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Children’s Puppet Festival returns for 2024


Children’s Puppet Festival returns for 2024

Little Angel Theatre’s Children’s Puppet Festival returns for its second year after a successful launch in 2023.

The new festival won a one-off Offie Award at this year’s Off West End Award Ceremony for its work showcasing many different styles of puppetry by award-winning companies for a wide range of different age groups. Offies assessors praised the festival noting “Although one of London’s smallest theatres, the Little Angel Theatre repeatedly punches above its weight, and this Puppet Festival was a triumph of inventive, creative thinking that brings positivity, enlightenment and genuine impact in every area it encounters: truly to be celebrated.”

Little Angel Theatre Artistic Director Samantha Lane and Executive Director Peta Swindall:

“We are thrilled to be bringing back the Children’s Puppet Festival this summer, after it was so well received last year. The festival has been beautifully curated to include a wonderful range of puppetry and performance styles from visiting companies from across the UK. Alongside the shows, there is a wealth of wrap around activity to encourage audiences to get puppeteering and create their own puppets – there really is something for everyone at this exciting festival!”

Festival highlights include two London premieres, a new version of the classic book ‘The Little Prince’ adapted by Lyngo Theatre Company and new show ‘Minny Stynker’ from Soap Soup Theatre, one of Bristol’s leading family theatre makers who are bringing an innovative mixture of projection mapping and augmented reality to Little Angel for the first time.

There will also be the return of award-winning artist Sam Wilde’s company Cardboard Adventures with their show ‘Boxville‘ which invites audiences to an interactive build-your-own adventure.

Two imaginative productions that will use Little Angel’s Studio space in innovative ways: ‘Claytime’ – an interactive show introducing children to the joy of clay, with the performers taking ideas from the audience, moulding the clay into various objects and bringing them to life. ‘Under the Little Red Moon’, (Offie Award Finalist 2024) by English Touring Opera promises to be a vibrant and sensory experience with music and movement for children under two.

With marionette puppetry added to the Red List of Endangered Crafts in 2023 after the tireless work of LAT Associate Director, Oliver Hymans, to get this historic craft recognised, Little Angel are proud to be supporting the work of one of the most exciting marionette companies in the UK: String Theatre’s ‘Lottie, The Travelling Doll’.

The rest of the festival includes an array of puppetry styles by some of the UK’s leading theatre makers fusing puppetry with magic (Long Nose Puppets ‘Out of the Hat’), mime (Goofus’s ‘Moonsmile’), classic children’s stories (Garlic’s ‘Jack and the Beans Talk’), and an (almost) real experience of a zoo (‘The Zoo That Comes to You’ produced by Scarlet Oak Theatre). Plus, an extra special Workshop Experience: Georgia Hill’s ‘Monster Circus’ where audiences get a chance to learn about different puppets and have a go themselves.

Little Angel will be delivering a whole host of family and adult activities throughout August including Puppet Playcations (holiday clubs for ages 5-9), craft workshops for the whole family, puppet making courses for adults to expand their skills, “Hands On” introduction to puppetry sessions, and opening its doors again for the Open House Festival in September.

Elsewhere, Little Angel’s Charlie Cook’s Favourite Book continues on its national tour heading to co-producing venues The Lowry in Salford and Rose Theatre in Kingston this summer and much more.

​Little Angel Associate Artist and curator of the Children’s Puppet Festival Oliver Hymans:

“Once again the festival is an opportunity to showcase the amazing breath of the versatile artform of puppetry. We were absolutely thrilled to win an award at the Offies for the festival’s inaugural year and we believe we have programmed just as an exciting line-up of artists and companies for this season! Following on from our work to get marionette making and performance onto the red list of endangered crafts in May 2023 we are more impassioned than ever to create a platform where puppetry and theatre for young audiences can thrive and flourish, receiving the recognition they deserve.”

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