As well as the artistic director of Polka Theatre, Peter Glanville was also the artistic director of Little Angel Theatre for eight years and directed of many of our most loved productions including We’re Going on a Bear Hunt. We caught up with Peter and discussed future projects, collaborations and inspiration.


What are you working on at the moment?

I’ve just finished re-directing ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ for Little Angel Theatre, and am currently in development with two new productions for Polka. ‘Under The Rainbow’ is a devised piece with performer Marleen Vermeulen, designer Verity Quinn and Puppet maker Nick Ash. It explores the journey of a refugee woman from a makeshift home to a place of hope. Initially inspired by Otto Piene’s inflatable rainbow, constructed for the Munich Olympics, it follows her physical and emotional journey exploring themes of home / memory / loss and resilience for a young audience. The other piece is a jazz musical adaptation of ‘How to Hide a Lion’, a picture book by Helen Stephens, which plays at Polka over Christmas.  Essentially it’s a comic and moving tale of a Lion who strolls into town looking for a hat , scares everyone off , and then becomes a hero.

Who do you work with?

I enjoy working collaboratively, but have always worked with different artists. Rather than adopt a particular style, I like to explore finding new forms to fit the tales told.  So, alongside puppeteers, I have worked with actors, aerialists, jazz musicians,  poets, fine artists and African drummers.


How closely do you work with designers?

I am hugely driven by visual narratives, so the relationship with the designer /puppet maker (often the same person) is an organic process which starts from the very beginning. Often, two years before the production goes into rehearsals.  I enjoy the process of being astounded by the worlds presented to me by artists such as Lyndie Wright or Peter O’Rourke.


What will the ‘Behind Closed Doors’ be like?

I will introduce a range of approaches I have used when adapting books/stories as Puppet Theatre or Theatre with Puppetry.  We will look at research techniques, exercises used in the development of ideas, processes I use with puppeteers and influences on my work.  I aim to provide the group with a range of theoretical and practical guides when directing Puppeteers and creating Puppet Theatre.


THIS COURSE HAS SOLD OUT – ‘Behind Closed Doors’ course, Sunday 22nd May 10 – 5pm at Little Angel Studios.