Keith Frederick explores costume in his upcoming course: Costuming for Puppets.

6 – 10 July, 10am-6pm

So what is a costume?

Well of course in theatrical terms it means a complete outfit. This includes every element of what an actor, or in this case a puppet, has to wear to help bring its character to life utilising head wear, gloves, belts, jewellery and all manor of other accessories.

However, with the puppet there are so many other considerations, for example, movement. The joints of the puppets require freedom to work well and not hinder the puppeteer in their manipulation, this is where fabric choices are the key to success. This will lead us to consider weight, and it is a happy accident that most costumes for puppets can be very economical and things like the use of undergarments are very seldom needed.

Dogs 2

In my course, Costuming for Puppets,  we will concentrate on the fluid aspects of the costume and particularly the aspect of finishing.

It is so often the case that a puppets costume is an afterthought and cobbled together out of pure need, more often than not resulting in disappointing results for the maker. My aim in this course is to arm you with valuable pointers and hands-on exercises to give you the confidence you require to achieve great costumes.

And of course we shall be pondering that age old Shakespearian question ‘To glue or not to glue?’


Costuming for Puppetry is perfect for anyone who wants to learn more about this specialist craft or who has a specific puppet costuming project in mind. By all means bring your own puppet to dress or, for those who don’t have one, we can loan you a puppet for the duration of the course so that you can learn these unique skills and transfer them to your puppet making in the future.

Blog author: Keith Frederick

To book for Costuming for Puppetry call our box office on 020 7226 1787. Visit our website HERE for more information.

Keith Frederick designed and created the famous and much loved puppets and costumes for Dogs Don’t Do Ballet. His credits include: Little Angel Theatre, The RSC, Kneehigh, Nickelodeon, Darryl Worbey Studio, Robert Allsop and Paul Zerdin.