Puppet Centre Trust
Battersea Arts Centre
166 Lavender Hill
020 7228 5335
020 7228 8863
The Puppet Centre Trust has been working as a national development agency for puppetry for over thirty years.
Founded in 1974 with the aim of gaining greater recognition for the artform, PCT’s work has included organising festivals, commissioning research, producing the famous journal Animations and running a range of training projects and connecting events for the industry.
Association or society
The Puppet Centre is open for researchers and students every Wednesday afternoon from 2–6pm and at other times by appointment.
Library & Archive: PCT houses one of the most extensive libraries dedicated to puppetry in the country.
Journals: PCT carries comprehensive back catalogues of Animations, Puppet Master, Total Theatre, Puppet Notebook, Puppenspiel, The Puppetry Journal (USA) and Puppets et Therapie amongst others.
Videos: The Puppet Centre video library contains a mixture of commercial and private recordings. Commercial videos include the excellent History of American Puppetry and Glyn Edwards' Punch and Judy as well as numerous examples of children’s TV puppetry from the early days of Muffin the Mule and Torchy the Battery Boy, through Thunderbirds and Pogles Wood and to later classics such as Wallace and Grommit and Five Children and It.
Private recordings provide examples of early works by the late Barry Smith, The Norwich Puppet Theatre, Oily Cart, Stephen Mottram and Dynamic New Animation. There are also examples of puppeteers’ work from China, Japan, Israel, Vietnam, Australia and the USA covering many aspects of puppetry and animation.
PCT is currently collecting DVD examples of the current work of many contemporary British puppet companies to add to our collection
Slides: The Puppet Centre slide collection is a most comprehensive collection of puppetry photographs. It includes collections from American puppeteer Alan Clarke and Hogarth puppets from the UK. On the international side there are photographs of shadow puppets from the Far and Middle East, Greece, Turkey, folk puppets from many European countries and masks from many lands.
UK puppeteers are represented by Barry Smith, Gordon Craig and Jessica Souhami. There is also a section on TV puppets which include the work of Jim Henson.
Archives, Decorative and Applied Art, Performing Arts
Key artists and exhibits
- Barry Smith
- Gordon Craig
- Jessica Souhami
- Jim Henson
- Muffin the Mule
- Wallace and Gromit
- Puppetry magazines: Animations, Puppet Master, Total Theatre, Puppet Notebook, Puppenspiel, The Puppetry Journal (USA) and Puppets et Therapie
National Puppetry Archive
Items relating to puppets and puppet theatre reside in public and private collections throughout the UK and abroad. The National Puppetry Archive aims to bring these collections together virtually; linking our own digitised collection with other museum databases around the country. We also actively encourage those with private collections to share their items and the history behind them within our site.
The National Puppetry Archive and its collection is administered by The British Puppet and Model Theatre Guild, whose own collection is being digitised and added to the database, which will form the basis of the searchable online archive.