Now December is upon us and the time seems ripe for celebrations! Alongside our 40th anniversary Puppet Party on November 16th, we've spotted some more events coming up which celebrate puppetry in its various forms. Have a look below to find what's going on near you. Comments and photos from the party itself can be found on our Facebook and Twitter pages. Do also have a look at the heart-warming wish we received from Blind Summit and the lovely account of the evening by Adam Bennet. 

Working Together to Strengthen Puppetry
We are pleased to report to report that our collaborative project 'Working Together to Strengthen Puppetry' started well with a meeting at Norwich Puppet Theatre earlier this month. The meeting was attended by a core committee made up of representatives from the sector, supported by a research assistant and the Puppet Centre team, and led by an independent Chair. The results from our Sector Survey formed the basis of the conversation and all your thoughts were fed into the debate. We will have two further meetings in December at which the core committee will be joined by representatives of a further nine organisations from across the UK including other sectors such as film, street arts and circus. The project culminates in January, and we will share news and discoveries from the project as we go along!

Animations Online's most recent coverage includes London International Animation Festival and Mimetic Festival. Have a look at our reviews for Rocks in My Pockets by Signe Baumane (Latvia /USA), A Rapid Love Story by Mait Laas (Estonia) and Late Night Macabre - an anthology of short animated films from across the world, all part of LIAF, and Familia de la Noche's The Biggest Liar in the World at Mimetic. While we are at it, there is also a review of Dare to Sea by Peut-Être Theatre & La Manoeuvre, as well as the first two parts of an incredible four-part history of Puppet Centre by its founder Penny Francis (part one, part two)! 

Events coming up

Celebrating Puppets with Attitude

A special screening at the BFI this December will star loveable puppets from the past. Join Clementine the Living Fashion Doll on December 9th as she introduces the puppet stars of yesteryear, with clips including the likes of: Pinky and Perky; Basil Brush; Mademoiselle Zizi; Topo Gigio; Lamb Chop and Lord Charles.

But what makes good TV puppetry? Mark Mander (aka Clementine the Living Fashion Doll) tells all in our latest Animations Online

For more information about the screening, click here.

manipulate 2015

manipulate is an annual festival of innovative and exceptional international visual theatre and film. For its 2015 edition, Puppet Animation Scotland will collaborate with Norwich Puppet Theatre to co-host the festival. The programme has just been announced and features two world and one European premieres, along with performances from Austria, England, Germany, the Netherlands, Russia, Scotland and the USA, a film programme and two masterclasses. The festival will take place between 31 January and 7 February 2015

Visit manipulate's webpage to see the full programme.

AGM, lecture and performance at Puppet Theatre Barge

British UNIMA's AGM for 2013 is due on December 7th and they've made it into a full day of puppetry events, so save the date. Starting with the AGM at 5pm, the day will include a celebration of the publication of the 'Routledge Companion to Puppetry and Material Performance', followed by the John Phillips Memorial Lecture given by Jane Taylor, South African playwright and world-renowned academic best known for her work with Handspring Puppet Company.

The events are hosted by Puppet Theatre Barge whose production of 'A Christmas Carol' is also on from 3pm. Seats are being held for UNIMA members and booking in advance is advised.

All bookings can be made directly with the Puppet Theatre Barge on 020 7249 6876. Alternatively, you can e-mail them at

Aardman Animations Lip Synch Special

In 1989 Channel 4 commissioned Bristol-based Aardman Animations to produce a new animated series. The five films they created, collectively known as ‘Lip-Synch’, were a huge success for the channel and crucial to Aardman’s future development.

This special 25 year anniversary celebration on December 10th at Watershed, Bristol brings together the four original film directors: Peter Lord, Barry Purves, Nick Park and Richard Starzak along with Aardman Co-Founder David Sproxton and the Series Producer Sara Mullock. 

For more information, click 

Puppet Place Open Day

On December 13th Puppet Place will open their doors to the public, giving everyone a chance to meet some of their talented resident puppetry companies and artists, among which are Green Ginger, Pickled Image, Rusty Squid and others. It's a rare opportunity to witness some of the astonishing creations, puppets and projects that they are working on and find out more about what Puppet Place does.

For more details click here.

Got No Strings
Puppetry conference by Scratch Built Productions and Proteus Theatre Company

Got No Strings will feature a day of discussion, debate and development that will inspire, encourage and promote networking with puppeteers from across the country. The conference will take place at a new hub for puppetry in North Hampshire, the Proteus Creation Space.

Participants will have the opportunity to take part in plenaries and provocations with funders, stakeholders, programmers, co-producers and peers regarding the politics of puppetry, with a panel of renowned guest speakers including Roman Stefanski (Polka Theatre), John Wright (Trestle Theatre), Mary Swan (Proteus Theatre Company), Finn Caldwell (Gyre & Gimble, Elephantom) & Sue Buckmaster (Theatre-rites).

When: 19th December, 11am - 5pm
Where: Proteus Creation Space, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG21 3DH
Price: £50 including lunch

For more information and to book, click here.
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