……….towards a future theatre

Added 25th November 2007


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.

More Puppetry Carving Course photos!

Added 20th August 2007

Another batch of carving courses have produced yet more amazing wooden puppets.
These courses are getting more and more popular, and people are booking earlier each year….
2007 course 11 2007 course 18 2007 course 19 2007 course 20 2007 course 15 2007 course 5 2007 course 3 2007 course 8 2007 course 17 2007 course 1 2007 course 14 2007 course 4 2007 course 13 2007 course 16 2007 course 7 2007 course 6 2007 course 2 2007 course 12 2007 course 9 2007 course 10

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

The Gorgon begins and the Unicorn takes flight

Added 16th October 2005

Work has started on “Perseus and the Gorgon’s Head” with Adrian Mitchell working on the first draft of the script, while Andrew Dickson composes the dozen or so songs, while John Roberts is designing and scheming how to make the most of the possibilities of this epic story. Musicians, puppeteers, writer and composer will try out the show during November, using mockup puppets and set, to test how it is all coming together. The premier will be in March 2006.
Meanwhile… “Nobody Rides The Unicorn” is touring to villages, theatres and schools – to wonderful audience response:
“A lovely gentle story which captivated the children’s imagination.”
” Superb, simply wonderful. Fantastic puppetry and sound effects”
“Very poetic, Very professional, Excellent production.”
” Fantastic. Intriguing sets. Wonderful puppets and incredible performers. An enchanting and magical experience.”

Unicorn Tour
See photos of a week of touring.

Dedicated Puppet Maker!

Added 18th August 2005
Michael Spurgeon has been coming to PuppetCraft Carving Courses run by John Roberts for many years…

This year was his 10th PuppetCraft course!!!!

“One of the most enjoyable and helpful I have attended. There was a relaxed atmosphere and everyone was encouraged to contribute.
Challenging and inspirational!!.”
Over the years Michael has made a fantastic array of wooden puppets, each year adding some new element of complexity or innovation.

Michael Spurgeon

Premier of New Show: Nobody Rides the Unicorn

Added 5th July 2005

Our new show “Nobody Rides The Unicorn” had its first performance at a sold-out show at Beaminster Festival on 26th June… and the response from organisers and audience has been great. They loved the combination of puppetry made by a team of puppeteers, sumptuous looking set by Sue Field and a rich sound world created by Rachel Miller’s magic on acoustic instruments and use of the latest digital sound sampling technology.
The authors Adrian Mitchell and Sasha Mitchell were there, along with composer Andrew Dickson and the illustrator of the book that inspired this project, Stephen Lambert.
An extract of the show was performed today for the Arts Council ArtsMark award ceremony.

Nobody Rides the Unicorn
See COMMENTS page for people’s reaction to the show.

Forkbeard Course

Added 14th May 2005

Our director treated himself to an amazing week at Forkbeard Fantasy,
learning new techniques, meeting other obsessed artists and eating wonderful food.
Work was started on filming a short sequence for the Unicorn project, animation
was tried and vacuum forming was encountered for the first time.
Forkbeard Fantasy
Photo is of Ed, Forkbeard’s technician…. with lots of cables!