Ards Puppet Festival 2019

Posted by Ards Arts Centre|12 April 2019| in Press

The Puppets return to Newtownards!

Newtownards is preparing for a puppet invasion next month when the Ards Puppet Festival returns to Ards Arts Centre and Conway Square. The popular festival which is taking place on Sunday 26 and (Bank Holiday) Monday 27 May presents a full-programme of puppet mayhem and will be fun for all ages!

Over the two days, Ards Arts Centre and Conway Square will be buzzing with an eclectic mix of scheduled performances, free puppet workshops and plenty of madcap puppet shenanigans! Expect puppets in all shapes and sizes, from socks to strings and even glow in the dark!

The Festival is thrilled to welcome Lyngo Theatre to this year’s programme to perform their ‘Tom Thumb’ and ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ shows at Ards Arts Centre. Not your usual puppet shows - these classic fairy tales will be brought to life with fascinating and magical performances by Patrick Lynch of Cbeebies fame. The whole family will be entertained!

Clydebuilt Theatre will make a welcome return to the festival with their adorable ‘Lost Bear’ production and the much-loved Banyan Theatre will also return with their enchanting show ‘The Hedgehog Prince’. All scheduled shows cost £3 per ticket, advanced booking is required.

There’s lots happening outside in Conway Square too with a full-programme of street-theatre, walkabouts and puppet workshops. Watch the ‘Billy Goats Gruff’ as they tussle with the grumpy troll, queue up at the ‘Rat Choc Chip’ ice-cream van and get more than you’ve bargained for, enjoy a ‘Teddy Bears Picnic’ or traditional ‘Punch and Judy’. More creative visitors can get stuck into puppet making at the free interactive workshops where children can build their very own puppets, with help from professional artists.

One of the programme highlights will be performances by the Budapest Marionettes. Performing for the first time in Northern Ireland, Bence Sarkadi is a Hungarian marionette artist / puppeteer who travels the globe, entertaining crowds with his award-winning, one-man show. Prepare to be amazed as Bence’s mastery brings his puppets to life. All Conway Square performances are free of charge.

From 13 – 24 May, the Puppet Scavenger Hunt will take place around Ards Town Centre. Follow the clues and spot the crazy characters to win a prize and be in with a chance of winning a Family Pass to the Black Adventure Zone at the Ards Blair Mayne Wellbeing and Leisure Complex.

Speaking about the festival, Amy McKelvey, Community Arts Development Officer with Ards and North Down Borough Council said;

“As always, we are thrilled to be launching our programme for Ards Puppet Festival 2019 with plenty of unique performances to entertain the whole family. Alongside festival favourites like Banyan and Clydebuilt Puppet companies, we are very excited to be welcoming the Budapest Marionettes and Beautiful Creatures to the festival and to Northern Ireland, for the first time.”

Ards Puppet Festival takes place from 26 – 27 May in Conway Square Newtownards. Copies of the Puppet Festival programme are also available from Ards Arts Centre, North Down Museum or any of the Council’s Visitor Information Centres.

Additional Information

For tickets CLICK HERE

To download a festival programme CLICK HERE

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