In 2018 Mikey taught workshops for Q Management - the agency arm of Pauline Quirke Academy - and Pins and Needles theatre company among others.
Mikey runs one-day, two-day and term-long courses in puppetry and object theatre and has taught at many institutions including Millennium Performing Arts, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, the National Theatre and East 15 Acting School.
One-day workshops focus on the basics of simple "table-top" bunraku puppetry very much in the vein of Handspring with whom he has worked closely. Participants learn the fundamentals of puppetry and use what they learn throughout the day to build small scenes centering around a puppet or puppet/human interaction. Participants also learn about the rules of puppetry so that they can look at breaking those rules and how or why that might work.
Two-day courses follow this same structure but the longer time-frame allows participants to look in greater depth at how to create on-stage images based around puppets that elevate the puppet rather than obscure or ignore it. It also allows more time to create scenes and build a structure for a short piece of theatre (be it drama, comedy or something else) that has a justifiable reason for using puppet characters. With more advanced groups it also allows the opportunity to work with more sophisticated puppets.
Longer courses delve into much greater detail in regards different puppetry styles, object manipulation, the integration of puppets into a greater theatrical aesthetic and creating longer pieces of puppet theatre. Participants also have the opportunity to make their own puppets and adapt their skills with puppetry and object manipulation to break boundaries without fear of failure.
No experience is necessary for any of these workshops or courses and Mikey has worked with all age-groups from children to GCSE and A-Level students, Drama students and adults.
Esther Roberts, Head of Drama at St Mary's Cambridge:
“I was so impressed with the methods that Mikey shared. The girls quickly mastered the basics and were beginning to develop short scenes in which we, as an audience, really connected to their puppet. I was delighted that Mikey visited St Mary’s."
Sophie Bassett, Student, East 15 Drama School:
"I just wanted to say thank you very much for last term. You really opened up the world of puppetry to me and I absolutely loved it. Before puppetry I was really struggling to find what aspect of physical theatre I really truly enjoyed, but now I think I may have found it."
Puppetry is a more and more highly valued and important skill in modern theatre with shows such as War Horse, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, The Elephantom, The Lion King and many more all employing puppetry to varying degrees.