Miraiker's World of Puppets
If you would like to include puppetry in your class or school topics then Miraiker has a huge variety of puppets to bring to your school and many workshops to enable the children to get the most from them.
Below are some tried & tested themed workshops but please feel free to phone or email to discuss any particular requirements.
If you would like to combine a workshop with a puppet show for your class / school then click below to see what is curently available.
Other puppet shows
Several themed workshops are now available to fit in with some of the topics currently popular in schools. Anything from an hour with a class up to half a day gives a memorable experience.
The workshops include the following.
India, Puppets from around the World, Victorians, Dark & Light, Toys, The Seaside, Traditional stories, Old & New, Greek Myths
Details of some are below, others will follow, or you can phone Miraiker on 07800 841351 for details.
India has a rich culture of puppetry. Rajastani string loop puppets (pictured left) have been used for entertainment for thousands of years.
The children can use the many Indian puppets to dance, charm snakes (puppets) and perform puppet illusions.
In the Northern Anduras region there is a strong tradition of leather shadow puppets with which religious and moral stories are told.
Children love to handle the puppets and try them out using shadow screens and lamps.
A little history and information is made far more memorable by the hands-on approach.
Puppets from around the World
Many countries have their own distictive forms of puppetry. This is a chance to travel much of the world's puppetry traditions in one place.
As well as the Indian puppets above, children can find out about and use: Indonesian rod puppets (pictured right), various styles of marionette from Thailand, South America, Africa and China, wrist puppets from Slovakia, Austrian jumping puppts, muppet-style puppets from America, English jig doll puppets, Punch & Judy puppets used in different forms through much of Europe and much more.
Dark & Light
Shadow puppetry is the best way to learn about shadows. Using a range of old and modern puppets children enjoy discovering how to improve images and what happens if you put your head in the way of the light . They soon begin to experiment with how far the puppets should be from the light source or screen, what happens if you introduce colour filters.
Eight screens with lamps and lots of puppets means that everyone gets plenty of hands on experience.
Here is a chance to learn all about the Punch & Judy show, how it came to the seaside and how it all works.
It starts with a brief talk to put it all in perspective. Then a traditional show aimed at the age of the children present. Then a look inside the show - taking the cover off so we can see inside and a chance to ask questions on anything - the props, the characters, the story...
Finally, a chance to handle and have a go with the figures as we pass around some child size versions of the cast.
Using the many story sets of puppets the children can practice retelling a well-known story in groups and, with any necessary help, show the class the finished production.
Sets currently include: The 3 little pigs and the 3 Billy goats Gruff (both pictured left), Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel & Gretel, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Jack & the Beanstalk, Cinderella, The Enormous Turnip, Goldilocks & the 3 Bears, The Gingerbread man and more are being added all the time.
The puppets include large, muppet-style puppets, wooden headed hand puppets, marionettes & shadow puppets.
A new twist in the Autumn term, particularly with older children, is to look at what changes a traditional story into a pantomime and try to add some panto into the show.
Victorian puppetry included street performances of glove puppet shows and marionette shows, theatre shows of humanettes (pictured right) and puppets that children might own such as model theatres.
Here is a chance to play as Victorian children might have done and also to try out puppets that Victorian children would only have been audiences to.
There is and option to finish the session with a puppet show from the era.
This workshop is aimed at years 5 and 6.
After a brief introduction on the Greek myths and why they were first told, we begin with a show of the Greek myth 'Persephone', told with a mix of hand puppets and shadows. After this the pupils get into groups to re-create other Greek myths using a mixture of puppets. (Sheets are available with the outlines of several well-known stories and can be sent to you in advance if you would like the pupils to be already familiar with them.)
Children enjoy using the famous monsters including the Cyclops, Hydra, Gorgons, and many more.
Details of more of the themed workshops will be on this page soon.