Ray & Joan DaSilva
Ray and Joan DaSilva are retired professional puppeteers, both makers and performers with experience in most aspects of puppetry from Punch & Judy at the seaside to directing their own puppet company.
Ray and Joan were responsible for overseeing the conversion of a mediaeval church into Norwich Puppet Theatre which opened in 1980 and is still running successfully. They also ran a puppeteers’ bookshop and organised events for puppeteers.
The company toured for several years with large-scale shows to major theatres including London’s West End, and simultaneously with smaller teams of puppeteers to schools, arts societies and festivals. It became a training ground for puppeteers who went on to form their own companies and to work for others in theatre, television and film.
A summary of their achievements can be found in the World Encyclopaedia of Puppet Arts , and the adventurous story of the DaSilva Puppet Company is recorded in the book by Chris Abbott published by the Friends of Wisbech Museum. The full text of the book with 160 photos can be seen online at An East Anglian Odyssey.
Ray has been a member of the Guild since the 1950s. You can contact Ray here.