The vision for puppetry training continues......
From 2016 LSP will open up professional puppetry training in the Midlands. This continues a deliberate policy of working outside as well as inside London to enable more people to study puppetry countrywide.
But it started here
In 1987, inspired by the creators of the London School of Contemporary Dance, Robin Howard and his administrator Janet Eager, Caroline Astell-Burt, known for her work using puppetry in education and therapy and the highly-respected puppeteer Ronnie Le Drew began a great experiment with the first of the popular Summer Schools which soon after became the London School of Puppetry.
Launching themselves against the current of the time in the puppet theatre which argued that puppetry was an instinctive and unteachable art they proved this was not the case. The London School of Puppetry became increasingly known and respected both within and outside puppetry circles for their energy, enthusiasm and fearlessness in the face of opposition from the establishment. By 1991 the first Professional Puppeteers' Diploma was introduced, this was later renamed in 2009 the Diploma in Professional Puppetry.
And travelled North
In 1993 a northern study centre was established to further develop what an external examiner spotted as a 'creative community'. The experience of living and working together is one that some students particularly sought. The Diploma evolved into month long intensive blocks of learning in the Yorkshire Dales.
And meanwhile in London
In 2010 we opened the Robin Emery Studio Theatre in Highbury, North London (with the help of 80 metres of blackout). In 2011 areas of development have been 'Puppetry for Teachers' which offers an exciting and challenging programme, subject areas often suggested by teachers themselves. This received an injection of energy from Kay Yasugi puppeteer and teacher from Sydney, when she and Caroline Astell-Burt were involved in research into the marionette in primary education.
And on into the future
The journey of LSP continues with more adventures in the education and training of puppeteers.
Work here by Liz Le Drew, Emma Fisher, Jonathan Storey and Belinda Chapman.
Festival Puppetry' is an innovative programme in development started by LSP student Liz Le Drew (seen here outside the LSP Festival Tent) taking puppetry to music festivals. Several current LSP students have been involved in these, running workshops, performing and processing with a huge puppet. Another kind of Festival- The Puppet Festival, those in Skipton and Bornholm are organised by Liz and Daniel Lempen and Ida Marie Tjalve all three ex LSP students. LSP regularly performs at the puppet festival at Poêt Laval in the South of France directed by Debbi Maurice another ex student of LSP.
The vision for training puppeteers continues.