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Puppet Festival promises a ‘vibrant, colourful’ weekend

The organisers behind Beverley Puppet Festival have revealed an extensive, exciting, full and varied programme for this year’s festival – the 11th – with shows and workshops for kids, teenagers, adults and families.

Running from Friday 12th July to Sunday 14th July, the biennial festival brings together a selection of free outdoor acts on Beverley’s streets including the town centre and Flemingate Centre, plus ticketed indoor shows at East Riding Theatre (ERT), Beverley Friary & Gardens, Beverley Masonic Hall and Toll Gavel Church.

“Free, outdoor shows are a real centrepiece of Beverley Puppet Festival, and we are keen to bring acts to town that reach as many people as possible, with high quality, accessible performances that entertain and inspire locals and visitors alike,” said Kerrin Tatman, co-artistic director.

“We hope the festival programme gives a vibrant, colourful, unique weekend of puppet shows, workshops and spectacle for everyone to enjoy.”

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 13th 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 13th and Sunday 14th 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.

As well as these and a whole programme of other free, outdoor acts, the festival has a wide selection of ticketed indoor shows, including those at East Riding Theatre (ERT).

Argentinian Veronica Gonzales, a star of America’s Got Talent, brings her own unique foot puppet show take on traditional puppetry 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.

The UK premiere will delight audiences on the Saturday evening at ERT.

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

In A Million Tiny Ants at ERT on Friday evening 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’.

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 noon on the Sunday.

These and other shows are kicked off with 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.

And a Puppet Trail will allow 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.

To book tickets and for show information, visit

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