Half-term puppetry festival for Bognor Regis

As lockdown eases, Bognor Regis is first off the blocks with a new festival celebrating all things puppetry.

Pied Piper
Pied Piper

The festival is taking place during the week Monday, May 31 to Friday, June 4 and will feature contributions from some of the UK’s most celebrated practitioners and a mix of performances, outdoor events, workshops and conferences.

The festival includes productions by Norwich Puppet Theatre, Long Nose Puppets, Smoking Apples Theatre and Dread Falls Theatre and workshops led by PuppetSoup and Splodge Designs.

Director Hilary Strong said: “Most of the shows will take place in the new Bognor Makerspace, a large warehouse in the centre of Bognor being developed as a community makerspace with facilities for theatre production training and social connection. An initiative set up last year by the Aldingbourne Trust and Making Theatre Gaining Skills, the Makerspace has already been utilised for a series of courses funded by the DWP. We’re thrilled to be hosting Bognor’s first puppet festival and to be able to welcome so many wonderful practitioners to the town. It’s all part of our strategy of promoting puppetry in our new Makerspace.”

The full programme is available on http://www.makingtheatre.co.uk/puppet-festival/

All tickets for family friendly shows are £3 per person. Book tickets on: https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/making-theatre

The programme includes:

Arbor The Tree, Mon, May 31, 11.30am, 1.30pm and 3pm, Makerspace, all ages £3. Watch Arbor as he strides around, vanishing between trees and emerging with his cart full of tree saplings. Arbor tells the story of a tree pushed from his home and his fight to preserve his future, featuring “amazing puppets and beautiful visual storytelling.” We learn how Arbor came to be. Book Presented by Smoking Apples Theatre.

Professor Octavia’s Magical Menagerie, Tues, June 1, 1pm and 2.30pm, Makerspace, all ages £3. “Professor Octavia’s Magical Menagerie is about to begin! She has seen the sunsets of the Serengeti, traversed the trails of the tropics, and been awed by the Aurora Borealis; and now it is your turn to experience the magic for yourself. “Let us introduce to you new and exciting animals from around the world. Audiences will have the chance to interact with some unusual creatures, including the naughty little jackalope and a woman made entirely of ice. After the show, children are invited to meet the animals in a petting-zoo style experience.” Book Presented by Dread Falls Theatre.

Arthur’s Dream Boat, Weds, June 2, 11am and 2pm Makerspace, all ages £3. “One night, Arthur has an amazing dream about a beautiful pink and green boat with a stripy mast. He can’t wait to tell everyone about it but no one, not even his dog, is interested. In fact, they don’t even notice that this very same boat is growing on his head, getting larger and larger by the minute. “Book Presented by Long Nose Puppets.

Pied Piper, Thurs, June 3, 11am and 1pm, Makerspace, all ages £3. “When the Pied Piper plays his flute the rats run, the greedy mayor rubs his hands and the children dance…” Book Presented by Norwich Puppet Theatre.