Puppets are unmasked at Lancaster museum

Puppeteer Malcolm Knight with Bruce Jackson, county heritage manager.
Puppeteer Malcolm Knight with Bruce Jackson, county heritage manager.

PEOPLE of all ages and backgrounds can experience the mysterious world of masks and puppets at a fascinating exhibition now under way at Lancaster City Museum.

The award-winning exhibition, The Magic of Masks and Puppets, has been put together by the Scottish Mask and Puppet Centre and runs until September 24.

It tells the intriguing story of the history and development of puppetry and mask-making around the world.

Diverse and colourful exhibits include shadow puppets from Greece, Turkey and Indonesia, Javanese Wayang Golek rod puppets, Rajasthani marionettes, giant Russian doll figures from the Rostov State Puppet Theatre – and, of course, Punch and Judy.

There are also leather masks as worn in Italy’s famous Commedia dell’Arte, together with character masks from Nepal and a set of masks made in Scottish Mask and Puppet’s specialist workshop.

Heather Dowler, assistant keeper at Lancaster City Museum, said: “Puppetry is the oldest form of theatre, and puppets have always had their own special mystery and magic.

“This superb exhibition really captures that magic and shows that puppetry and masks are very much living, breathing art forms.

See the Lancaster Guardian (04-08-11) for full story.