About Blackcat
Indian Marionettes
The Ramayana
Puppet Workshops
Training in Puppetry
Shadow Theatre
Street Theatre
Previous Work
Educational Resources
National Curriculum




C.V          Diana  Bayliss

Date of Birth: 29th May 1953
23 Middleton, Cowling, Keighley, West Yorkshire   BD22 ODQ
Tel: 01535 637359   mob: 07711882806                                                 
email -        web:-

Puppeteer, actress and  drama practitioner
Expertise in puppet crafting, performance, workshops and training.
Specialiist in traditional and contemporary Shadow Theatre, Indian Marionettes and Hindu Mythology. 
Intermediate Iyengar Yoga teacher. 

Since founding  BLACK CAT THEATRE in 1985, Diana has:-

  • Created and delivered puppetry and drama performances, workshops and training for theatres, schools, libraries, museums, at community venues,  fetes and festivals throughout the UK and occasionally abroad, establishing an excellent reputation in the Educational field.
  • Carried out commissions to create and deliver puppetry projects and residencies for Education and Health organisations and to build puppets for theatres and artistes.
  • Frequently collaborated with other artists for performances and educational residencies,  in particular with visiting and resident Indian artistes.
  • Specialised in Hindu mythology, helping to make the culture more accessible.

The company is not dependent on regular funding but has received Arts Council Lottery funding, Yorkshire Arts project and training grants, and local council grants.

  • Devisor, maker and performer for puppetry and shadow theatre.
  • Proficient in theatre and puppetry techniques.
  • Storyteller
  • Proven leadership qualities, communication and teaching skills.
  • Excellent body awareness through study, practice and teaching of yoga for over 20 years in the UK and in India.
  • Drive, enthusiasm and communication skills to generate and negotiate business.
  • Computerate in word, business and design programmes (PC and Mac.}
  • Able to work under pressure and to deadlines
  • Collaborator with other artists
  • Bodhran player (Irish drum)
  • BA Honours Degree in Performing Arts,  Bradford and Ilkley College 1980 ~1984. 
  • Diploma in Communication Studies, Birmingham Polytechnic 1971 ~ 1974.
  • ‘A’ levels in Art and English ~  1971
  • GCSE’s:- English Literature, English Language,  Maths, French,  Spanish,  Art, Biology,  History, Economics & Public Affairs - 1969
  • Iyengar Yoga Teaching Certificates ~ Introductory ~ 1988,  Intermediate ~ 1992


  • Manager and performer of Black Cat Theatre for 23 years
  • Part-time student of Birmingham Theatre School from 1964 to 1971, winning awards at Birmingham Festival of Drama and Music.
  • Volunteer presenter for Birmingham Hospital Radio 1969 - 1971.
  • Radio Birmingham work placement as a journalist - 3 months in 1972
  • ATV Birmingham work placement as a researcher - 3 months in 1973.
  • Masterclass workshops and training with:- academics - Henry Jurkowski, Margareta Niculescu;  puppeteers - Brian Henson, Yang Feng, Mary Henderson;  International shadow artists - Teatro Gioco Vita, Amoros et Augustin; Indian master puppeteers - Puran Bhatt and Mahipat Kavi.
  • Work with special needs children and adults. 3 years part-time work for Bradford Social Services developing puppetry projects and teaching yoga to people with mental health problems.
  • Training courses with BKS Iyengar at Iyengar Yoga Institute, Pune, India in 1990, 1994, 2000 and 2006.         
  • Secretary of Bradford & District Iyengar Yoga Institute 1990 – 2004.  Teacher at regional and national yoga events.
  • Secretary of BrUNIMA, national branch of the world-wide puppetry organisation UNIMA 2002 - 2005

Yoga, gardening, drawing, healthy eating, drumming, walking, cycling.

Performance: KATHPUTLI - Indian Marionnettes
Workshops in :-

  • Shadow puppets - making and manipulation
  • Shadow House ~ an environment for exploring light, dark and shadows
  • Projections ~ exploration of shadow theatre using body, mask and objects.
  • Making simple marionettes and other puppets from recycled objects.

Teacher training:

  • Puppetry in the classroom
  • The use of Drama to deliver the curriculum