Jacolly Puppet Theatre

Telephone: 01822 852346

Jacolly Puppet Theatre was formed in 1977 by Jacqueline Ilett and Holly Griffin. Since then we have been based on the edge of Dartmoor, in southwest England, but have toured our shows to theatres, schools and festivals the length and breadth of Britain and much of Canada.

Our Theatre-in-Education is for primary schools and currently includes plays linked to the English National Curriculum on sustainability, the seashore, insects, bullying issues, saving energy and road safety.

Workshops include shadow puppetry, with courses & seminars for teachers, environmentalists, performing arts students and, of course, children.

Single Day workshops are only available for schools in Devon & Cornwall. We are available to work in other locations around the country but only to complete multiple or block bookings to several schools within a single week. 


Projecting images with an overhead projector provides a way to put on a life-size play, as spectacular & fantastic as you like, from little pieces of paper, card & plastic. Whilst this can be fiddly and require especial care to animate, it means that there is great dramatic potential from minimum time and cost. The longer the workshop, the more opportunity for exploring dramatic effeDesigning, sculpting, acting and mime are just a few of the skills needed to be a puppeteer, but a good puppet workshop can stimulate even the most inexperienced students to create unusual and exciting puppet shows and discover hidden talents.

We lead workshops for both children and adults, on a range of puppetry making & performing techniques. Lengths of workshop vary: from 11/2 hrs to several weeks. However, all puppet-making sessions have in common that they begin with a fun demonstration of the techniques involved and end with everyone using the puppets they have just made to put on a show.

Overhead Projector Shadow Puppets

(For adults and children aged 7+ / Minimum duration: 3 hrs)

A well darkened room is essential, as well as silhouettes out of card, students create puppets, scenery and special effects in full colour by painting acetates with special paints & pens. Anyone able to use scissors can make simple shadow characters and scenes. Older children and adults can employ the greater variety of movements of multi-jointed puppets and more sophisticated effects.cts; developing subtleties of construction and movement; and of devising, creating and rehearsing a polished, magical show.

Puppet Animation for Teachers

(For teachers wanting to improve skill and confidence in using puppets in class / Minimum duration: a 1hr “twilight”.)

Sessions are supported with sheets of tips on puppet-handling!

Cardboard Rod & Hand Puppets

(For adults and children aged 5+ / Minimum duration: 90 minutes)

Simple but impressive puppets can be created just out of card and cloth in a surprisingly short time. The puppet has easy dexterity because it uses the puppeteer's hand as its own. 1 ½ hrs is just time to make a colourful character, learn a little about how to work it, and then show it off in a group performance.

Longer sessions allow time for making props and scenery, painting costumes, and developing performance skills further. Two-day sessions are a favourite with student teachers wanting the chance to explore using puppetry-in-education by making small shows of their own.

Theatre in Education

When puppets tell a story, children usually feel especial empathy for the characters involved and so are the more readily drawn into understanding the concepts there. So you might want to book a puppet show in school just for the fun and stimulation of live performance; but you could also book a show on a particular topic.
Most shows are supported by teachers’ follow-up material:


Saving Energy/Global Citizenship   -           Astra & the Waste Monster

Road Safety                                     -           Dogworthy’s Magic Roadshow

Minibeasts                                       -           Real Bugs

Tackling bullying                              -           Elf Tales

The Seashore                                 -            Dogworthy’s Summer Magic

Light & Shade                                 -            Real Bugs Workshops                  

ASTRA THE WATER MONSTER  (Saving Energy/Global Citizenship)

This highly-acclaimed sci-fi production was originally commissioned by Devon County Council to alert children to the environmental dangers of wasting energy. It aims to give incentive to rethinking our relationship with our planet and to seeing every act of energy-saving as a positive stand against its destruction.

The play has recently been totally rebuilt as a dramatically new multi-media telling of the Astra story, combining interactive live puppetry and ultraviolet effects with filmed puppetry and animation.

"'Astra and the Waste Monster' has become a central part of our awareness raising activities for 8 to 11 year olds in Dorset. We now tour the show every two years. The schools look forward to it, the children look forward to it and, I must admit, so do I! This is a powerful and exciting drama that really motivates children to take energy waste seriously." - Mike Petitdemange, Sustainable Property Team, Dorset County Council


Recommended maximum audience size: 200
Recommended audience age: 8-11
Duration: about 60 mins.
Technical Requirements

■ A minimum performance area of 3m deep x 4.5m wide x 2.5m high
■ 13 amp power points and 3 tables
■ Blackout (essential for back-projection & UV sequences)
■ Help carrying equipment
Preparation time: 2hrs to set up; 90 mins. to strike.


Additional Information

Address: Jacolly Puppet Theatre, Kirkella Road, Yelverton, Devon, PL20 6BB, UK
Telephone: 01822 852346
The area/s in which this provider is available are:South West, East, East Midlands, Greater London, Home Counties, Yorkshire, North of England, North West, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, West Midlands, We are available for one off events in the South West area. We tour nationally but for all other areas we can only travel to complete block bookings.

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