Dear Executive and Non-Executive directors of Arts Council England
Those of us who practice and support the distinct artform of puppetry in England have had struggle to find opportunities to develop our skills and be inspired in this often very misunderstood and marginalised artform.
One of only two dedicated building-based puppet theatres in all of England is Norwich Puppet Theatre. For many decades this place has been a hive of excellence and innovation in puppetry, out of which many of the current leaders in the industry have found opportunities to train and see great performances as well as get experience and encouragement. Some of England’s best directors, educators, designer/makers and performers in puppetry have all benefited from the opportunities Norwich Puppet Theatre has provided, and many people, young and old, have experienced the magic of puppetry by attending as audience members. A great number of residents of East Anglia have been switched on to the arts by exposure to the performances and activities of Norwich Puppet Theatre.
Recently Norwich Puppet Theatre has struggled to maintain the activity and standing that it once had and now has had to launch a fundraising drive to continue their activities into 2017.
Those of us who support the puppetry industry, as well as the wider industry of theatre and the performing arts implore you to make sure that this vital asset in the infrastructure of puppetry – recognised by all of us as strategically important for the health of the artform in England – is not allowed to go dark, and to support every effort made by Norwich Puppet Theatre to recover and thrive.