The Puppets are coming back to Newcastle
12 May 2021
Reporter: Peter Lathan
Newcastle Puppetry Festival started as a pilot in 2017 and proved so popular that it returned in 2019, lasting for nine days in a number of venues, presenting international puppetry with giant puppets, including magical magpies and a life-sized giraffe, scaling Northumberland Street to the delight of audiences and everyday visitors to the busy shopping area.
Like the entire theatre industry, Newcastle Puppetry Festival has faced a great deal of uncertainty over the last twelve months, not even knowing whether this year’s event would be able to go ahead at all. However, thanks to the support of Arts Council England and the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland, the Culture Award-winning festival will be back with a new programme of performances, masterclasses, talks and puppets.
Although some of the activities, such as the masterclasses, will take place online, Kerrin Tatman, Artistic Director of Moving Parts Arts which organises the Festival, hinted that this year’s festival will be bigger and better than ever.
“This year we are bringing puppetry to Newcastle in a way we have never done before,” he said. “This year's festival will be one colossal outdoor live extravaganza, our biggest and most ambitious venture yet. The spectacle has been commissioned with COVID-safety in mind and audiences can book ‘Pay What You Can’ tickets with confidence whilst anticipating a truly unique experience to anything they have witnessed before.
“We wanted to commission something incredible and unique for the people of Newcastle and the North East, and with it being outdoors this year we have an opportunity to create, quite literally, the biggest puppet performance Newcastle has ever seen. Watch this space, it will be hard to miss!”
With masterclasses, films and the festival's super-secret live outdoor performance, there will be something for everyone and all ages at this year’s puppet extravaganza. Everyone who is interested should sign up to their newsletter on the festival web site to be among the first to know about what’s in store.