Soup Nights


6.30pm Start

7pm Soup

7.30pm Guest speaker (approx. 45mins)



  • 19 January
    What sort of Puppetry Practitioner do you want to be?

    Perspectives from Sue Buckmaster, Artistic Director of Theatre-Rites


  • 26 January
    16 years to NPO
    Shirley May, Poet and Director of Young Identity


  • 2 February
    SIGNS & IMPROVISATION [a guide on developing new ways to express your creative ideas]
    Adébayo Bolaji


  • 9 February
    Toby Olié


  • 16 February
    Andrew Kim, Artistic Director of Thingumajig Theatre


  • 23 February
    Paul Hunter, Artistic Director of Told By An Idiot


  • 2 March
    to be announced shortly!


  • 8 March
    Project Sharings


  • 9 March
    Project Sharings


St Barnabas Hall

Shacklewell Row, London E8 2EA

Thursday SOUP nights are a time of enrichment for body and soul, a chance to eat, relax, network and share. The evenings provide a nourishing opportunity to hear more about the life and work of leading practitioners in and around the puppetry community. Each week a talk, slideshow, film or demonstration is presented, followed by an informal gathering.


The Curious community collectively host the evening. Together we make soup, under the careful direction of Daisy Beattie, working on a wholesome and mindful task, blending an array of ingredients, mixing and balancing a variety of flavours, with which to warmly welcome our visitors.


These open evenings, attended by puppeteers, directors, makers, designers, students, historians and enthusiasts, are a chance for the wider puppetry community to share and contribute to the progress of the School. They are an opportunity for introductions and contacts to be made and for deeper discussion about the direction and aspirations of the industry.



Email us for more info.



Thursday 30th January 2020 – Joy Haynes – ‘Life and Puppets’

Thursday 6th February 2020 –  Sue Hill, Sculptor and founder of WildWorks

Thursday 13th February 2020 – Sarah Wright, Puppeteer, Associate Artist Kneehigh and Little Angel Theatre

Thursday 20th February 2020 – Brian and Wendy Froud, Designers of Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal

Thursday 27th February 2020 – Paul Spooner, Builder of Automata

Thursday 5th March 2020 – Mike Shepherd, Founder and artistic director of Kneehigh

Tuesday 11th Feb 2020 – Oliver Smart – ‘Research in Movement’

Thursday 28th Feb 2019 – Joy Haynes – ‘Puppetry, a personal approach’

Thursday 7th March 2019 – Howard Gayton – ‘Why Commedia Dell’ Arte is so freakin’ awesome!’

Thursday 14th March 2019 – Wendy and Brian Froud – ‘Designing Worlds’ (Labyrinth, Dark Crystal)

Thursday 21st March 2019 – David Lan and Joe Murphy – Young Vic and Good Chance projects

Thursday 28th March 2019 – Tim Smit – Eden Project and Lost Gardens of Heligan

Wednesday 3rd and Thursday 4th April 2019 – Sharing of student work

Thursday 11th January 2018 – Ronnie LeDrew – Zippy and other friends

Thursday 18th January 2018 – Raven Kaliana – ‘Hooray for Hollywood’ – Puppets on social themes

Thursday 25th January 2018 – Eric Bass – Terrain; The Ground On Which A Puppet Lives

Thursday 1st February 2018 – Kim Bergsagel & Symon Macintyre (Vision Mechanics)

Thursday 8th February 2018 – Richard Medrington (Puppet State Theatre)

Thursday 22nd February 2018 – Stefan Fichert – Music and Puppetry

Thursday 1st March 2018 – Mike Shepherd – Kneehigh Theatre Low Down

Thursday 8th March 2018 – Clea Wallis and Paul Rous (Dudendance)

Thursday 15th March 2018 – John and Hannah Fox – Dead Good Guides, Welfare State International

Wednesday 21st March and Thursday 22nd March 2018 – Sharing of student work

Thursday 9th January 2017 – Brian Herring – ‘Puppets in a Galaxy far, far away…’

Thursday 19th January 2017 – Simon Hart – ‘Puppetry Festivals, Audiences and Careers’

Thursday 26th January 2017 – Cheryl Henson – ‘Jim Henson: Celebrating the Art of Puppetry’

Thursday 2nd February 2017 – Phelim McDermott – ‘What the puppets told me – The conversational nature of puppetry’

Thursday 9th February 2017 – Penny Francis – ‘Puppetry: Behind the Iron Curtain’

Thursday 2nd March 2017 – Emma Rice – Artistic Director, Shakespeare’s Globe ‘The Power of Idiocy’

Thursday 9th March 2017 – Anoushka Shankar – Sitarist, Composer, Activist, ‘Listening and Responding: the joy of being in the moment’

Thursday 16th March 2017 – Joe Wright – Film Director ‘The Participation of the Imagination’

Wednesday 22nd and Thursday 23rd March 2017 – Sharing of students work

7th January 2016 – Penny Francis – Founder of the Puppet Centre Trust ‘Puppetry – the social climber’

14th January 2016 – Charles Hazelwood – Conductor/Composer Paraorchestra, Kneehigh, TED talks, Radio 6)

21st January 2016 – Tim Hunkin – Engineer, Cartoonist, Secret Life of Machines (Channel4), The Under the Pier Show

28th January 2016 – John Fox – Dead Good Guides, Welfare State International

4th February 2016 – Mike Shepherd – Artistic Director of Kneehigh Theatre ‘Conditions of Creativity’

18th February 2016 – Joe Wallace – Puppetry on Film, aesthetics and storytelling.

25th February 2016 – Meg Amsden – “Useful Puppets and the Strange Places they get to…” Applied Puppetry

3rd March 2016 – The Middleton Family – The Puppet Barge

10th March 2016 – Rob Tygner – Puppeteering Pixels. Digital Puppetry and Motion Capture.

16th & 17th March 2016 – Sharing of Students Work