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Things you only know if you're a puppetry director

Andrzej Lukowski
Written by
Andrzej Lukowski

...according to Finn Caldwell, 41.

Puppet people are picky about what you call them

'Very few people consider what a puppetry director might do: they think everybody's a puppeteer. The idea that there's somebody who helps train people in the use of puppets is not a commonly understood one.'

'War Horse' changed the game

'"War Horse" boosted puppetry into the stratosphere. It got people interested, but also because there was cast after cast for the eight years it was in the West End you now have hundreds of actors with highly honed puppet skills.'

Puppets can be pretty pricey

'People who haven't worked with puppets before are always amazed at how long it takes to get a puppet looking life-like and how expensive it is to make the thing.'

You've got to persuade the audience that the puppet is alive!

'That's a lot of work. It's about the breathing: it's got to look like its got muscles, it's got to look like it's having thoughts. It's only after you do those things that you think about what its character might be like.'

'The Lorax' is totally unique

'I can't think of another production when there's a puppet character with three operators that also talks – it was a really difficult and interesting challenge to find how those two things work together.'

Finn Caldwell is puppetry director of the Old Vic's hit family show 'The Lorax', which returns from Oct 15-Nov 4.

Now discover things you only know if you're a pub quiz mistress

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