Little Angel Theatre Will Host First Ever Children's Puppet Festival

The festival will run from 2 August - 3 September 2023. 

By: Jun. 05, 2023
Little Angel Theatre Will Host First Ever Children's Puppet Festival

Little Angel Theatre has announced its first ever Children’s Puppet Festival which will take place across both Little Angel venues this summer from 2nd August - 3rd September 2023. The vibrant programme will showcase a broad range of puppetry by the most exciting UK and international companies currently making theatre for young audiences. There will be plenty of opportunities for everyone to take part, with workshops for families, community events, fun days for children and courses for adults to try out the craft of puppetry.

Little Angel received expressions of interest from over 90 companies to take part in the new festival and from as far away as the USA, Iran and The Netherlands.  Curated by Little Angel Artistic Associate Oliver Hymans, the final programme embraces a range of styles for different ages, focusing on work where puppetry takes centre-stage or is presented in a new way.

Festival highlights include:

  • Breathe by Half A String will feature intricate puppetry, ground-breaking live camera work and a thumping drum and bass soundtrack.
  • Following a collaboration at the Royal Opera House last year, internationally renowned hand shadow artist Drew Colby and opera singer Rose Stachniewska will create a new opera production of The Fox Poet and the Fisherman.
  • Celebrated by audiences around the world, Dutch company Tam Tam will showcase their beautiful style of object puppetry in To Have or Not to Have, whilst Swallow Wings Puppetry present Anansi and the Lost Sun, an inspiring theatre show with live traditional West African music.
  • Little Angel’s very own puppetry design intern Ash Appadu will be debuting their show Where the Water Falls, where a timid monster takes on a journey of self discovery. Ash began their internship with us at the start of 2023, selected from nearly 200 applicants they have been working with a variety of industry experts to develop their skills.
  • Garlic Theatre return to Little Angel with their lovingly crafted puppets in Oldilocks and the 3 Bears, plus extraordinarily silly stories will be told by award-winning Roustabout Theatre in the improvised and interactive The Great Big Story Mix Up – anything could happen!
  • For the Early Years, two special immersive shows include the playful toooB from Angel Exit Theatre and Lyngo’s Egg and Spoon which has entranced children all over the world.
  • Two intricate and inventive ‘suitcase shows’ designed to be transported and performed anywhere, include classic tale The Tortoise and the Hare from Kitchen Zoo and the mind boggling Suitcase Circus from Folded Feather.
  • The return of two companies and artists who won Offies with Little Angel Theatre last year  – Sam Wilde’s (OFFIES 2023 Winner - Theatre for Young Audiences – Design, 'I Want my Hat Back') new company Cardboard Adventures invites you to an interactive-build-your-own-adventure Boxville and Smoking Apples return with their unmissable, immersive show for older children Kinder (OFFIES 2023 Winner - Theatre for Young Audiences - Original Music/Sound and Production; Etties 2023 Winner - Best Theatre for Young Audiences Production).
  • Plus a whole host of family and adult activities will take place throughout August, encouraging everyone to get involved, including Puppet Playcation (a holiday club for ages 5-9), festival themed craft workshops for the whole family, puppet making courses for adults to expand their skills, a “Hands On” introduction to puppetry sessions, and Little Angel will also open its doors as part of the Open House Festival.
  • Elsewhere, Little Angel’s The Slightly Annoying Elephant heads to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this summer playing at the Gilded Balloon throughout August.

Little Angel Associate Artist and curator of the Children’s Puppet Festival Oliver Hymans said: “The festival is an opportunity to showcase the amazing breadth of this versatile artform. Following on from our work to get marionette making and performance onto the red list of endangered crafts in May we are more impassioned than ever to create a platform where puppetry and theatre for young audiences can thrive and flourish, receiving the recognition they deserve. Going forward the festival will be a key part of our Artist Development Programme, this year it features a show developed as part of our puppetry internship, as well as welcoming back 'Kinder', a show developed through our support programme for artists and companies.”

Little Angel Theatre Artistic Director Samantha Lane and Executive Director Peta Swindall said: “We are so excited for our inaugural Children’s Puppet Festival.  There is such a vibrant mix of puppetry shows, for all ages, from visiting companies from across the UK and beyond. And on top of the shows, there are many other ways for audiences to engage with the theatre, including workshops and professional development.  Little Angel Theatre really is where it’s at this summer!”


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