Find out about upcoming BA (Hons) Theatre Practice open days at Central.
Being exposed to opportunities in making, performing, directing and writing for puppetry I was able to find what it was I enjoyed the most and developed skills that meant I could pursue it as an achievable career. Via the network I developed through Central, I have been able to establish myself in the television and film sector as a Creative Director and Puppeteer.
Graduated 2016, has worked with BBC, Sky, Universal Music and various other television and film production companies as art director and puppeteer/ puppet designer.
The whole ethos of the course is collaboration. Each term consists of skills training and workshops, followed by the opportunity to work alongside colleagues studying other disciplines to make the project or performance happen. The network contacts that I gained at Central were incredible and I felt I had met the leading figureheads of British puppetry.
Graduated 2006, director, designer and performer of puppetry. Credits include work with the National Theatre (War Horse and Pinocchio), Royal Shakespeare Company and Greenpeace.
3 years full-time
This course is no longer accepting students as of the 2018-19 academic year
Bachelor of Arts (Hons) Theatre Practice
Central pioneered the first UK degree in puppet theatre and the course worked closely with national and international professional practitioners. Students who took this course benefited from an expansive range of visiting lecturers and placements in theatres and with companies worldwide.
Puppetry has been an important part of Central’s training for over 25 years. We are currently developing a Master’s course in puppetry, while working to ensure a number of opportunities remain across our undergraduate courses (from Theatre Practice to Acting (CDT) and Applied Theatre) for students who are interested to explore how puppetry and object animation might form part of their developing practice. We anticipate that this will allow students to pursue a more individual course of study and, through project-led learning and individual focus, build those particular skills working towards their career goals.
If you have any questions, please email us.
Matt Hutchinson (2011) was Puppeteer and Fabrication Assistant for the London 2012 Olympic Ceremonies. Previous puppetry credits include, War Horse (National Theatre), The Tempest (Royal Shakespeare Company and Little Angel Theatre), The Wild Night of the Witches (Little Angel Theatre) and Bagpuss (Soho Theatre).
Toby Olié (2006) Provides Puppet Design for Wonder.land, and, The Light Princess, and he was the Associate Puppetry Director for War Horse, all at the National Theatre. Other Puppet Design credits include, The Magic Flute (Royal Opera House), Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Royal Ballet) and The Little Shop of Horrors (Manchester Royal Exchange).
Mark Down (1996) founded Blind Summit Theatre and has been the Director of Puppetry for numerous productions, amongst which are, The Magic Flute (Royal Opera House), His Dark Materials (National Theatre) and Madam Butterfly (Metropolitan Opera, New York).
Fagner Gastaldon and Cass Gastaldon founded PuppetSoup, and productions so far include, Land of The Dragon, The Memory Keeper and Fix Freddie!
Stephen Mottram, Sue Dacre, Steve Tiplady, Stan Middleton, Sue Buckmaster, Dr John Bell, Rene Baker, Penny Francis MBE, Annie Rollins, Colette Garrigan, Isobel Smith, Rachel Warr, Peter O’Rourke, John Roberts, Roman Stefanski.
Graduate employment and career pathways include:
Puppeteer, War Horse, Blind Summit/ENO collaboration; Horse and Bamboo Theatre; Mongrels, BBC. Creative Director, CBeebies.
Performer, The Paper Cinema, Little Angel Theatre, Puppet Theatre Barge. Puppet Maker and Performer, PuppetCraft.
Founder, Arts Centre.
Puppet Maker, His Dark Materials, National Theatre.
Puppetry Education Assistant, Little Angel Theatre.
Workshop Facilitator, Theatre Royal Plymouth.
Community Workshop Leader, The Moveable Feast.
Puppetry Workshop Leader, Korea, Taiwan, Italy.
Puppeteer for traumatised children in Iraq.
Puppetry Director, European Youth Project. Artist Residency, Tallinn Treff Festival.