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Lyric life

Father Christmas: 8 Questions with Puppeteer Max Humphries

We caught up with the puppeteer behind all of the magical puppets in Raymond Briggs' Father Christmas to ask him a few questions about his craft and Christmas.

1. What’s the one thing you wish people knew about puppetry?

That it’s hard graft, every element is designed and built by hand and takes a long time to make each one.

2. If you could choose a favourite puppet in the show, which one would you choose and why?

Hard but I think probably Dog with his clackity wheels. He’s got a really nice mechanism to make his tongue stick out when he pants, he’s got a lot of character.

3. Name a favourite childhood Christmas memory.

My folks didn’t have loads growing up, but one year they both saved up to get me the Jurrasic Park Capture Copter with Dinosaur Net Trap and Firing Tranq-Missle™ and it was exactly what I wanted and it was perfect and all was good in the world.

4. Without giving away too much – what is the most magical moment in the show?

Probably the first sleigh ride.

5. What are you asking Father Christmas for this year?

Some time with my family.

6. What are the puppets made from (other than love and care)?

Birch, brass, steel, felt, leather, string and paint.

7. What’s your favourite thing about Christmas at the Lyric?

I built and puppeteer’d the Giant for the very first panto at the lyric, so the panto holds a very special place in my heart.

8. What’s your favourite thing about Christmas?

I love giving presents. Finding just the right gift for someone and then seeing their face when they open it, that’s one of the very best feelings.

Click here to find out more about the show.

Follow Max on twitter.