The key elements of breathing life into any object was the focus of a fascinating puppetry masterclass led by an Old Lyonian.
Oliver Hymans (OL 1995-2002) returned to the School’s Drama Department in Thursday 13th September to pass on some of the skills he has learned in a fascinating career to the School’s current GCSE Drama pupils.
Oliver is an award-winning puppet artist, theatre maker and arts education specialist, working in London. Since training on the Scenography course ant the world-renowned Central Saint Martins he has worked as a director, designer, performer and puppeteer across the world, with partners and at locations including the Tate Modern, National Gallery, Camden Roundhouse, Museum of London and Almeida Theatre.
Also an arts education specialist, Oliver returned to his old School to inspire pupils with some of the fundamentals of his craft, shown with simple effect through an exercise using just sheets of paper, which when manipulated in a careful way, can take on lifelike characteristics.
Year 11 pupil Khari Bennett said: “Oliver helped us develop our practical puppetry skills using basic materials such as a single sheet of newspaper. We learned the three most fundamental points when learning to use puppets as beginners to convey the subtly change in emotions: breath, focus and movement. With these rules we were able to use more complex puppets that took three people to operate.”
Head of Drama, Mr Sam Jones, added: “We always look forward to welcoming Oliver back to School and he is an inspiration to our boys. While a student here he won the Drama Prize and was heavily involved in extra-curricular drama. Seeing him work and knowing he is very successful in his field is incredibly beneficial for current boys who are considering a career in the creative industries.”
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Pupils typically join John Lyon in Years 7, 9 and 12, largely from a North West London catchment area including Harrow, Wembley, Stanmore, Pinner, Watford, Rickmansworth, Northwood, Ruislip, Hillingdon, Uxbridge, Ickenham, Northolt, Southall, Ealing, Acton, Edgware, Brent Cross, Finchley, Barnet, Camden, Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea, Hammersmith & Fulham, as well as other parts of Middlesex, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire.