Summer round up 2014

15 Sep

A little Update of everything that happened this summer in reverse chronological order:

September 8th-9th-13th Montpelier Beanfest Procession Puppet Workshops

Thanks to the lovely gang at Coexist I was contacted to deliver three, 2hr workshops at Dolphin School Bristol, I spent two days meeting and creating six large procession harvest puppets with children aged 5-7. As you can imagine this is not without its challenges but the staff at this lovely local primary were super supportive and got stuck into making what will be a highlight of this years Beanfeast procession On the 13th of September. I will also be there on the 13th doing open puppet making workshops with anyone who comes along to the feast!!!


August 21-25th The Smoking Puppet Cabaret at Shambala Festival

The Smoking Puppet Cabaret tent, now in its fourth year, is crammed full of a mix of mind boggling, delightful, magical, unusual, immersive puppetry. As the tents Area Manager I have the honour of curating the tent, supporting acts to bring puppetry to a whole new audience. This year we had 12 different companies join us and deliver a fantastic magical knockout experience for festival goes! It could only have been achieved with the support of  the support of Shambala Festival, Puppet Place and the SCP Crew. For details of the Acts click here and some images by Nik Palmer of Noisy Oyster can be found below.

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August 12-13th Puppetry Workshops for Knightstar Productions Summer School

Having met Knightstarr’s founder Jackie Kenyon through NODA I was asked to deliver two days of workshops to her summer school for young people in Chichester. We had a great time making puppets and discovering two different styles of puppetry. With the 7-11 year Olds we created newspaper lip syncing puppets  and worked on improvisation and character development. With the 12-16 year olds we worked on Bunraku style Puppetry making our very own Bunraku style figures in newspaper, working on movement and observation. Friday when the Summer School Culminated the two groups performed for their parents to everyones delight.

Images will follow


August 2-10th Teaching Avenue Q style puppetry at NODA Summer School

This was my second year delivering a puppetry course for NODA at Warwick University. It was a wonderful challenge to combine puppetry and singing, thanks to Voice Tutor Pam Rudge I was accompanied on this journey. It was a big ask to deliver the skills needed capture the characters of this larger than life musical. Our students coped well with the demands of learning, lip-syncing, rod puppetry, and twang (the American accent style that supports the voice of these characters. I was absolutely delighted with the efforts of the individual students and their enthusiasm to master this art form. We were lucy to have the support of Weinbergers who provided up with the actual touring puppets from the UK tour Avenue Q production.

To see what went on check out the gallery below.



July 28- August 1/ Detective O and The Cold Case Caper ran for a a week at The Wardrobe Theatre in Cotham.

A wonderful run with mixed family audiences, great participation and support! In October we will be releasing a short trailer video of the show so watch this space. If you want to see image from the show look at the (gallery coming soon below.)

July 23-27th Starry Skies Festival 2014 Fascinator and Puppetry Workshops

I was invited along to Starry Skies Festival. In it’s second year this was the highlight of my summer. Incredible life affirming families and kids who know how to play and enjoy nature. I had a blast teaching fabulous recycled fascinator making to people of all ages. The Newspaper an monkey puppet workshops were also a treat, reminding parents that just newspaper can make the best toys and play puppets for young ones.





Shambala Festival 2013

8 Sep

Shambala Festival  2013

Oedipus in Boots performing at the Smoking Puppet Cabaret tent, Shambala Festival 2013.

Having curated and managed this years Puppetry tent at Shambala 2013 Corina Bona also performed with Blue blue Peter.

Our programme was fit to burst with appearances from The String Theatre’s Insect Circus; Finger & Thumb with their gobsmacking hand shadows;Croon Production with some moody retro comedy; ridiculous songs fromDark Squid’s musical Greedy Boy; puppet daredevils Noisy Oyster’s Dangerous Dave; and Mufti’s Hangman; and not forgetting the unhinged Headstrung Cabaret. Expect the surreal, shadows, shape-shifting, and laughter, plus a few surprises along the way as we flaunt puppetry’s seamy underbelly.

17 Jan

A dear colleague of mine is out in India learning from traditional shadow puppeteers check out her experience.

Things made by Becca Rose

I was quite relieved to peel myself out of the car after 8 hours wedged in between a troupe of puppeteers on the hectic roads of Kerala. I was positively delighted to find we had landed in Fort Kochi, a pretty little resort looking out on to the Arabian Sea.


Shortly after plonking my backpack on the sofa and gulping my sweet tea, Pulavar and his son informed me of their gig in Fort Kochi. They had been booked to perform an abridged Ramayana that evening.

We pulled into a large plaza, by the sea and Chinese fishing nets, and swarming with Indian and European tourists. I sat and watched the team set their stage. Efficient and silent.

setting uppinsready to play

A quick walk round the town, a samosa at sunset, a cup of tea, and we headed back to the stage, where  several rows of red plastic chairs had now appeared.  When the sun…

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How to make a bird mask

11 Dec

For anyone who needs a special costume for a new years party! here is a simple idea you can do at home on a rainy day.

Little Rays out and about this month

27 Jun

Hey Folks,

Firstly a big Hello! Welcome to any new followers,

This week I have had the joy of delivering workshops in two really different places. Kids VIP is a charity that supports Prison Play workers in training. They engage in loads of wonderful activities from storytelling, to fun family engagement. I went along to show the ladies some puppet making activities that could be possible in their working environments. I had to come up with some interesting twists on old favourites.

I was also at my weekly Puppet Club in Easton Community Centre Bristol where we made some awesome dancing spiders. The kids loved it, we got to singing the Itsy Bitsy song and everything! Check out the pictures below to see how it all turned out!

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6 Apr

Puppet Club

Here are some images of the gang at Easton Community Centre and their fantastic puppet makes! We are going to carry on having Puppet Club Wednesdays 3.45-4.45pm till school ends on the 16th of July! So come on down and get making. For details check out

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At Easton Community Centre

Little Rays Puppet Club is about to start!

With Easter well on its way Little Ray’s will be running a regular workshops for Children aged 5 and up. It will be every Wednesdays at Easton Community centre in the Sunshine room. This workshop lasts and hour and costs only £3.00, it includes all materials plus a snack!!!

This workshop is intended to be a fun making space where kids and adults can come together to learn about simple puppet making. We hope that if the sessions are successful we can even try and put a small show together for the community.

Puppets are an art form that helps develop many skills:

  • crafty making skills
  • focus, communication and interaction
  • imaginative creative play
  • performance skills

And best of all they are FUN!!!! So come along and get involved even if your a really big kid you can participate and help young ones.

For further information contact

Cori: 07904931465 or

Little Ray Puppets

21 Nov

Working in London:

Little Ray’s Corina Bona has currently been swept into a whirlwind of work away from Bristol to London. She is devising Goldilocks with The Little Angel theatre, which opens on the 7th of December running till the 29th of January 2011. The production is a modern take on the Goldilocks story, it uses music, storytelling and puppetry to tell the tale of a small feisty Goldie who is a world traveller. The bears in contrast are so familiar with their home enviroment that they are almost part of the furniture. The production is still in development and we look forward to seeing its completion. After its month long run at the Little Angel it will doing a national tour so watch this space for details.

Being a Puppeteer:

Corina’s interview in The Guadian gives you more information about what being a Puppeteer involves. A working Life: Corina Bona

Recently Little Ray’s Corina Bona featured in the Creative Choices website, which helps creatives understand career paths in different artistic mediums. To read more visit

Puppetry in Education:

Below is a link which will download a power point presentation on why and how you can use Puppetry in Education. For more details get in touch at

Puppetry in Education

Puppets About: Puppetry Residency

Based in Bristol (Bristol Old Vic Theatre), Birmingham (The Mac) and Farnham (The Maltings)

Little Rays have been chosen to be part of the Puppets About residency through the Puppet Centre Trust (the BAC)

The residency involves some funding for R&D, Support from the venue in having a space to rehears and mentoring in marketing if something is produced. The material will be shown at the Bristol Old Vic, The Mac and the Maltings in their artist in development platforms.

If you are a PROFESSIONAL DANCER please get in touch as auditions will be held to find collaborators to explore how puppets and dancers interact. We will investigate how dancers puppeteer and what movement they can produce with puppets:

Puppetry Collaboration: Pickled Image

Little Rays, Cori Bona has been invited to collaborate and perform with the internationally renowned Pickled Image. This new show is inspired by the Maysel’s Documentary Grey Gardens which features Edith Bouvier Beal the cousin of Jackie O’. Little Edie will premier at The Bristol Puppetry Festival September 2011. For information about these characters go to