Mousetale Puppets
 
 
 
  • Name: David Stewart
  • Age: 39 years young. Where did the time go?
  • Home: I live in West Lothian, Scotland, with my wife Lyndsay, our three children and a garden full of chaffinches.
  • Education: Graduated in 2000 from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, Dundee University, with First Class BDes (Hons) Ceramics. Basically that means I'm a diva with clay and fire.
  • Values: I'm a committed Christian with years of past experience as a children's/youth leader and decades of involvement in music ministry. I value the family, the planet, freedom of expression, integrity, enterprise, attention to detail and doing things properly and thoroughly. I believe we should always be learning, and that the journey is more important than the destination.
  • Favourite Films: Labyrinth, The Incredibles, Finding Nemo, Spy Kids, Duel, The Goonies, Up, Monsters Inc.
  • Favourite Music: Everything from classical to techno but I've got a soft spot for prog.
  • Favourite Food: Grapefruit and Caramel Wafers. (Preferrably not mixed together.)
  • Hobbies & Interests: Music & music technology (I play several instruments), creative dance, birds & nature, hillwalking, exploring the countryside.
 
 
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  • I have had an interest in puppets and the theatre for as long as I can remember. Typical of my generation, Jim Henson's Muppets were part of the staple childhood diet but it was music, followed by the atmosphere of live theatre that first energised and activated my imagination. This probably dates back to early pantomime visits when I was four or five. I remember being hugely inspired on one such occasion by the use of puppets in a panto, and performance quickly became an integral part of my childhood play. I began to use toys as puppets around that age and remember charging my parents 5p each to watch a show from the bottom of the stairs.
  • When I was about eight my dad built me a model theatre - complete with scenery and trapdoor! I soon wired in some lights too, unaware that I had inherited my dad's – and grandad's – life-long interest in all things technical. All this developed in tandem with my passion for music and around this time I began piano lessons which I reluctantly kept up for five years, preferring to experiment with blues, pop and cockney!
  • Puppetry became a serious hobby when I was about 13 or 14. Realising this, my parents took me to see the famous Purves Puppets at their theatre in Biggar. I was inspired to start working with ultraviolet and bought my first UV light in 1991, aged 14.
  • By the age of 16 I had built my own stage and was producing my own shows at home with Saturday matinees in my dad's loft for family and friends. I sold tickets and put the money towards better equipment and materials. Around this age I ventured out from behind the piano and began to learn other instruments like guitar, bass and drums.
  • While at school, I chose to arrange my own 4th year work placement week - at Biggar Puppet Theatre with the Purves Puppets. This went so well that I returned for a week the following year.
  • In 1993 I was asked to do some puppetry as part of a service in a nearby church. This was the first time I had performed my own work for an "audience" outside the house and it led to further similar invitations.
  • In 1994 I started performing my own shows in local schools and this continued on an amateur basis for about seven years, during which I managed to get the best grades in my year at school and the best Degree in my class at Art College.
  • In 1996 I wrote a new story about a mouse called Oscar. It was called Oscar and the Deep-sea Pearl...
  • I graduated in 2000 from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, Dundee University, with First Class BDes (Hons) Ceramics.
  • I turned professional in August 2001 under the name Mousetale Puppets and began touring Scotland...
  • In January 2002 I had a chance meeting with another puppeteer, Sylvia Troon, who quickly became a great friend and support to me. It was she who introduced me to the Puppet Animation Festival and the Scottish Mask & Puppet Centre.
  • In Spring 2003 I performed for the first time in the Puppet Animation Festival, the UK's oldest and largest Performing Arts event for children. I have toured successfully in the Festival every year since.
  • My tours have taken me to some very special places including the Islands of Islay, Coll, Mull, Colonsay and Shetland. I have performed in established professional theatres such as the Netherbow in Edinburgh, Gilmorehill G12 in Glasgow, Rothes Halls in Fife, Hamilton Town House, the Byre Theatre, St Andrews and Pitlochry Festival Theatre to name but a few... I have also performed in village halls so rural that I had to move sheep to get my van door open!!!
  • In 2004 I started offering workshops to schools. This followed the success of an experimental workshop project in a Fife school in 2002.
  • My first performance in England was at Forum, Manchester in August 2007.
  • 2009 saw debuts in Skye, Northern Ireland and Norwich Puppet Theatre.
  • Welsh debut in 2010 at the Puppetry PowWow festival.
 
 
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