Frank Mumford, Showman and Artist 1918- 2014

Puppeteer and artist Frank Mumford died peacefully in hospital in Central London in the early hours of Friday morning; he was recovering from surgery on his leg after a fall. Frank was shortly to have celebrated his 96th birthday. In the past few weeks he had enjoyed a fishing trip in Devon, was planning to attend the 70th anniversary memorial service for Arnhem veterans in Holland this September and was considering heading off to France for another holiday. Frank’s extraordinary long and eventful life and work has recently been the subject of director Richard Butchins’ documentary “An Attic Full Of Puppets”, which premiered last year in London and has also been seen at puppet festivals in Israel and Lisbon to much acclaim.
Frank will be deeply missed, but always remembered by many.

Darryl Worbey

Frank Mumford

Marina Warner ‘Stranger Magic’

At the recent annual ‘Aye Write’ Festival at the Mitchell Library we had the pleasure, for the second time, to listen to the fascinating talks by Marina Warner. Her many books are absolute goldmines of ideas and information for puppeteers.

Her latest book, ‘Stranger Magic’, ‘Charmed States and the Arabian Nights’, is an outstanding history of magical thinking, exploring the power of the Arabian Nights and its impact on the west and revealing some of its wondrous tales.

Her book shows how magic, in its deepest sense, how it helped to create the modern world and how it is still inscribed in the way we think today.

We spent a considerable time discussing many common interests including Lotte Reiniger, the legendary silhouette film maker. The cover of her book reflects her work, and puppeteers will be interested to know that a chapter about Lotte is in the book.

540 pages, many black and white illustrations, and 16 pages of fine coloured illustrations.

Published by Chatto and Windus. The book costs £28.

John Blundall

Sergei Chepik

We are sad to learn of the death of the great Russian artist Sergei Chepik. He died suddenly on 18th November in his studio; he was 58 years of age. The paintings of this extraordinary and prolific artist, and his vast range of subject matter was always a great experience to behold. His love of puppetry, particularly the Petrushka, can be found in many of his works. As one of Russia’s greatest painters, he will be missed by so many people.

Glasgow Christmas Art Market

There will be a Christmas Art Market held at the Glasgow Cathedral Precinct on Saturday 11th December between 10:00am and 4:00pm.We will be in St Mungos museum demonstrating and selling  paper sculpture. This is an opportunity to see/ purchase Glasgow artists’ wares: ceramics, embroidery, sculptures, paintings and much more

In addition the day will feature:
-Christmas Carols by the St Mungo Choir
-Coalburn Silver Band
-Guided Tours of the Glasgow Necropolis
-Children’s play activities
-Storytelling Tours in the Cathedral for the whole Family.

The market and events are open to all, and entry is free of charge.


The Kala Chethena Kathakali Theatre company has begun a new UK tour. It runs from 17th of September to the 30th of November. It is one of the finest companies of its type and should be seen if you can. There are 3 performances in Glasgow, 2 in the Mitchell Theatre near us on the 13th and 14th of October and 1 in Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum on the 15th of October. For details of all the UK dates look on their website.

Occasional Papers

 We are finally starting an idea that has been simmering away on the back burner for some time now. The World Through Wooden Eyes has a vast collection of research, essays and writing about puppets, theatre and the arts in general. It is high time that this material is aired(some of it for the first time).

Much of it will obviously be relating to the puppet theatre, but we hope that those not directly involved with puppets will still find them an interesting and useful read. The first issue is attached as a PDF. It will also be available on our website at the link below.

We hope you enjoy the first of our “Occasional Papers”

Tontine Masks

These are some paper masks we made for a workshop at the Provand’s Lordship in Glasgow. They are based on the Tontine Heads which are stone carvings displayed in the buildings garden. The carvings were once keystones in the arches of the Tontine Hotel built in 1781. The workshop was part of a storytelling event which we hope will continue in the future. For more information about the Provand’s Lordship you can visit the Glasgow Museums website.

And to read more about the Tontine hotel click on this link Tontine Hotel