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Upcoming Workshops for Spring 2020


Due to the current situation regarding COVID-19, we have unfortunately cancelled all of our upcoming April puppetry training workshops. 

We are disappointed that we cannot share these workshops with you next month, but we feel it is the responsible action to take and is in the best interests of all participants.

We are aiming to reschedule them for the Summer.  If you would like to receive updates you can sign up to our newsletter here.

You can still read about the workshops we'll be offering below;

Sparkle and Dark’s Puppetry

We are known for our puppetry and we have been training actors to puppeteer for nearly 9 years. ‘Puppetry at it’s best’ - The Guardian on Killing Roger. ‘A puppet masterclass’ - The independent on The Girl With No Heart. More then one of our puppeteers have gone on to puppeteer on shows such as War Horse and companies such as Flabbergast, Strange face and Les Enfant, as well as working for TV and Film.

The Teachers:

Louisa Ashton is a founding member of Sparkle and Dark. She originally trained in dance and musical theatre, but has since trained in puppetry with Oli Smart, Henry Maynard, Steve Tiplady, Gomito, Paper Cinema and trained in movement with LISPA, Complicite and Shapes in Motion. She has taught puppetry to children, adults, performers and non-performers throughout the UK and Italy, believing that the work and preparation that goes into creating a puppet-character needs to be as extensive and developed as an actor’s preparation to perform a role. Since developing this style of puppetry training with Shelley, Louisa has gone onto puppeteer for the BBC, the RSC, the Globe, Little Angel Theatre, Flabbergast and more.


Shelley Knowles – Dixon is the other founding member of Sparkle and Dark and has trained in puppetry with Oli Smart, Steve Tiplady and Louisa Ashton. She is a director and movement director and has been developing Sparkle and Dar’s particular training model with Louisa since 2009. Shelley has trained in Lecoq pedagogy movement techniques with Thomas Prattki (founder of LISPA), Joseph Alford (Theatre O), Mark Bell (The Play that goes wrong), Ruth Naylor-Smith (Mountview Academy) and has been fusing these techniques, alongside Louisa, with puppetry principle training to create a technique to specifically train actors and performers how to transfer their own skills in embodying character and movement to endow inanimate objects.

All proceeds will also go to Blighty Women's Project - an amazing Charity who support women in India and Rowanda to set their own independent businesses.

Puppery principles

Puppetry Principles 2-Day Intensive


An introduction to animating the inanimate!

If you want;

- a solid foundation on which to begin your puppetry journey

- to brush up on your skills

- to gain more experience

... then this is the course for you!


Our puppetry training is based on 6 main principles, designed to train a puppeteer’s approach not only to the puppet’s body, but to their own. This introductory intensive will have a strong focus on object manipulation and multi-person 'bunraku-style' of table top puppetry.  The aim is to give you a set of principles and techniques that, when practised and applied properly, will allow you to give plausible and believable life and movement to any inanimate object, from a baked bean can to a beautifully crafted puppet!

This workshop great for both beginners  as well as those who want to give detailed attention to developing their existing puppetry skills/technique. 
Price: £100  (£85 for local Tottenham artists)






Puppets and Character 2-Day Workshop

Come and explore how to build a fully realised interior world for any

puppet-based character!

Work with text and movement to explore how to create

a 3-dimentional character that truly brings your puppet to life.

This workshop is about giving time to focus on in-depth character development work for puppetry.   We will provide a case-study fictional character to develop as a puppet character.  Together, we will explore how we can use text and imagery to build an idea of a character before we begin physicalising them.  


First, we encourage participants to embody the character themselves.  We lead participants through a range of movement and observation exercises, allowing them to gain a deeper understanding of the nature and mechanics of their character’s movement.  This all takes place before transferring that movement into an inanimate object or a puppet.


This is a great workshop to follow on from the 'Puppetry Principles Intensive' or if you have taken part in any of our introductory Puppetry for Performers workshops. 
Price: £100  (£85 for local Tottenham artists)


Location for all Workshops

Bighty Workspace in Tottenham - above the Blighty India Cafe, 266 High Rd, London N15 4AJ. 


The closest tube is Seven Sisters with only a 5 minute walk.  Closest overground stations are Seven Sisters and South Tottenham.  Closest National Rail is Tottenham Hale or Kings Cross/St Pancras.

Puppets and Character


Book BOTH 'Puppetry Principles 2-day Intensive' and  'Puppets and Characters 2-day Workshop' for £170 (£150 for local Tottenham artists)


Booking a place

Please fill out the booking form below if you would like to request a place on a workshop.


After recieving the form, we will invoice you for the fee. Only on reception of the fee will your place on the course be confirmed. We will be limiting numbers on each workshop in order to provide detailed training for each participant, so booking early is strongly advised.


Please do email at if you have any questions, or please do join our mailing list for future productions and workshops.

Workshop Booking Form

There are limited places on each workshop, so we recommend filling out this form as soon as you're able to.  Remember, your place is not fully confirmed until you have paid for your place. 

Select the workshop/s you would like to book.
Can you confirm that you are over 18?

Are you a local Tottenham Resident?

If so, you can recieve a discounted price.  This is thanks to being in ascociation with Blighty Women's Project.  If you select 'Yes', we'll be getting in touch with you in order to see some proof of your address.  

Tell us a bit about your experience as an actor / performer. 

You can mention any puppetry experience if you have any.  Puppetry experience is not compulsory but it is useful for us to know what you might have done already.

Tell us a little bit about why you want to take part in this workshop.

This is just to give us an idea of what our participants aim to achieve / gain from working with us.

Give us just one or two sentences describing what you're most passionate about in your life!

Whether it's your cat, fondue or feminism - we'd love for you to write down a few words about what it is that gets you out of bed in the morning.  This is just to help us learn a little more about you - it's not a test! If you love balloons, tell us about it!

Thanks for submitting! Your form is now winging it's way to us. You should recieve a confirmation email.

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