Puppetry & Wellbeing – Talks at Nottingham Trent University

Date published: 30 Jul 2021

Posted by: Joe Pick

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Following on from the Nottingham Puppet 2018 puppetry talk series, the 2021 Festival series celebrated puppetry with talks and debates around reaching new audiences and widening participation. Our speakers are up-and-coming local, as well as established, creators and makers. Inspired by puppetry, their narratives centre on contemporary issues such as Disability, Mental Health, Addiction, and Gender Identity. They talk about facilitating participation, autobiographical stories, and their creative processes.

Talk 1: Laura Guthrie & Dr Emma Fisher

Talk 2: Nikki Charlesworth, Elliot Pritchard, Daniel Dore & Tony Mason

About the speakers

Laura Guthrie

Laura is a theatre maker, director, facilitator and consultant, based in Derbyshire. She has spent thirty years working as a disabled artist, twenty of these with Bamboozle Theatre and ten years as Co-Director/Founder of Meander Theatre. Her current show Me, Nic & Jo is a disabled-led piece reflecting on the experiences of three disabled women as they navigate their changing friendship. Currently working for Graeae Theatre Company as their Artist Development Manager, Laura is also a freelance Scouting Agent for Ramps on the Moon.

Dr Emma Fisher

Emma is a researcher, puppeteer, animator, theatre designer, playwright, and educator. She completed her PHD in puppetry and disability in 2018 at Mary Immaculate College. Emma’s research explores unconventionally constructed puppets that reflect the disabled body. She is on the working group of the UNIMA Research Commission and co-organiser of the Broken Puppet Symposia on puppetry, disability, health and wellbeing. She founded Beyond the Bark, an inclusive puppet and installation theatre in 2007. Emma teaches puppetry at Mary Immaculate College and is a guest lecturer at Limerick Art College, the London School of Puppetry, and The World Academy of Music and Dance, UL.

Nikki Charlesworth

Nikki Charlesworth is a Theatre Designer, Puppeteer/Puppet Maker and recently turned Animator, from Nottingham. In her professional life Nikki has worked at the forefront of disability-led theatre-making, contributing to new, ground-breaking work in the sector, and advocating for accessible puppetry training opportunities. Nikki has worked for pioneering disability-led companies such as Graeae Theatre Company, and Circus company Extraordinary Bodies and was recently announced as one of the winners of the Evening Standard Future Theatre Fund, in association with TikTok. Nikki will be presenting her show: “What Happened to You?” at Nottingham Puppet Festival, and will be sharing more about the making process for this show as part of this talk.

Elliot Pritchard

Elliot is an actor, theatre maker and puppeteer. After graduating from East 15 Acting School in 2018, Elliot has gone on to work extensively within collaborative, devised and contemporary theatre, performing with: David Glass Ensemble, Lyric Hammersmith/Little Angel Theatre, Jackson’s Lane and Regents Park Open Air.
Elliot is a Creative Associate of Jermyn Street Theatre, supported by Artistic Director Tom Littler, and award-winning physical theatre company, Babel Theatre.

Daniel Dore

Daniel is an award-winning actor, puppeteer, magician, writer, and self-proclaimed mess of a man. After graduating from De Montfort University in 2020, Daniel founded The Dog Rose, a Leicester-based collective creating multi-disciplinary work that tackles taboos. Daniel’s main focus is mental health; fueled by his own struggles with addiction and identity he uses puppetry as a creative outlet. His work arguably should never see the light of day, which is why he thinks it’s so important.

Tony Mason

Tony lives and works in London. He studied painting, and then became immersed in carnival, which in turn led to a fascination with puppets and movement. He specialises in making usually large-scale, worn, driven, or manipulated creatures and sculptures for outdoor/indoor theatre and filmed production. He has worked on projects with companies including Graeae, Mahogany Arts, Kinetika, Emergency Exit Arts and Elimu Mas Band, as well as making for TV, theatre and film.