Keith Frederick

Independent Puppet Maker & Costumer

Freelance Puppet Designer and Maker with more than 20 years expierience.
 

THE 'SHED'

                                                

                                               

Based in my London workshop 'The Shed' I design, build, re-create and restore puppets and costume for professional use and private commission. 

                                                                                                              

                               

                              

Design and functionality, quality of build, attention to detail and finish are all of equal importance to me, no mater what the project. The key to any successful relationship is communication and I work closely with my clients to make sure that I realise their vision, meeting their deadlines and coming in on budget.   

As a puppeteer, I operate table top, rod and glove puppets and specialise in operating marionette puppets.                    

 

I also teach and I am currently a visiting lecturer at Wimbledon school of Art teaching students puppet construction on the BA Technical Arts and Special Effects course.


My career credits include: Little Angel Theatre London , Little Angel Theatre and Peter O’Rourke,The RSC, and Kneehigh. Sue Dacre for Nickelodeon and Polka Theatre. Darryl Worbey Studio projects for Lone twin, Robert Allsop , Paul Zerdin and Babycow productions. The Princess Haya Children’s Cultural Centres Jordan and Dubai, Steve and Sally Tiplady for Robert Adams opera El Nino. Nexus Productions for BBC Bite Size.   Smoking Apples and 'Cell'. Platform 4 'The Legend Of The Holy Drinker' . The Hogarth Estate & Will McNally 'Muffin the Mule and Freinds'                                

Puppets, the sea and me.

There are people who have a clear direction in life and know from a very young age what they want to be.  "Give me a child when they are 7 and I will show you the adult" not quite word for word I know, but the meaning is the same. Most of us from a young age have been captivated or inspired by someone or something which colours our future in ways we least expect as a child. Even if we should lose sight or track of that direction, it will find us again and allow us to fulfil our dreams.

There are two things that captured my imagination and inspired me as a child:          

In 1963,  after seeing a TV puppet show called Supercar, aged 4 and from that point on, all I wanted was a puppet.  At the age of five I was given my first marionette. It had to be a marionette, a string puppet, because that's what the ones on TV were. Whilst the gift I was given was not quite as sophisticated as the puppets in Supercar, and subsequently in Fireball XL5, Stingray and Thunderbirds, I loved it and the rest, as they say, is history! It was these amazing puppet shows, created by a perfect storm of talents, who first held my imagination at the end of their strings and to whom I will be forever thankful.

My second source of inspiration came from the man whose company had produced the puppet I was given and later the puppets I went on to collect, Bob Pelham and Pelham Puppets . I know of many puppeteers, makers, writers, directors, set designers etc. all of whom had these puppets as a child and, through having them, set them on a path that led directly to their careers in Puppetry, Theatre, TV and Film. 

It would be remiss of me not to mention the one thing that had the most impact on my life, which has nothing to do with puppetry, and set me on a course of seeking constant perfection, a misnomer if ever there were one, and gave me an eye for detail that sometimes drives me insane, 5 years in the Royal Navy; The senior service. Only one ship THE ROYAL YACHT, HMY BRITANNIA, working directly for Her Majesty The Queen and The Royal Family. Sounds amazing?...it was.

Despite having lost my way a couple of times, steering in directions I thought I should pursue for the sake of security and money, my first calling, first love, first passion, dragged me firmly and steadfastly back on course. What I do next? Well, if you have managed to read this far, that could be up  to you?