PotatoRoom productions

created by Gavin Glover formerly from FaultyOptic Theatre of Animation

teaching/workshops and training offered

1. Micro Cinema Theatre - live video camera
2. Acting the Puppet - puppet animation
3. Puppetry the DARK SIDE - more advanced puppet animation



Video camera and performance workshop by Gavin Glover

By using video and cctv cameras, projectors and simple technology, we can explore objects, puppets and the human body to discover a new type of cinema. Combine these discoveries with the more traditional forms of performance and we can create 'Micro Cinema Theatre'.

During this practical workshop we will be using a multitude of objects and materials and constructing environments to film and improvising performance.
We will explore hidden movements and unlock tiny details that are normally lost in a theatre space and we will play with scale, focus, light, sound and music and explore 2 and 3 dimensional worlds. Some objects have more metaphor and meaning than others so we will try to discover which materials work best for the story we are trying to tell.

This course is normally for 20-35 hours and is suitable for puppeteers, actors, musicians, film makers, film animators, writers and directors. 12 maximum

See dates for workshops

Quotes from previous Micro Cinema Theatre workshop participants:

- I found the work challenging and exciting.

- I learned how effective it is to re-contextualize materials that appear and move one way in real life and then how they can say so much more poetically live and enlarged on a screen.

- I learned how to play with light on film a little bit, and how challenging it is to integrate this with live performance.

- I liked the demo part when you showed and talked us through. It is good to learn through examples, although we were all artists, this is a new medium for us so we need to be guided through so later we can find our own path.

- My usual issue is to over think a bit. So working fast was good.

- I liked learning about how to put things together technically and how things join up.

- The exercises and improvisations were connected and developmental. The parameters focussed our thoughts.

- The workshop offered new insights into ways of performing with live video and microcinema, something I had not experimented with before. It is an excellent device that I will certainly use in the future! In fact I already have a couple of little cameras for my upcoming project this summer! 


Puppet manipulation workshop led by
Gavin Glover

This is Gavin Glover's original puppet animation workshop. Looking at how we move our own bodies as the initial inspiration, this workshop will explore the ways in which a puppet can walk and run and fall over and how it can apparently have feelings, reactions and even a sense of humour!

We will improvise and play theatre games to examine the extent to which a puppet can perform theatrically without text and we will discover whether the puppet can be as expressive as any actor.

This workshop can be for 3 hours or up to 5 days and suitable for all performers and theatre creatives. 14 maximum

See dates for workshops


Puppetry the DARK SIDE
Puppet manipulation workshop led by
Gavin Glover

Gavin Glover has always worked in the more disturbing side of contemporary puppet theatre.
He has made and coached ghosts for the National Theatre of Scotland and trained foul-mouthed pterodactyls for the Citizens Theatre in Glasgow, he has toured his 'fabulously dark' style of work all over the world with the cult company Faulty Optic Theatre of Animation. He has developed puppet manipulation workshops, 'hands on' and 'hands off' puppetry techniques and a live video camera workshop entitled Micro Cinema Theatre. 
Amongst his influences are the surreal film animators Jan Svankmejer, the Quay Brothers, film maker David Lynch and Polish theatre maker Tadeaus Kantor. 
With an unsettling similarity to their work, Gavin's puppetry work fits rather too easily into these worlds.
So he has developed a new workshop to explore the darker side of puppetry by giving the puppet the space and the power to dominate the stage.

An audience can experience some very unsettling emotions that even the most cynical of adults would be loath to admit.

This workshop will give you the opportunity to improvise with half and life sized puppets, with and without text. We will create spaces and atmospheres and people them with puppet figures with a mind of their own. We will perform and discover how the actor can help or hinder this atmosphere.
You don't have to be a puppeteer. Ideally you can be a performer from any field, a maker, a director, an artist or a student. Participants will be encouraged to bring costume, props, sounds and even instruments.

So see you on the DARK SIDE ...!!


Puppet manipulation techniques
Directing of actor and puppet
Body training for actor and puppeteer
Live video camera work and projections
Puppet making skills

Suitable for students and professionals


Techniques de manipulation de marionnettes
Metteur en scène d'acteurs et de marionnettes
Entraînement physique de l'acteur-marionnettiste
Vidéo: caméras en direct et projections
Fabrication de marionnettes

Accessible aux étudiants et aux professionnels




Student Tournai 2011 (translation)

This course was a great satisfaction for me, and a reconciliation between the training and learning. I wanted to give a lot of myself in this course and I was happy that I was a little lost but happy with everything I have learned.
I don’t just want to work with live video now because there are so many different things that I have discovered that has made me think and reflect. It has given me ideas, not only with this technique, but new things that have opened up other paths.

The manipulation exercises of the puppets were straightforward, but necessary and accurate. They made me think about my presence as a manipulator, and as an actor. All in good time, every action must wait for the next moment, the answer and the reaction.



Un étudiant Tournai 2011

Ce stage c’était pour moi une grande satisfaction, et une réconciliation avec les formations et les apprentissages. J’ai repris une confiance en moi que j’avais un peu perdue. Je voulais donner beaucoup de moi-même dans ce stage, et c’est ce qui s’est passé, je suis content de tout ce que j’ai appris. Et ce n’est pas que maintenant j’ai envie de travailler juste la caméra en direct et la vidéo, mais il y a tant de choses différentes que j’ai découvertes et qui me font penser et réfléchir, qui me donnent des idées, pas seulement avec cette technique, mais qui ouvrent d’autres chemins.

Les exercices, la manipulation des marionnettes étaient simples, mais nécessaires et précis. Ils m’ont fait penser à ma présence en tant que manipulateur, et comédien. Chaque chose en son temps, chaque action doit attendre pour le moment d’après, la réponse, la réaction.



Host organisations

Het Firmament, Mechelen, Belgium
ESNAM Charleville-Mézières. France
Central School of Speech and Drama. London
Royal Holloway, University of London
London Mime Festival. London
Vincent Dance Theatre, Sheffield. UK
Figuren Theater Kolleg, Bochum. Germany
AQM Montréal. Quebec
UQAM University of Quebec
Espace Catastrophe, Brussels, Belgium
Maison de la Marionnette, Tournai, Belgium
National Theatre of Scotland, Glasgow
Kulturinsel Halle Puppentheater, Germany
Solar Bear Theatre, Glasgow, Scotland
Figuren Theater Koleg, Bochum, Germany
Puppet Animation Scotland, Edinburgh
Royal Conservatoire Scotland, Glasgow
Tarumba. Lisbon. Portugal
Unima Spain, Segovia
Junta de Andalucia, Granada, Spain
Casteliers Festival, Montreal, Quebec
MAAF Pinerolo. Italy