Puppet Theatre Library/Seminar Room

Our reference library is one of the finest in the UK and contains many volumes in other languages. It is organised into the following categories:

  • Historical beginnings
  • International Directories of Puppetry & the latest UNIMA & Czech Encyclopedias
  • Volumes dealing with Puppets country by country
  • Large format publications such as Sicilian Marionettes & The Dwiggins Marionettes
  • Key volumes by written by puppeteers including Obraztsov’s My Profession, Baird’s On The Art of The Puppet, and Lee’s Puppet Theatre Production and Manipulation
  • Books on all aspects of Punch & Judy and his cousins: Guignol, Kaspar, Policinelle, Pulcinella, Petrushka, Vitez Laszlo
  • Books on all aspects of Toy Theatre, Paper Theatre and Juvenile Drama including the John Neill Collection
  • Volumes on puppets in Asia: India, Burma, Thailand, China, Japan, Korea,Vietnam and Indonesia.
  • Books on Puppets in education and thearapy
  • Puppet theatre magazines from around the world

 Actor Training

 The Centre promotes the use of the mask as a central tool in actor-training. Research into the great traditions (Greece & Rome, Medieva, European Folk and Carnival, Japanese Noh, Balinese Topeng, Korean Mask Dances), tribal performance, and contestation and political action.

The Chairman of the Centre, Dr. Edward Argent (former Director of Drama at The Royal Scottish Academy) took part in the mask classes at the Royal Court Theatre Studio in the 1960’s with Keith Johnstone. His collection includes  sections on mask improvisation and character mask.

Dr. Malcolm Knight  gained his PhD from the University of Glasgow in Mask Praxis: Theries and Practices of the Mask in Modern Drama in 2005. He has made an extensive study of mask performance, mask-making, and mask traditions over a twenty-five year period. He has trained with Stefano Perroco and Nohzin Suzuki; and teaches neutral, commedia, and Noh masks.


 The Centre has an extensive collection of theatre, folk, and ethnographic materials including books and articles in other languages; and video footage of Commedia, Noh, Topeng, Kathakali, Carnival and related forms.