Beverley Puppet Festival – just one week to go!

It’s only a week to go until the start of Beverley Puppet Festival with a fantastic selection of ticketed and free shows for kids, teens, adults and families.

Ocho the Octopus – Tim Davies Design

Starting next Friday 12 through to Sunday 14 July, the festival already has a Puppet Trail up and running in 17 shop windows across Beverley until the end of the festival weekend.

“The trail allows local people and visitors to explore Beverley and the festival in a new way by discovering puppets at locations in shop windows and businesses throughout the town centre,” said Anna Ingleby, co-artistic director.

“Most of the puppets on the trail and in the exhibition have been created by children of Molescroft, Woodmansey and Swinemoor primary schools.”

“All you have to do is complete the trail quiz sheet and drop it off at the end of trail exhibition at the Refill Jar in Flemingate to win a Puppets in Beverley Trailblazer badge and enter a prize draw.

“You can pick up a trail sheet at any of the participating shops – or download from the festival website.”

The festival’s ticketed indoor shows include at East Riding Theatre (ERT), Beverley Friary & Gardens, Beverley Masonic Hall and Toll Gavel Church.

In A Million Tiny Ants at ERT on Friday evening by Matthew Robins, a West Country artist, combines shadow-puppetry and songs in this new collection of stories about animals, monsters, the sea, love, and death – and, possibly, a million tiny ants.

 Tiffany can’t sleep – join her in a quest to find out why in Pea at ERT on Saturday afternoon, a show by Nod at The Fox which aims to normalise non-nuclear family situations for young children. Looking at themes of anxiety and coping mechanisms, while smashing gender stereotyping and fairy tale tropes, Tiffany emerges as ‘an indisputable heroine’.        

Also at ERT on Saturday night, Argentinian Veronica Gonzales, a star of America’s Got Talent, brings her own unique foot puppet show with Once Upon a Time Two Feet all the way from Italy. The show, in which parts of the body transform into puppets, interprets visual stories full of humour and irony, blending rhythm, comedy, fantasy and poetry. This UK premiere will delight audiences on the Saturday evening at ERT.

On Sunday at ERT is Breathe, a celebration of trees and nature that is a 2024 Off West End Finalist with beautifully realised, breathtaking puppetry, live camera work, drum and bass, and live folk music from Half A String.           

In an internationally acclaimed and recently remounted shadow theatre version of the Jungle Book, Hull’s Indigo Moon Theatre revisits the original Kipling story using 14 light sources and three screens and is on at ERT at 12:30pm on the Saturday.

On Sunday at Beverley Friary, are Tiny Clown’s Big Adventure, a show for kids and families about a clown who is ‘a teeny bit naughty’; and Carried by the Wind by Goofus Theatre, for all ages, with strolling carnival players Margarinee and Basket in a magical dance.

Do you sing in the shower? At Beverley  Masonic Hall  by Don’t Panic Puppets is a unique puppetry experience all the way from Greece.

And there are free outdoor acts on Beverley’s streets including the town centre and Flemingate Centre. Free outdoor acts for all the family include the larger-than-life Wandering Wizard, by Wild Giant Arts, who explores our human world with his friend, Glob the Goblin, along Toll Gavel on Saturday 13 July.

An equally anticipated free street act is Tim Davies Design’s inflatable, life-like, colourful Ocho the Octopus, with three 30-minute performances on Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 July along Butcher Row and at the Flemingate Centre.

Dragon training is never easy as you’ll soon find out with Dinosaurs and Dragons Alive on Saturday and Sunday along Butcher Row and at the Flemingate Centre.

Festival funding has been secured from Arts Council England, Beverley Town Council, East Riding Yorkshire Council, Visit Hull and East Yorkshire (VHEY) and Wykeland/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 book tickets and for show info, head to

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