Beverley Puppet Festival brings ‘best-ever’ line up of UK and international shows to East Yorkshire this July

Beverley Puppet Festival is back this summer, bringing ‘our best-ever’ line up of UK and international shows to East Yorkshire from Friday 12 to Sunday 14 July.

Announcing the news, Kerrin Tatman, co-artistic director, said: “Beverley Puppet Festival is a genuinely vibrant and colourful festival for all ages, right here in East Yorkshire. This is our 11th festival and we are determined to keep it growing and growing, providing a unique weekend of puppet shows, workshops and spectacle for everyone to enjoy.

“We continue to be astonished and humbled by all the support the festival gets and the amazing feedback we receive from audiences. We’ve had some great festivals, but this year promises to be our biggest and best ever.”

Festival funding has been secured from Arts Council England, Beverley Town Council, East Riding Yorkshire Council, Visit Hull and East Yorkshire (VHEY) and the Flemingate Centre.

Anna Ingleby, co-artistic director and founder, said: “We have completed our planning of the full programme which will have shows and workshops for kids, teens, adults and families and be announced very soon.”

A festival warm up comes in the form of a two-day workshop on 11th and 12th July by Judith Hope, teaching adults, from professionals to enthusiasts, how to make simple animal rod puppets.

“Judith’s courses are very popular and places are likely to be sought after. It’s one to keep an eye on when tickets become available,” added Anna.

Judith Hope’s own performance over Saturday and Sunday is The Lost and Tangled Forests, a lively roaming puppet act, featuring two large flying ships accompanied by their fish head guides, the steampunk pirates. Audiences on the streets of Beverley will be able to join them on their mysterious journey as they transport their precious cargo of fantasy trees and foliage to rousing pirate music.

One international performer and a star of America’s Got Talent is Argentinian foot puppeteer Veronica Gonzales, who will perform at East Riding Theatre.

Kerrin added: “Veronica got through to the Judges Cut of America’s Got Talent after being buzzed by Mel B, Heidi Klum and Simon Cowell. She is a very, very good and convincing foot puppeteer, using puppet’s eyes, nose and facial features fixed to her feet. If you liked the Scottish Falsetto Sock Company in 2022, this one is for you; audiences will really enjoy Veronica’s amazing ability to create hilarious and charming characters using very little.”

One of the many children’s shows at this year’s festival is Pinocchio by the Magical Paper Theatre Company who re-tell the timeless family favourite at The Friary using a nostalgic, 19th Century, pop-up style giant toy theatre.

At East Riding Theatre, Hull-based Indigo Moon Theatre, who recently produced the spooky shadows for Sir Kenneth Branagh’s latest film A Haunting in Venice, will present their classic favourite, Jungle Book, in their internationally acclaimed and recently remounted shadow theatre version which revisits the original Kipling book using 14 light sources and three screens.

Another children’s show, Moonsmile, by Goofus Theatre at the Masonic Hall, will blend music with movement, puppetry, play and mask, immersing audiences in a non-verbal storytelling performance, ‘creating a space for imagination to thrive’.

Following a pilot last year, and supported by local businesses, this year’s festival also includes a Puppet Trail allowing visitors to explore Beverley and the festival in a new way.

In another new development, Kerrin and Anna have appointed a Trainee Festival Director, York-based Vicky Annoula, who has been hired to develop her career progression skills and help deliver the three-day programme of events.

Throughout this July’s festival there will be free outdoor acts and ticketed indoor shows including at East Riding Theatre, Beverley Friary & Gardens, Beverley Masonic Hall, Toll Gavel Church, as well as on Beverley’s shopping streets and at the Flemingate Centre.

One of the UK’s leading arts and puppet festivals, Beverley Puppet Festival has twice won, and been a repeat finalist, in the Remarkable East Yorkshire Tourism Award including winning the ‘Remarkable Tourism Event’ in 2022.

To keep up-to-date on the Beverley Puppet Festival news, see their website and social media feeds:



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