A new Sunderland-based business is celebrating an extra special business relationship this Mothering Sunday, as son Philip Thompson, re-launches his mother’s former business.


Professional puppeteer, Philip originally from Esh Winning but now based in Seaburn in Sunderland is relaunching the puppet show business, that his Mother set up in 1999 with the help of an Enterprise Allowance Scheme.

Doreen Thompson, who still lives in Esh Winning, has since retired but is now thrilled that her son has returned to the north-east to follow in her footsteps.

Doreen was, and still is known by hundreds of people, as The Puppet Lady. Not only did Doreen, a former RAF Drill Officer and prison officer turned puppeteer, make all of her own puppets she has since made many for Philip too.

“I am thrilled that Philip is carrying on the puppet show business and that he has discovered his own talent as a puppeteer. Puppet shows entertain everyone, young and old, and really bring out a child’s personality when they are in the audience too,” said Doreen Thompson.

“I still remember Philip helping me when he was just a child, and in fact, my passion for puppets changed from a hobby to a business after he volunteered my services at his school.

Philip, now aged 38, will perform his 40-minute puppet show at birthday parties,  events, family gatherings and schools and community organisations. His Puppet Shows can be seen right across the north-east including at local farm attraction Hall Hill Farm.

“I am very pleased to be following in my mother’s footsteps as a puppeteer. Although I couldn’t really call myself The Puppet Lady so ‘Pips Puppets’ is the new name for the business,” said, Philip Thompson, puppeteer at Pips Puppets.

“I really enjoy being a puppeteer. Bringing joy to people through the art of performance is a great thing to be able to do. In puppetry, you may be hidden from the audience but you can see their smiles, interaction and genuine enjoyment from behind the theatre. The shows really try to encourage interaction and bring out a child’s personality, and even many of the shy children actually love getting involved.”

Philip has recently returned to the northeast after working as a children’s entertainer in London to launch ‘Pips Puppets’ – a unique puppet show experience, that combines old-style fairy tales in a show that is one of a kind. The 40-minute show aims to entertain children age 2 to 7 but also those older too.

For more information about the puppet shows see: www.pipspuppets.com