Graeae's Iron Man
Graeae's Iron Man hits the streets of Nottingham in 2018

Nottingham Puppet Festival is a partnership between the Theatre Royal & Royal Concert Hall and City Arts Nottingham. First launched in 2018, the 2024 festival is our third event.

This city-wide, community-focused Festival is a celebration of puppets and people. Throughout each festival, we find a way to fill every corner of the city with puppetry performances from local, national and international artists. We commission new work, bring small and large-scale puppetry to the streets, and present workshops, talks and screenings from key figures in the puppetry world.

Why puppets?

Puppets are so good at telling stories in a way that reality can’t – from the most basic to the most intricate. One example of just what puppetry can do is the National Theatre / Handspring Theatre celebrated production of War Horse. It was this production’s appearance at the Royal Concert Hall in 2018 that was the impetus to do something really special for the city and its communities and the idea of a puppet festival was born.

Our festival tells stories about everything and anything, from grief and loss to journeys into outer space or the wild seas, about the environment, about friendship and joy. The Puppet Festival will take you to incredible worlds and allow you to experience the sheer delight and entertainment of puppetry, seeing up close the craft and skills of puppets and puppeteers from all around the world. This celebration of the art form remains at the heart of Nottingham Puppet Festival.

A Festival for everyone

A key festival focus is creating an event for everyone in the city. We will be programming work into libraries and community centres, outdoor spaces and schools. The partnership, led by the Theatre Royal & Royal Concert Hall and City Arts, involves creative and community venues across the city, including Nottingham Lakeside Arts, the Squire Performing Arts Centre, Broadway Cinema, Nottingham Trent University, the New Art Exchange, Oakfield School, Cantrell School and the Library service. A huge thanks for being part of the network and bringing this exciting event back to the city for another year.