The Puppet Centre Trust celebrated 40 years of promoting, supporting and servicing puppetry this week. DNA co-founders Adam Bennett and Rachel Riggs have benefited from Puppet Centre and Penny Francis for the last 20 years in a host of ways. Hundreds of puppeteers and puppet theatre makers attended the Great Puppet Party at BAC London on November 16th 2014.
The Puppet Centre provided support, advice, training and space for DNA in the early days. The enthusiasm for puppetry at Battersea Arts Centre on Lavender Hill, London was such that after graduating from Central School of Speech and Drama in 1993 DNA co-founders Rachel Riggs and Adam Bennett began DNA Cabaret there supported by the Puppet Centre and hosted dozens of short experimental pieces of puppetry and visual theatre between 1994 and 1999.
The evening was prepared by an enthusiastic group of keen volunteers, spurred on by Penny and the Puppet Centre board, who created the decorations, supplied a wonderful variety of entertainments, and arranged all the music, catering and prizes. Guests were received at 4pm, entertainment began at 6pm, speeches and prizes at 7pm and celebrations carried on until 10pm. A great event for an organisation that has significantly influenced the development of puppeteers and puppetry for the last 40 years, and we hope at least another 40.