About Us

Brighton Puppetry School is led by
Darren East & Beccy Smith (Touched Theatre) with Isobel Smith (Grist to the Mill).

Together our tutors offer years of specialised experience in teaching a holistic range of approaches to puppetry in performance, puppet making and the creation of original work. Their teaching backgrounds include original training courses, teaching on accredited degree and college courses and one-on-one mentoring with students of all ages.

Together we believe we can offer uniquely high quality learning experiences for all those who wish to develop their puppetry skills.

Darren East has been working as a professional puppeteer for over twenty years, creating work that has toured the UK and internationally. He was the Associate Artist at the Little Angel Theatre (‘the home of British Puppetry’) in 2013 and awarded in 2014 an Off West End Award for his puppetry direction of Third Hand’s Puppet Opera Triple Bill. Darren has developed his own unique pedagogy for puppetry training, running sell-out courses from his base in Brighton since 2012 and has taught puppetry and physical theatre at Kingston and Middlesex Universities as well as running puppetry workshops in schools and colleges across Brighton and London for more than 15 years.

Isobel Smith is an artist-turned-puppeteer, she has received Puppet Centre bursaries and Arts Council funding to develop her ground-breaking work which crosses fine art installation, puppetry and performance. Isobel was Puppetry Associate at Nuffield Theatre, Southampton in 2012-13.
An experienced course leader and mentor she has devised and delivered puppetry workshops for Barbican Centre, London; John Hansard Gallery, Southampton; Arts University Bournemouth; Central School of Speech and Drama, London and University of Brighton, as well as regular courses at Phoenix Arts Brighton and West dean College, Chichester.
She is currently studying Performance Art MA at Royal College of Art.

Beccy Smith is a producer and writer specialised in puppetry who, over the past 10 years  has developed and toured a range of original puppetry work around the UK.  She has taught writing for performance at Goldsmiths University and dramaturgy and devising at The Central School of  Speech and Drama and Kingston Universities.  She has also curated and organised national training programmes in puppetry for the  Puppet Centre Trust and the Little Angel Theatre.