Hanging On A String

For local puppeteer Julie Rose McCormick, a lifetime of pulling strings and making kids laugh was perhaps inevitable.

For it was whilst growing up in bonny Scotland that the young Julie Rose often helped her puppeteer father as he went from theatre to theatre, from house to house.

When her father then started the drama department in Trinity College, and then proceeded to tour Ireland and the world with his puppets, Julie Rose knew that this was the life for her too.

“The thing about puppetry is that it’s very interactive,” says the Newcastle native. “And that gives children a real sense of being part of the story, of following the twists and turns. It can also be used to deal with politics, with philosophy, with all the complexities of life.

“So much easier to understand when delivered by a friendly but subversive puppet…”

Yep, a spoonful of family entertainment helps the medicine go down. For Julie Rose, the fact that she is instinctively shy means that the avatar of puppets gives her the freedom to fully express herself.

“There’s a comfort zone with puppets,” she finishes, “that I enjoy, and the kids enjoy too. Autistic kids, for example, love puppets. There’s something instantly safe and warm about puppets, and it’s wonderful to offer every kid that chance to just give themselves over to the fun of it all…”

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