Pictures and Memorabilia Collected by Brian Green
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Waldo Lanchester (1897-1978) was at the
forefront of the British revival in popularity of the string
puppet and was a leading player in the formative years of the
British Puppet & Model Theatre Guild, which remains
Britain's leading Puppetry Organisation.
With colleague Harry Whanslaw, Waldo
established the London Marionette Theatre in Hammersmith
in 1927 - the first puppets anywhere in the world to appear on
Assisted by his wife,
Muriel, he went on to run the Lanchester Marionette Theatre,
based in Malvern, from 1936 to 1949 including a prestigious
appearance at Buckingham Palace in 1938. For the 1949
Malvern Festival, George Bernard Shaw wrote the play "Shakes
v Shav" specially for the Lanchester Marionettes and the
Company's repertoire also included Opera, Ballet, Plays and a
Grand Puppet Circus.
In 1951, Waldo
& Muriel re-located to Stratford-Upon-Avon and established a
delightful shop specialising in puppets and puppetry-related
items, notably the "Lanchester-Lee" marionettes in kit
form, made from a specially developed new moulding material "Leetex".
Waldo was a fine craftsman with incredible
attention to detail. He was the author of the greatly
respected book "Hand Puppets and String Puppets", first
published in 1937 and his work featured in the acclaimed
documentary film "The Creation of a Marionette" produced by
Douglas Fisher (1945).
LANCHESTER GALLERY 2 > > >