Soup Nights!


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.


Next Venue:

Curious School of Puppetry

St Barnabas Hall, 
Shacklewell Row, London E8 2EA


Every Thursday evening: 19 January – 9 March

6.30pm Start, 7pm Soup, 7.30pm Guest speaker (approx. 45mins)

Email for more info:

Entrance: Please donate to our Development Fund at the event (recommended £5)


SOUP NIGHT speakers 2023!

Thursday 19 January 2023

Sue Buckmaster, Artistic Director of Theatre-Rites

What sort of Puppetry Practitioner do you want to be?


Thursday 26 January 2023

Speaker to be announced


Thursday 2 February 2023

Speaker to be announced


Thursday 9 February 2023

Speaker to be announced


Thursday 16 February 2023

Speaker to be announced


Thursday 23 Febuary 2023

Speaker to be announced

Thursday 2 March 2023

Speaker to be announced


Wednesday 8 March and Thursday 9 March 2023

Sharing of Curious students’ work

2020 SOUP night speakers included:

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’

EXHIBITION at The Poly, Spring Gallery (Monday 27th January – Friday 21st February 2020)

The Poly’s Spring gallery will be home to a marvellous collection of puppet from around the world showing different techniques and makers.


Monday 10th February – Friday 14th February 2020

Research in Movement by Oliver Smart will be added to the exhibition.

Oliver Smart will talk about this work on Tuesday 11th Feb 6.30pm


2019 SOUP night speakers included:

Thursday 28th Feb 2019 – Joy Haynes ‘Puppetry, a personal approach’, theatre maker, director, puppeteer, puppet maker

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


2018 SOUP night speakers included:

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

Thursday 8th February 2018

Thursday 15th February 2018

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

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

Thursday 8th March 2018

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


2017 SOUP night speakers included:

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 – Emma Rice – Artistic Director, Shakespeare’s Globe ‘The Power of Idiocy’

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

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

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


2016 SOUP night speakers included:

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 ‘The Kneehigh Lowdown’