The puppets are coming! Run!
2017’s ‘Moving Parts’ was a real roaring success and it will be cementing its place as one of the “must visit” regional festivals in April when it pitches up in Newcastle for another nine days of puppetry, stop animation and visual theatre for adults, children and families. This time it’s spread over seven venues and promises a truly diverse programme including international performances from Greece, Germany and The Netherlands.
Sure to be among the highlights of the adult programme is the UK premiere of Noone’s Land (10 April, Dance City). From Merlin Puppet Theatre (Germany/Greece) this piece sees a scarecrow using the power of imagination to combat reality. A lonely creature, eternally spiked in the ground at the same point, he opens his eyes and discovers the world around him…
I also love the look of SeasideTerror (12 April, Alphabetti Theatre - pictured). Here Old Doll Puppetry take a trip to the seaside where they find a sinister ice-cream man telling mind-boggling tales of terror featuring evil seagulls, zombie donkeys and bingo hairballs. A 1970s British horror/British holiday crossover, this promises to be a real treat.
The award-winning The Seed Carriers from Stephen Mottram’s Animata also looks jaw-dropping – it has won several international awards – and features a race of creatures who draw the audience into a beautiful, colourful world which becomes horrific and then haunting as our understanding of it starts to dawn (12 April, Dance City).
There is also a plethora of shows especially for children including Mermarella: Cinderella of the Sea (combining puppetry and shadow theatre – 10 April, Alphabetti Theatre), A Heart at Sea (a stunning piece of visual storytelling – 13 April, Seven Stories) and Insect Marionette Circus (using long-string wood-carved marionettes – 13 April, Seven Stories).
Add in all of the masterclasses on offer (which is an important part of the festival) as well as the free outdoor performances featuring giant puppets etc, and you’ve got a festival jam-packed with delights around each and every corner.Moving Parts: Newcastle Puppetry Festival, 6-14 April. newcastlepuppetryfestival.co.uk