ON COURSE 96 - Record Educational Special; Pulling All the Strings
Students on a special course at a Scots college know there are strings attached to their work.
And they're expected to work hand in glove with their tutors.
But that's fine by them because the 13 students are on the first college course ever in Scotland on puppetry.
And there's no masking the possibility that their studies at Glasgow's Anniesland College could send them centre stage into the spotlight in the future.
The college, the only teaching centre in this field in the UK, has successfully managed to grab attention overseas with its innovative course.
Two students, one from South Africa, the other from Italy, are undertaking the two year Higher National Diploma (HND).
Puppets have a charm all of their own, depending on your age.
They can light up a kiddies' party or bring back powerful memories for grown-ups of puppet stars such as Sooty and Sweep or the zany characters of the Magic Roundabout.
And they can stun adults with their powerful and spectacular shows as put on by visiting Japanese or Indian troupes.
The Anniesland course involves everything from actually making the puppets to an in-depth look at drama and even business studies.
Educational uses of this particular art form are being taught on the course along with plenty of hands-on experience.
Students are also trained how to present shows by making soundtracks, using effective lighting and developing an overall sense of stage craft.
Other elements of the course involve welding, wood carving, pottery, art, architecture and design as well as administration work and marketing.
This will enable qualified puppeteers to gain a sound background that will help them operate in a self-employed capacity.
And that DOESN'T simply mean entertaining giggling, squealing youngsters at birthday parties. …