Puppet Festival 2017

Posted by Ards Arts Centre|24 May 2017| in Press

Puppet Fun At The Puppet Festival!

Ards and North Down Borough Council is delighted to announce that The Puppet Festival is back with a jam-packed programme of puppet performances, workshops and general puppetry shenanigans!  Taking place at venues across the borough from Saturday 27 – Monday 29 May, Northern Ireland’s only festival dedicated to puppets, has a range of quirky characters, madcap puppet madness and thrills and spills galore.

The Festival kicks off on Saturday morning, 27 May when North Down Museum throws its doors open for The Puppet Open Day. Come and meet the puppet-licious Polly Pocket and her pop-tastic puppets. Get up close and personal with Strangeface Puppet Theatre and catch the elves helping the shoemaker with the retelling of this magical story by Banyan Puppet Theatre. The Rev Haslett, Ards’ veteran puppeteer, will also be there with his incredible ventriloquist dummies. William Haslett has been performing with his puppets since the 1950’s and has some incredible stories to tell about his puppet friends.

With a variety of free scheduled performances, free puppet workshops and plenty of quirky characters to meet, there’s something for everyone! The open day runs from 11.30am – 3.30pm.

Due to popular demand, a second performance of "Elves and the Shoemaker" by Banyan Puppet Theatre has been scheduled for 3:45pm. Tickets are FREE however pre-booking is ESSENTIAL as tickets for the earlier show sold out very quickly! Tickets can be booked via the Ticketsource link at the top of the page.

One of the highlights of the festival is the Northern Ireland premiere of ‘Beached’ by Strangeface Theatre Company. ‘Beached’ is a tiny tale all about Arnold whose walk becomes an adventure. The miniature set is a box with the Strangeface trademark puppets. A soundtrack is played on headphones for each audience member, creating a world to share round the table. Catch the show at The Puppet Open Day and let your imagination run riot, a magical and spellbinding show – not to be missed!

On Sunday 28 May, the Puppet Festival will be visiting Exploris Aquarium in Portaferry with The Three Little Pigs show by Little Gem Puppets. This sweet rendition of the much loved children’s fairytale, is performed in a Punch and Judy style booth. Whatever you do don’t tell the wolf where the pigs are hiding! This is a free show although Exploris admission charges still apply. Shows are at 12pm and 2pm.

Also on Sunday 28, Strangeface Theatre Company will be performing their ‘Spaced’ show at Castle Espie Wildfowl and Wetlands Centre. This puppet version of a silent disco, will entertain children and adults alike. Come and experience the story of one bored boy, one mad scientist and an accidental trip into outer space. This free show runs at various times between 11am and 4pm. Castle Espie admission charges apply.

The puppet tour continues on Bank Holiday Monday, 29 May when “Maggie” by Little Gem Puppets will visit Donaghadee Paddling Pool. Loosely based on Hansel and Gretel, this free show is packed full of excitement and adventure. If you like to talk to puppets, this Punch and Judy style show is the one for you! Show times are 12pm and 2pm.

For more information, download the Puppet Festival Programme here:


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