Muppets and Puppets

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Birmingham City University Curzon Building

4 Cardigan Street

Birmingham

B4 7BD

United Kingdom

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Free entry, donations to the RNLI

Your M.C’s are Tony Currie and Claire Bueno.

A day celebrating the creative genius of puppeteers.

The arrival of the Muppets in the UK revolutionised how UK audiences enjoyed puppets. The Muppets were in a league of their own and led to Sesame Street finding wider UK ratings and airtime.

After The Muppet Show came further series such as Fraggle Rock and Furchester Hotel.

Kaleidoscope has always tried to showcase the best of the past; and the best of the future. This celebration event aims to bring together puppeteers, screenings of old classics, and create a wider awareness of the people on the ground who actually do so much work, but have invisible faces.

We are privileged to welcome some iconic characters – the actual puppets themselves. This is your chance to meet (and in one session perform) with Hartley Hare, Monkey, Zippy, Muffin the Mule, Emu, Orville, Muppets and look at a display of original models of iconic Gerry Anderson characters.

This event is far more than just a celebration of puppets though, it showcases some of the great light entertainment shows of the past that featured puppets; and contains great music performances. Puppetry transcends genres.

Please note: Because this is not term time, BCU have no catering facilities open. Bring your own sandwiches and drinks. J

9.30am Clapperboard – Puppets

Granada special on The Muppet Movie and the creations of Gerry Anderson.

10am 6.55 Special – Puppets

BBC special including the first puppets from Whirligig, Bill and Ben and Terrahawks.

10.30 am Fraggle Rock

A previously missing episode restored from mouldy VHS tape.

11am The Muppet Show – Marty Feldman

Mayhem with a classic British alternative comedian

11.30 Nosey Parker is Go! - directed by Jeff Smart

The Tracy family are away and Parker is acting as caretaker of the island…..

11.45 Muppet Moments: Russell Harty tx: 23.9.1977

Promoting the new ATV series about to start. Unique Muppets footage never released on DVD. Begins with Kermit sitting on a LWT camera J

12pm Nigel Plaskitt, Gail Renard, Jeff Smart, Ronnie le Drew

Meet Hartley, Monkey, Zippy and learn about Pipkins, Rainbow and The Sooty Show.

12.30pm Celebration – Thunderbirds

1992 Granada documentary about making Thunderbirds. Contains footage shot in the 1960s on set.

1pm Lunch

1.30 Birthday Greetings from the Regions!

Gus Honeybun, Oscar Puffin and more! TSW, BFBS, TVS, Border TV, ATV: they all had em! Puppets that helped presenters read out birthday greetings!

1.55 Break

2pm Muppet puppeteers: Warrick Brownlow-Pike and Louise Gold plus Jocelyn Stevenson, producer/HITV executive Henson International

2.40pm Subject to agreement puppets hope to perform for us at this stage.

2.45pm Break

3pm ITV 1965 Children’s Promo

Found by Kaleidoscope, never shown on TV, a regional round-up of what ITV was doing with its kids series in 1964.

3.15 For Teenagers Only – 1964

Tingha and Tucka introduce rock n roll acts.

ATV

3.30 Muppet Moments: Parkinson 18.11.1978

Jim Henson, Frank Oz and the Muppets

4pm Afternoon Tea

Cakes from the RNLI.

4.30pm Neil Sterenberg, Phil Fletcher and Dave Chapman

Audience participation session where people are invited to join the puppeteers and try using puppets. Emu and Orville will be lurking around for this session, but will they leave their stands to join in? J Will Tony Currie dare to introduce Emu and risk a ‘Parkinson’ moment???

Hacker and Dodge are confirmed to present this session. Hacker The Dog from CBBC and Dodge The Dog from CBeebies have been on air for the last ten years!

5pm Muppet Moments: Wogan 30.10.1987

Lord Grade and the Muppets. Once again new material featuring the Muppets and Lew Grade talking about his whole ATV career. Includes a post-show pre-record for an insert celebrating Jim Henson that was made for the Emmy Awards and never seen in the UK.

5.30pm Muffin’s Birthday Cake

A lost episode of Muffin, found by Kaleidoscope, and introduced by Will McNally, grandson of the Hogarths, with an original Muffin the Mule puppet.

5.45pm Break

6.25pm Merry Go Round – Decimalisation

1971 school special about the new coins in circulation introduced by Muskit, the Redifussion puppet from Muskit & Dido.

6.40pm Parkinson – Rod Hull and Emu 27.11.1976

The famous encounter, in full.

7pm Closedown

Guest bios:

Warrick Brownlow-Pike is a puppeteer, writer and director. His passion for performing began when he was just two years old. He is currently enjoying performing his character 'Gonger' on Sesame Street since season 48 in a segment that he created and writes for the show. He recently wrapped on Netflix 'The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance' where he was a core puppeteer and assistant puppet captain.

He performs 'Jobi' in the BAFTA winning 'Get Well Soon' with Dr Ranj and was also a lead performer for the Sesame Workshop and CBeebies co-production 'The Furchester Hotel', as well as being a main UK performer for the most recent Muppet Movie 'Muppets Most Wanted'.

Currently, he is also performing CBeebies 'Dodge the Dog' (in his 10th year and BAFTA nominated) daily in the CBeebies House on the CBeebies Channel. Warrick is also an illustrator and puppet designer.

Louise Gold trained as an actor at Arts Educational School but very early in her career she got a job with Jim Henson as one of the Muppet Performers on The Muppet Show (filmed at Elstree Studios) From then on she has combined both acting and puppeteering. Most recently she played Yente in Trevor Nunn’s acclaimed production of "Fiddler on the Roof' at The Menier Chocolate Factory and the Playhouse Theatre London.

Directly before that she was one of the core performers on The Netflix prequel series to the film The Dark Crystal, 'Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance’ as well as having been one of the puppeteers on the 1982 film ‘Dark Crystal’

She was one of the team that started ‘Spitting Image’, doing voices and puppeteering, and worked on the recent Cbeebies show ‘The Furchester Hotel’ playing Funella Furchester. She has appeared in many West End Shows as an actor including Mamma Mia, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Assassins, The Cherry Orchard with the RSC and TV, Film and Radio.

Dave Chapman is a Writer, Puppeteer, Voice Artist and Actor who has worked in TV and Film since 1994.

Dave trained at The London Academy Of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) and The Jim Henson Company. He wrote and performed ‘Otis The Aardvark’ for the BBC for 5 years during the 1990’s, and was a contributing writer and performer on every episode of The BAFTA and RTS award winning ‘Dick and Dom in Da Bungalow’. Chapman has co-written and illustrated all five of Dick and Dom’s children’s books published by Macmillan.

Dave’s tv credits include ‘Annually Retentive’, ‘The Slammer, series 1-4’, ‘Shooting Stars’, ‘Wizards vs Aliens’, ‘Diddy Movies’, ‘The Legend Of Dick and Dom, series 1-3’, ‘The Saturday Show’, ‘Comic Relief’, ‘Doctor Who’, ‘Rank the Prank’, ‘The Saturday Show’ & ‘Robbie Williams Live at the Palladium’.

Dave is one of the puppeteers performing ‘BB-8’ the droid featured in the New Star Wars trilogy. There are 25 Other characters performed by Dave in the new Star Wars movies and their spin-offs. Dave was lead performer on Thamm, and also Rio Durant, and Lady Proxima for Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Solo: A Star Wars Story respectively.

Dave recently completed a year as Assistant Puppet Captain and performer on Netflix / Jim Henson Company’s ‘The Dark Crystal’

Dave’s film credits include Prometheus, Muppets Most Wanted, Muppet Treasure Island, 101 Dalmatians, Victor Frankenstein, My Last Five Girlfriends, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Rogue One, The Last Jedi, Solo: A Star Wars story, and The Rise Of Skywalker.

For over twenty-five years now, Neil Sterenberg has been producing puppets and puppetry for the UK television, commercial and film industry. He has had a hand involved in either making or performing many of the UK’s well loved TV puppets. He loves his job and the diversity of the characters he’s performed. On one day he might be a talking biscuit, on another a plank of wood and the next an alpaca who’s afraid of heights! More recently however his work days have been taken up with creatures in a galaxy far far away and battling between the forces of good and evil in Netflix’s new series Dark Crystal : Age of Resistance.

Ronnie le Drew played Zippy in the iconic series Rainbow from 1972-1994 but he has been a puppeteer much longer. He is currently working on The Sooty Show.

Nigel Plaskitt and Gail Renard have just completed a new series Monty and Co. But they formerly worked on Pipkins together. Both worked at ATV while the Muppets was made. Nigel has worked on Spitting Image, Fun Factory and numerous other shows since, including Hale and Pace, Doctor Who and Captain Scarlet.

Gail is a writer who has written for many non-puppet series including Doctor in Charge, Let’s Pretend, Chucklevision and The Famous Five. She was formerly a writing partner of Douglas Adams and is now a senior figure in the Writers’ Guild.

Jeff Smart made Nosey Parker is Go!, currently works on The Sooty Show and made a two hour documentary about Sooty to celebrate the puppet’s long career.

Jocelyn Stevenson began her career writing for Jim Henson and over-saw Fraggle Rock. She wrote episodes of The Ghost of Faffner Hall. She is now a senior figure in the Henson organisation. She executive produced Thomas and Friends.

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Birmingham City University Curzon Building

4 Cardigan Street

Birmingham

B4 7BD

United Kingdom

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