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Puppet master John Wright honoured with Islington People Plaque

PUBLISHED: 07:00 12 July 2011

The unveling of the plaque

The unveling of the plaque

Archant

» A puppet master who staged dazzling shows for 30 years has been honoured with a permanent tribute at the theatre where he entertained thousands.

Puppeteer John Wright has been awarded an Islington People’s Plaque after more than 3,000 residents voted on which major figures, places or events from the borough they felt should be remembered.

Mr Wright opened the Little Angel Theatre in Dagmar Passage in 1961 in the shell of a bombed-out temperance hall using all his life savings. He hosted entertainment using puppets until he died in 1991.

‘Huge credit’

He was made a MBE in 1977 and his company got invited to represent Britain at 25 international festivals.

The plaque in his memory was unveiled at the theatre on Saturday.

Cllr Catherine West, leader of Islington Council, said: “The Little Angel is still delighting and entertaining audiences, both children and adults, half a century after it first opened its doors.

“That is a huge credit to the vision of John Wright and those who carry on his legacy.”

Peter Glanville, the current artistic director of the Little Angel Theatre, said: “For the past 50 years, our venue has been an embodiment of John Wright’s dedication, skill and vision for the art form of puppetry.

“His beautifully crafted puppets and artfully choreographed productions will continue to inspire and set the benchmark for the next 50 years.”

Mr Wright is the second person, place or event to get an Islington People Plaque.

The first was a memorial to the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381 which was erected at the Highbury Barn Tavern in Highbury Park.

Author Douglas Adams, suffragette Edith Garrud and boat club pioneer Crystal Hale are also due to be honoured with the same accolade.

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