A puppet school for Newcastle

Published: 14 December 2020
Reporter: Peter Lathan

William Steele and ZB

Kids (aged 7–11) and teens (12–18) in Newcastle are being invited to join an online puppet school next spring.

The course, which is organised by Moving Parts Arts, the producers of the Newcastle Puppetry Festival, will be mainly online (via Zoom), although the teens group will have the opportunity to put their learning into practice as they will take part as chorus members in a soon-to-be-announced, COVID-safe, large-scale outdoor puppet extravaganza as part of Moving Parts: Newcastle Puppetry Festival 2021.

Spaces on the course are extremely limited, with only 12 kids / household places and 12 teen / household places available. The cost is £40 for the full 10 sessions (£4 per session), which includes the students' puppet-making kit packed with all the essentials. Participants must live in a Newcastle postcode (NE1–NE61), which is part of the festival’s funding conditions.

The course will be led by local puppeteer William Steele and his trusty robot sidekick ZB who will guide puppeteer apprentices step-by-step through a crash course in puppetry skills. Each household will receive a puppet-making kit containing everything they will need to get their projects started delivered to their door.

Kerrin Tatman, Artistic Director & Producer of Moving Parts Arts, explained why 2021 is a crucial time to launch the Puppet School.

“Now more than ever, kids and teens need some fun, inspiration, positivity and a creative outlet,” he said. “We want to give children and teens based in Newcastle a way of getting involved in something creative and a place they can develop new skills and whilst meeting new friends. We hope the school will complement the festival in getting North East people interested in the world of puppets.”

More information can be found and tickets booked on the Moving Parts Arts web site.