This website initially belonged to Perrotts Puppet Players who were based in England. They endeavored to bring you an authentic tutor and medieval entertainment experience, bringing to you folk stories that would have delighted our ancestors just as they do today. This is because they had thoroughly researched many aspects of puppetry, concentrating on the development of the puppet theater before the late C.17 introduction of Pulcinello (Punch) from France.
All the puppets and stage equipment, as well as their costume were handcrafted and hand sewn in accurate and authentic materials, so that even their setting up and striking down was done in as accurate fashion as possible. This enabled them to show in detail the techniques and materials used in the period. After each performance they had a hands-on session with the audience where they could try on the puppets and see just how early puppets were made.
They could also demonstrate/discuss sources and provide talks on a range of aspects of puppetry. their plays were based on original documents but have been suitably adapted for modern tastes (whilst maintaining a period feel) in order to more fully entertain our audiences.
Some of their previous productions include:
The Lampton Worm, a popular and exciting folk tale from the North East, featuring a real, live (well sort of), fire breathing Dragon.
Robin Hood and Sir Guy of Gisborne which has been adapted from the original ballad of the 1470s.
Saint George and the Dragon, adapted from Caxtons translation of “The Golden Legend”.
The Mary Rose Trust, English Heritage, The V&A, Warwick Castle, Oxford Film & Television (for the BBC), Shakespeares Birthplace Trust and many historical fairs and festivals around the country.
Some of the favorite stars
Dame Maggie Melba Perrotts Dame Maggie’s accomplishments are so well known that we won’t bother to list them here. Suffice to say that she is pretty good, and that we are jolly lucky to have her, and that on no account are we to look a gift-horse in the mouth and ask why, if she is so well known and successful, is she bothering to work for a low-down, flea-bitten organisation like us.
Gerry Roper Little is known about Gerry’s thespian credentials as he was recruited by the producer when looking through the rubbish bins for a lost wallet. “What we needed was somebody suitably rustic for the part of Little John, someone who looks the part.” Well, the only way of getting more rustic than Gerry is to employ a sod of earth. (Some might say we already have) and as for looking the part, he looks like the hedge that someone got pulled backwards through.
Gerry does all his own stunts and nearly got a standing ovation (if only the audience had joined in) for losing his head in Sir Gawaine and the Green Knight.
Wat O’Ware received his first acting break in television’s Robin of Sherwood as part of a Wandering Players Troupe. He then went on to play several different special effects in Red Dwarf. Rudi played the part of Puck in a Merchant of Venice for the Polka Dot theatre.
He most recently appeared in the Muppets Pigs in Space and has twice appeared in The Sooty Show. Rudi has also appeared as a patient in TVs Casualty.
Rosie De Monforte trained at RADA and has appeared in many plays for the RSC, her roles have included; Juliet, Lady Macbeth and Helen of Troy in Dr Faustus. Rosie has gone from strength to strength whilst with Perrotts Puppet Players, starring as the femme-fatale in Sir Gawaine and the Green Knight, Red riding hood and of course the ill-fated Lady Felice in Sir Guy of Warwick and the Dun Cow.
Rosie understudied for Rumpleteaser in Cats. She appeared briefly as an extra in Keep the Aspidistra Flying and was a Patient in Casualty.
Maude Watkins graduated from RADA and has appeared in several Merchant Ivory productions including, Room With a View where she played a childs doll, Howards End and Jewel in the Crown. Maude also starred in the Merry wives of Windsor playing a merry wife. She has lately been playing Mother Courage in Stratford. Maude has also appeared in Casualty as a concerned mother.
George St.John-Smythe rowed for Eton (he was the rudder) and did several productions for the Cambridge Footlights. He appeared at the Edinburgh Festival in A Very Strange Play where he produced a show-stopping performance as Monsieur Le Poseur.
He was immediately snapped up to appear in St. George and the Dragon for Perrotts Puppet Players. He is currently considering a role as a severely injured patient in Casualty.
Juan Bandana has appeared in many films before coming to Britain. These include: A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More and The Mask of Zorro.
He has performed as Iago in Othello, Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet, Richard III, and Rosencrantz or Guildenstern in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. Juan also played an ambulance driver in Casualty.
Giles Howard graduated from RADA and as a youth appeared in the Sooty show, Pogles Wood, and Basil Brush. His film roles include: The Prisoner of Zenda (although he wont say which version) and performed for many years in the RSC(puppets) playing many roles including King Lear, Macbeth, Julius Caesar, Dr Faustus,Shylock and Prospero.
Giles has organised several living history events and was recently Widow Twankey in Aladdin. Giles has also played a Consultant in Casualty.
Ruth Pen-Gillam has had a myriad of different roles including a monster in the Muppet Show, A green long-necked monster in Star Trek – The Next Generation, The Grendels Mother in Beowulf, A Dragon in Erik the Viking, and as the Figurehead on a Longship in the 13th Warrior.
Ruth also played a Porter in Casualty.
There are several posts about puppetry that I have created and you can access them by clicking through the topics below.
Since the time when I was a child, I simply adored puppets. It all started when I saw my first puppetry show when I was only 7 years old. There, in the darkness of the theater, I remember being smitten by the power of the puppets to come alive in front of my eyes. Here, something really connected with my sense of wonder and creativity. Immediately, I began trying to make my own puppets as a hobby and this appealed to me even more. As I grew older, my fascination with puppets did not diminish but continued to expand year after year.
In high school, I joined a puppetry workshop that was created with the purpose of providing local underprivileged children with some puppet shows that would allow them for a short time to forget about their everyday struggles. Here, I realized that I was very talented not only at making puppets but also at acting as a puppeteer. But more importantly, on our very first show, I realized that providing those kids with joy made me feel like I never felt in my entire life. Seeing their eyes glitter and smiles pop up on their faces reminded me of my first experience. Right then and there I knew that my mission in life was to do this as often as I could.
When I finished school I started working as a puppeteer full time. First, I found several gigs at small theatres, where I did a number of jobs but I continued to develop and expand my craft. I even started an exercise routine so I could lose weight when I noticed that I gained a few pounds because I wanted to stay in shape as much as possible – it was all so I could become the best puppetry master in the world. Often, I wondered why I could not be thin as my dolls, but then I quickly told myself that I was not made out of wood. I was made out of flesh, so I needed the same exercise routines to keep up the losing weight, which I did, knowing that it was all for the purpose of becoming a better master of my craft.
However, puppets changed my life when I met a young boy after one show. He had watched my performance and pleaded with me to start teaching him puppetry. I knew that there were many benefits to this craft, but I still wanted to make sure that his parents are OK with me taking this role. But, when I came to his house, I met his mom who was then struggling with breast cancer.
Her husband left soon after their son was born and they did not have anyone else. Of course, my heart filled with sadness and I began to teach the son puppetry while I gradually began to help his mother on her road to beating cancer. Two years later, she was cured and the breast cancer had gone away. The same year we got married and the little boy who wanted to learn about puppetry became my son.
Now, many years have passed and my son is grown up, running his own puppetry theatre. My wife and I live in a happy retirement while we have fun with our grandchildren. Because of this, when I watch my dolls and puppets I am tranquil and content, knowing that they gave my happiness which I would never have learned if it was not for them.