Fighting Giants at BPS Summer School

The giants are abroad!

At our Puppetry Intensive Summer School this June we’ll be digging into the chalk of a very Sussex story. Giants will be striding once more across the Downs while the village folk cower beneath their steeples. It is a world where the hare and the roe deer run free and the chalk speaks; a world of campfire tales, ancient rivalries, life and death struggles, and where the natural world is a playground for the magical.

Taking as its inspiration the story of the Long Man of Wilmington and his competition with the giant of Firle Beacon, the six-day school will investigate the ways puppetry can bring fable and landscape to life through brilliant performance, highly crafted making and unparalleled storytelling possibilities. Students will explore group and solo performance in different types of puppetry, design and devising alongside puppet and set making to gain a uniquely rounded understanding of the art and potential of contemporary puppet theatre.

The Summer School runs June 25th – June 30th, culminating in a performance on the evening of Thursday June 30th at the Spire in East Brighton. For further info or tickets please drop us an email.

We can’t wait to get started!

Puppets at Brighton festival

There are a handful of brilliant and inspiring puppetry shows visiting Brighton this month and we at BPS wanted to pass on a few sure-fire recommendations from artists whose work we think you’ll love.

Fresh from a successful run in Iceland, Old Saw bring their lyrical The Meadow, which features simply beautiful puppetry and music on an elegaic theme, to the Warren 20th-22nd May and 30 May-1 June.  Though it says ‘for children’, this one will appeal to all.
On 23rd, 25th, 27th May, lovely lo-fi performance art piece, Buttons tells a personal travelogue with charming and inventive use of an OHP.

Though we haven’t seen Hysterical , this combination of new writing, performance poetry, clown and puppetry looks intriguing if you’re into new theatre.

Bears get a good outing in Brighton’s puppetry scene this month.  For kids, BPS alumni Go Kid Music bring their new musical Just Right to The Old Market. Their Three Little Pigs last year was loads of fun with characterful puppets doing fabulous songs.

And at the Marlborough, our old Punched muckers Foulplay Productions bring the full version of a show they first premiered with us in October 2014 – The Bear Space. Expect a heady script,  fantastically crafted puppets, and lots of fun and games (this one will sell out we’re sure).
 Throughout the month, Bom-banimals combines puppetry and songwriting with promenade and dinner in the inimitable Bom-banes cafe.
Brighton Festival are also bringing some puppetry to the city this month, in the form of Chilean company White Silence’s powerful The Silence of the Coal.  There are still tickets left for what looks like it’ll be an affecting and top quality visual performance.
This is the time of year when we feel most lucky to be in the heart of Brighton and these are just the shows that we know will be good – let us know if you think we’ve missed any puppetry treats!

… and then Making Table-Top Puppets

21 April – 16 June 2016 / 8 x Thursday Evenings / £175

Imagine 8 glorious evenings of PUPPET MAKING, as the evenings get longer and lighter and warmer your Table-Top Puppet will come into being …

These fantastically expressive rod puppets are a little bit smaller than our ‘Puppets for the Small Stage’ creations (pictured), this makes them more manageable in one pair of hands, they extend to their full potential in the hands of two or even three puppeteers…

The course will be broken down into easily achievable segments taking you through process of ideas all the way to completion of your fully functional puppets. (some puppets may need clothing/finishing at home – full instruction will be given).

Lead by Isobel Smith, who will do her best to infect you with the puppetry bug – if you haven’t already fallen – and those who want to carry on can join TABLE-TOP PUPPETRY / PERFORMING 19 June 2016 / 1 LONG Day / £65 – to get their creations moving.

Looking forward to working with you.

More information HERE

It’s Writing for Puppetry next!

If you’re into PUPPETS and like WRITING then here’s the course for you!

17 April – 22 May / 6 x Sunday afternoons / £160

What better way to spend 6 Sunday afternoons than exploring ways of writing for puppetry?

In this supportive and inspiring course there will be opportunity to play with a variety of approaches to writing for puppetry – from examining existing texts to opening up your own techniques. Whether you want to write a puppet play, use fragments of text, dialogue, songs or anything else Beccy Smith will equip you with the tools you need to build confidence in writing for this unique form and take your writing to the next level.

Beccy Smith is an experienced course leader with vast experience producing and writing for puppetry, as well as teaching dramaturgy and devising at University level.

She’s looking forward to working with you!

More info HERE
Click HERE to book

Fabulous feedback


Here’s what our students had to say about this Spring’s
Puppetry Fundamentals:

“Really inspiring and energising to learn so much so quickly.”

“It feels like we’ve covered so many aspects of puppetry in just two days.”

“Fantastic teaching. I feel so inspired and have learnt such a lot. (Good value too).”


and about Producing Small Scale Theatre:

“It was extremely thorough and gave me confidence in the process from start to finish.”

“A brilliant day – I learnt a huge amount.”


TA-DAA! Our Spring Term Courses:

We are delighted to announce our new programme of courses for Spring 2016.
Taking part in any Brighton Puppetry School course will offer new skills, methods and perspective on this diverse and fascinating art form.
Whether you select a course or two to top-up your existing skills and knowledge or prefer to combine several for a solid foundation training in puppetry, we are on hand to advise the most suitable course or set of courses to suit your requirements.

16 Jan 2016 / 1 Day / £55 

23 & 24  Jan 2016 / Weekend / £95

30 & 31 Jan 2016 / Weekend / £95

Jan 26 – March 22 2016 / Evening Class x 8  / £160

6 & 7 Feb 2016 / Weekend / TIE-IN / £95

27 & 28 Feb 2016 / Weekend / £95

5 & 6 March 2016 / Weekend / TIE-IN / £95

12 & 13 March 2016 / Weekend / TIE-IN / £95

13 March – 1 May 2016 / Sunday School x 6 / £125

19 March 2016 / One-day workshop / £55

26 March 2016 / One-day workshop / £55

Booking for the Spring Programme is now open!

High Five! Talking Puppets

5 & 6 Dec 2015 / £95
Join Brighton Puppetry School for a weekend of specialist puppet making.

These large-scale puppets have moving mouths making them perfect for delivering Christmas day speeches and for Festive Carol Singing! Of course a puppet is not just for Christmas and this style of puppet is great for exploring the use of text in puppetry all year round!
We’re even planning a weekend course: Voicing Puppets, in 2016 to help to bring your creation to life.

Who will you make? – whether muppetish or more life-like – the puppet’s character is up to you. You will discover how to make an effective moving mouth and will construct the puppet’s head and torso using soft modelling techniques, you will add one life-sized arm to the puppet and an empty sleeve – with one hand operating the puppet’s head and the other becoming the puppet’s second arm your Talking Puppet will be capable of very precise hand movements to accompany it’s speech. High Five!

You will leave the course with puppet making techniques to transfer to your future puppet projects.

Click here for more info, bookings and enquiries.

Hope to see you there.