The British Puppet and Model Theatre Guild is the oldest puppetry organisation in the UK. Last year marked a milestone for this prestigious association as it celebrated its 90th birthday with several events around the country. We spoke to the Guild’s Membership Secretary, David Burgess about the origins of the organisation, its aims and objectives and the National Puppetry Archive, one of largest collections of its kind in the world.
The Guild was originally founded as a result of the publication of W.H.Whanslaw’s book Everybody’s Theatre. Through correspondence with Gerald Morice and Seymour Marks concerning the book, the first meeting was held in a hired room in Rupert Street near Piccadilly, London, on the 29th April 1925. Interest in puppetry, in addition to model theatre, began to grow within the membership of the Guild, and subsequently the British Model Theatre Guild became the British Puppet and Model Theatre Guild of today.
The Guild’s aims and objectives are to protect and promote the skills of puppetry and model theatre, improve the standards of puppetry in all its forms and to establish a basis of communication between its members, in both Great Britain and in all parts of the world. The Guild holds regular meetings across the United Kingdom at which members exchange views, gain experience through workshops and watch performances.
The Guild issues a bi-monthly newsletter which keeps its members in touch with all that is going on in the world of puppetry and their magazine The Puppet Master, is published annually and is free to all members.
The National Puppetry Archive is maintained by the Guild and houses one of the largest collections relating to British Puppetry in the world. Within the archives are documents, photographs and actual puppets connected with the most talented and famous puppeteers and puppet makers the UK has ever produced.
British Puppet and Model Theatre Guild
To find out more information about the benefits of membership, please email the membership secretary Dave Burgess at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website www.britishpuppetguild.org.uk for find more information and to become a member.