The Course


Steve Tiplady, Indefinite Article



Our ten-week, two-part, intensive course offers an entirely hands-on experience:


Part One teaches operating practice through several exploratory modules (see below). Participants will get to grips with a full range of techniques and puppet types focusing on key aspects of performance, including components of rhythm, object manipulation, atmospheric impulse, puppet construction and design, scale and perspective, movement and character.


In Part Two, students will choose to focus on one or two operating specialisms, honing their individual interests within a performance structure. Professional practitioners will support the student’s creation of exploratory work and consider narrative structure, visual storytelling, the written word and production for puppet theatre.


The course is accompanied by an evening programme of theatre visits, films, presentations, discussions and networking opportunities designed to enrich, inform, inspire and broaden horizons.

Movement into Animation – TRAINING THE PUPPETEER

What the puppeteer does to bring a puppet/object to life – with Rene Baker


  • the puppeteer’s body; exercise for strength, flexibility and responsiveness.
  • the puppeteer’s mind; allowing the object to come to life; concentration and the ability to project energy through an external object
  • the neutral puppeteer; giving focus to the puppet
  • the puppeteer-performer-actor; shifting focus and presence between performer and object
  • gaze and peripheral vision
  • rhythm
  • coordination


The underlying principles of three person puppet animation

with Finn Caldwell and Toby Olié


  • Use structured play and improvisation to expand your awareness in performance
  • Work in groups to imbue thought, emotion and physics into a single puppet
  • Explore the creation of narratives with puppets as central characters


What the puppet/object does to convey the illusion of life – with Rene Baker


How to make the puppet appear to think, feel and act as an “alive” being.

  • when movement becomes animation
  • working with the puppet’s intrinsic qualities to discover its character
  • impulse, weight, gravity, balance
  • eye-line and focus
  • using breath, rhythm, gesture to show the puppet’s thoughts, intentions, emotions, attitudes
  • action-reaction


An exploratory workshop with Steve Tiplady


More information coming soon!


This module will give students the opportunity to experiment with the use of puppets and objects in whatever way they wish, opening our exploration of the form to individual expression and content. Key Tutors will act as mentors supporting and coaching individual and group projects throughout the second part of the course.


with Mike Shepherd, Kneehigh Theatre


More information coming soon!


with Lyndie Wright and Sarah Wright


Through this one day a week module we will investigate the construction of a puppet from head control to knee joints, choosing materials and painting for stage. We aim to provide you with the ability to make informed choices about how and why a puppet is made in a particular way.

Puppet design: Where to start? Lyndie will guide us through from reference hunting, creating a scrap-book to model making and prototypes.

Please note Curious School of Puppetry 10-week course is primarily a performance course supported by a construction module to understand the innards of the puppet and its control. If you have any questions regarding the balance performance/making on the course please email:


led by Sarah Wright with guest specialists


Traditional puppet techniques are of great value to us when inventing new forms of expression on the puppet stage. By studying puppet types from different ages and from different cultures we will expand our knowledge of the puppet and its potential!

Each Monday we will take time to look into a puppet form: Glove, Rod, Table top, Marionette and Object with a hands-on approach and a bit of research study to inspire and inform.


with Anna Maria Murphy


More information coming soon!