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Stuff & Nonsense Theatre Summer School: Puppet Cabaret

Stuff & Nonsense Theatre Summer School: Puppet Cabaret

A fantastic opportunity to take part in a week of workshops, using your ideas to create puppets, songs and poems, working towards an entertaining evening of informal ‘cabaret style’ performance, where you can invite friends and family to watch.

The workshops will be led by professional artists from Stuff and Nonsense Theatre Company, who are well known for creating shows using puppets, comedy and music. 

Holly Miller, designer and puppet maker, will guide you through the process of creating puppets for the show.  She will also bring many of her show puppets for you to try out, so that you can see how they work.


Holly Miller is a freelance designer and maker for indoor theatre and outdoor work, specialising in bespoke designs that facilitate visual and physical performance. As a maker she feels a tactile approach is essential for creating sets, puppets and props. She has worked with Stuff and Nonsense Theatre Company for 9 years making puppets, props and costumes for their shows including Pinocchio, The Man Who Wanted to be a Penguin, Puppet Panto and The Gingerbread Man.

Director Niki McCretton, and Composer Sammy Hurden will work with you to create performances in small groups, writing songs or comedy sketches for you or your puppet to perform. 

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Niki McCretton has been producing theatre for over 30 years with a strong reputation for contemporary artistic children’s theatre and writing and directing adaptations of existing stories. Niki joined forces with Stuff and Nonsense in 2008, bringing with her an incomparable array of theatre making experience, including award-winning national and international tours with Heretic, Throw me a Bone, Wormhole, Relative, Space 50, Muttnik the First Dog in Space, Hoof! and Horseplay.

Picture credit: Ben Osborne 

Sammy Hurden is a singer/songwriter/pianist who has led workshops and choirs for many years, and was musical director for Luminos Choir in Poole for 17 years, and still creates outdoor projects for Freedance Choir in West Dorset.

She loves working in the community and has taken songwriting and vocal workshops for Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra’s outreach education into hospitals, prisons, community centres, schools… always amazed at the transformation that music brings.

Her piece The Calling was performed by Somerset Massed Choir at the Royal Albert Hall Youth proms, and her piece Sous Les Pommiers was performed for the D Day 70th celebrations in Caen, France. She wrote the music for the award-winning Ben Osborne’s Jurassic Journey, touring for Artsreach and Villages in Action, and Sammy also wrote arrangements and sang on PJ Harvey’s Mercury award winning album Let England Shake.

Sammy says: “My musical life has taken me into many different worlds… one day to a studio, performing with bands, the next to a prison… I hope I can bring joy and care to every situation, whatever it may be."

You don’t need any experience to do this just bring energy and a willingness to get creative.  No one will be made to perform; there will be lots of other jobs to do to make the Cabaret brilliant! The workshops each day will allow you to spend dedicated time creating puppets, and then have devising and performance sessions to create the pieces.  The emphasis is on being creative and on enjoyment, but also to be pushed to create something brilliant. 

There are no auditions for taking part and everyone is welcome.

You will need to bring clothes that you can move in easily, as there will be a physical warm up and puppetry is often quite tiring!  Jogging bottoms/jeans or leggings and trainers are great.

The building is fully accessible.  Please let us know any access needs you have in advance.

You will be able to purchase hot food from the Westlands café but are also welcome to bring a packed lunch.

Dates: Monday 14 – Friday 18th August
Times: 10am – 4pm daily
Performance: Friday at 6pm
(2 free tickets per child for the performance. Additional tickets can be purchased for £6.50)
Age: 12-18years
Course Cost: £125

This has been funded by Arts Council England, Somerset Council, and Yeovil Town 

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With support from Somerset Council and Somerset Activity & Sports Partnership we are pleased to offer a limited amount of free places on the Summer School to children aged 7-16 in receipt of Free School Meals as part of Happy Healthy Holidays Somerset over the Summer holidays.

Booking opens on 28th June – visit  www.sasp.co.uk/happy-healthy-holidays to find out more and book your space.




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