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Puppetry for Actors

London Workshop 13th-17th April

10am - 4:30pm daily

£250 full / £200 student concessions


Sparkle and Dark Theatre Company are running a week long intensive puppetry workshop aimed at actors who want to learn how to puppeteer.


The workshop will be run by company directors Louisa Ashton and Shelley Knowles – Dixon. You don’t need any prior experience in puppetry, just a willingness to learn.


Sparkle and Dark have been developing their own style of training and performance over the last 5 years. We regularly cast actors with little or no puppeteering experience and train them to be representatives of our acclaimed and respected brand of puppetry. This is how we work, which is why we have designed a workshop specifically for actors.



"... not so much a puppet show as a puppet masterclass'  The Independent  2013

The workshop will look at:


  • Puppetry principles

    • We will explore the essential principles that are needed to bring any puppet to life.


  • Object manipulation

    • Putting puppetry principles into practice through the use of objects.


  • Bunraku-style 3 person puppetry and half-worn puppets

    • Building on the principles by learning to use a 3-person bunraku style puppet, gaining confidence on each body part and building towards improvising as a team on a puppet.  This may lead onto working with Sparkle and Dark's very own range of half-worn puppets which use similar principles to bunraku.


  • Midweek taster afternoon of other puppetry styles  

    • As a treat, we will ask the group to vote on a style they would like to spend Wednesday afternoon exploring! This can range from shadowplay, muppet-style glove puppets or food puppetry!


  • Building a character for a puppet

    • We will bring a selection of texts and extracts to look at, from which to build a character. We will then learn how to project that character into the puppet.


  • Presentation

    • We will aim to devise small performances in groups or individually, using our characters and the skills we have learnt over the week.  You may choose to work on a solo piece that you can take into an audition or work in a group to enhance your multi-person puppetry.



If you would like further information, email us at  If you would like to apply for the workshop, please fill out the booking form below.  


Deadline for applications is Friday 10th April 2015, but we will be allocating placements as we recieve applications, so don't wait until then to send it in!



Praise for Sparkle and Dark's Puppetry

‘The two puppeteers, Nicholas Halliwell and Louisa Ashton, extract a range of gestures and emotions that’s nothing short of extraordinary.  At one point Roger sinks in his chair in a kind of compassionate resignation, and I don’t think any living man could have captured that moment any more eloquently.’

Fringe Guru 2013 (Killing Roger)

"Roger the puppet takes on a life of his own and brings a touching humanity to a controversial subject."

The  Evening Standard

(Killing Roger)


"Ethereally beautiful puppetry... innocent and gorgeous, a must see."

Broadway Baby

(The Girl With No Heart)


‘The magnificent Roger puppet itself is something more, and definitely not less, than human.’

Whats on Stage 2014

(Killing Roger)



"The puppetry and ensemble playing is
superb… this is one of the very best shows out there.”

Winner of Best Family Show - Buxton Review

(The Clock Master)



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