Giant birds, a terrible Mr Punch, an iron man, a treasured maiden and talents behind the workings of the National Theatre’s War Horse will all make an appearance at Nottingham’s first Puppet Festival.
International, national and even local artists, from old-hands to upcoming artists, they will be demonstrating their talents and showing off their skills across the city including the Nottingham Lakeside Arts, Broadway Cinema, National Videogames Arcade, Dance4 and Malt Cross Caves as well as the partner venues.
From Friday to Sunday at the Old Market Square will become a pop-up puppet village morning until night, with lots of free street theatre, workshops and shows and music and lots more spectacular sights and sounds.
The Festival will come to an end on the Sunday with an exciting Puppet Parade which will star characters of every size and shape, special guests, music, members of the public and a few surprises along the way.
The mix of shows includes the multi award-winning National Theatre production of War Horse, late-night puppet cabaret, political satire, as well as a series of classic stories, and lots of fun for the family together with workshops and talks for both professional practitioners and aspiring puppeteers.
Something for everyone
One of the Festival focuses is on creating opportunities for artists and participants that are disabled, as well as encouraging new audiences through things such as street-theatre, outdoor performances, and lot of free workshops. A three-month community engagement programme precedes the main event. There is also a focus on developing puppetry as an art form, with many opportunities for young artist development.
Puppets are excellent at telling stories in a way that reality cannot – from a very intricate story to something a little more basic. One example of just what puppetry can do is War Horse and it was the production’s appearance at the Royal Concert Hall was the impetus to do something special for the city and its communities and the idea of a puppet festival was created.
There will be numerous puppet performances in venues across Nottingham, as well as talks, workshops, puppet cabaret, street theatre, screenings and a special puppet pop-up village in Market Square. The festival will include puppet artists and companies from across the Great Britain and abroad, as well as ensuring that locally based puppet makers and artists are fully integrated into the festival.
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