David Currell is a lecturer, photographer and an authority on puppet theatre. He is the author of eight puppet theatre books that are widely recognised as standard works on the subject. A UNESCO consultant in puppet theatre, he has performed, lectured and led workshops throughout Britain and Europe, and from Canada and the Caribbean to the Middle East.
Born in Plymouth, he was educated at Devonport High School for Boys, then at the College of St.Mark & St.John, Chelsea, and Birkbeck College, London, He has qualifications from the University of London in Psychology, Primary Education, English, and Arts & Crafts.
He has served as a teacher and headteacher in London primary schools and recently retired as Principal Lecturer in Education from the University of Roehampton, London. At Roehampton he was one of the founder members of the Psychology Department, teaching Experimental Methods and Statistical Analysis, but he worked mainly in the Faculty of Education where his various responsibilities included Programme Convener for the BA(Hons) Primary Education programme, Faculty Director of Modular Programmes and University Academic Adviser.
David Currell has been constructing and performing with puppets since his early teens, initially with marionettes but, when he embarked upon a teaching career, he expanded his work to include other types of puppet. His interests are in puppets as theatre and its educational applications.
He was a co-founder of the national Puppet Centre Trust and its chairperson and course tutor for nearly twenty years. He has also served as Vice-Chairman of the British Centre of UNIMA (Union Internationale de la Marionnette) and as a Council member of the British Puppet and Model Theatre Guild.
Shadow Puppets and Shadow Play (2007) Crowood Press “This new work is by far the best book on shadow puppetry published in the English speaking world since 1960….This work…is inspirational and…serves as a superb introduction to shadow play.” Ray DaSilva, PuppeteersUK, Nov. 2007
Making and Manipulating Marionettes (2004) Crowood Press “This superb publication has been well worth waiting for….There are 132 colour photos of fine examples…. Together they represent a wide variety of puppets and performance styles and, along with the hundreds of other illustrations, allow easy access by non-English readers.” British Puppet and Model Theatre Guild Newsletter, February 2005
Puppets and Puppet Theatre (1999) Crowood Press “…a glorious development of the author’s previous five works….The book really comes into its own with the illustrations…no other book provides such a fine photographic record of British puppetry from the last quarter of a century.” Bookworm, ANIMATIONS, Year 22, No.5 June/July 1999
“ essential reading for everyone interested in making and performing with puppets.” The Puppet Centre Trust, June 1999
An Introduction to Puppets and Puppet Making (1992) Quintet Publishing “79 A4 pages of really good photos with clear step-by-step instructions for various types of puppet.” Ray DaSilva, International Puppetry Bookshop, 1982
The Complete Book of Puppet Theatre (1985) A. & C. Black, UK/Barnes & Noble, USA “Really it is the complete book of puppetry.” Dr. Henryk Jurkowski, President, Union Internationale de la Marionnette, June 1986
“Originally published under the title ‘The Complete Book of Puppetry’, this standard work on the subject has been completely revised and expanded,....this profusely illustrated book (is) truly ‘complete’.” Amateur Stage, June 1986
Learning with Puppets (1980) Ward Lock Educational, UK/Plays Inc.USA “One of the most useful books available….” Art and Craft Magazine, August 1987 “With over two hundred pages of ideas and information, very well illustrated and plenty of photographs….anyone who is interested in puppetry will find this book useful.” Stan Parker, British Puppet and Model Theatre Guild
“ Because of the practical way in which puppetry is related to the process of learning…and the wide range of information on production and presentation, this is a book well suited to the needs of both the student teacher and the teacher who wants to develop it further.” ANIMATIONS Yr.4 No.6, Aug/Sept 1981
The Complete Book of Puppetry (1974) Pitman Publishing, UK/Plays Inc.USA “Any author who has the temerity to title his work a ‘complete’ guide is obviously inviting target practice from critics and reviewers. But in this instance the claim seems fully justified….if any reader is looking for a really comprehensive guide to the subject, he need look no further.” Amateur Stage, April 1975
“I began reading this book…with an element of scepticism, but by the final page I was under its spell. It is a complete book of puppetry.” Janet Margrie, Crafts magazine, May/June 1975
“This is an ambitious, excellently realized book that is assuredly the most nearly complete and up to date work on the subject…If you can have only one book on the subject of puppetry, this is the one to have!” Daniel Llords, The Puppetry Journal, Puppeteers of America, May/June 1975
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