Puppets and Puppetry

Above: Sea Odyssey by Royal de Luxe 

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Selected shows featuring Puppetry


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Puppetry: How To Do It
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Puppetry and Material Performance
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Puppetry: A Reader in Theatre Practice
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The Horses Mouth: How Handspring and the National Theatre Made War Horse
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Stop Motion: Craft Skills for Model Animation
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Puppet Planet
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Puppetry and Puppets: An Illustrated World Survey
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Puppet Mania!
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Puppets, Masks and Performing Objects
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Puppets and Puppet Theatre
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Backstage at Bunraku
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External Links


British Puppet & Model Theatre Guild Resources from the original puppetry organisation [UK]
Puppeteers UK Resources and information [UK]
UNIMA Union Internationale de la Marionette [France]


Animax Designs [Nashville, USA]
Axtell Expressions Puppets Ventriloquism Specialists [California, USA]
Chiodo Bros [Team America] [USA]
Darryl Worbey Studios [London, UK]
Entify Props, Puppets, Scenic [UK]
Hand to Mouth Puppet makers & performers [UK]
Images in Motion Media [CA, USA]
Jim Henson Company
Marionettes BG Handmade Wooden Marionettes [Bulgaria]
Paul Jomain Puppet Building, Design and Character Development [London, UK]
Purves Puppets & Biggar Puppet Theatre [Biggar, UK]


Amit Drori - Robot Puppeteer [Jerusalem]
Gyre and Gimble Puppet-permeated performance [UK]
Image Theatre Black Light puppet theatre [Prague, Czechslovakia]
La Machine Builders & Creators of Live Productions [France]
Royal De Luxe Street Theater / Giant Marionettes [France]
Tony Sinnett Professional Puppetmaker and Puppeteer [UK]


Puppet Centre Resources and advice [London, UK]
Puppetry Home Page Resource for the puppetry community [USA]


Animations Online Magazine [UK]
Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry [USA]
 History >> History of Puppetry (thanks to Madison) [USA]
 History >> History of Puppetry in Britain (Victoria & Albert Museum, London)
 History >> History of Puppets

Unions / Associations

PAM (Portail des Arts de la Marionette) [France]

Puppetry Terms

Screen made of thin bamboo which is used at the rear of a Vietnamese Water Puppet stage (known as the Water House) so the puppeteers can see the puppets without the audience seeing them.

Technique to bring objects to life against a black background, using black-clad performers.
Precise lighting of the object (puppets etc) only, with no light on the performers, ensures the illusion is flawless.
See also Ultraviolet.

Style of Japanese puppetry where the puppet operator carries the puppet onstage and is visible throughout the performance. The puppeteers are highly skilled and respected in Japan, and provide the voice as well as the movements for the incredibly detailed puppets.
About Bunraku

A string puppet. An object suspended and controlled from above by strings. The strings are connected to a control bar, held by a puppeteer. 

1) (from Spain / Portugal - ollo a spicy stew consisting of different meats and vegetables)
A collection of different acts (e.g. comedy, songs, dance, puppetry), or an act which isn't part of the main show, inserted to fill a gap, to cover a scene change or as an encore after a dramatic play. Example usage: 'The event was an olio of poetry, dance and songs'.
2) An additional cloth in variety / movie theatres, between the audience and the movie screen, which was made of oil (olio) cloth, and known as the Olio, on which there were often painted ads for local businesses. Acts were performed in front of this before the movie played. 

Overhead Projector (OHP) - Nobo 2511 Desktop Projector Classroom projector commonly used before digital projection became affordable, where text or images printed or drawn/written on a horizontally-placed acetate (clear plastic) film can be projected via a lens and mirror onto a vertical wall or surface. Still used for shadow-puppetry in small-scale applications (where bright, clear images can be obtained from small puppets placed on the horizontal platform), and in scenic / prop applications where a line drawing printed onto acetate can be hugely enlarged to trace onto a large piece of scenery / cloth, hung vertically.

1) One of the main characters in The Little Shop Of Horrors, a stage musical. The plant is named Audrey II, and there are (at least) 3 size variations on it during the course of the show, each of which needs to have various capabilities. Audrey II can be hired from scenic companies across the world. 
2) A member of the production team who is placed in the audience to take part in a key part of the show, while appearing to be a randomly selected member of the audience (also known as a STOOGE)

Information coming soon

A puppet supported from a rod held by a puppeteer below the puppet. The rod is an integral part of the construction of the puppet and is usually part of the head. A glove / sleeve connected to the neck of the puppet, just below the head, forms the body of the puppet and hides the rod and the puppeteer's hand. Additional rods are used to control the puppet's arms.

Keywords: puppetry techniques, puppet techniques,