Nottingham Puppet Festival first launched in 2018, produced in partnership by Theatre Royal & Royal Concert Hall Nottingham, City Arts and Nottingham Trent University, and made possible thanks to funding from Arts Council England with additional support from Nottingham City Council, Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature and Midlands3Cities.
The city-wide, community-focused Festival is a celebration of puppets and puppetry. Over four days (22 – 25 March 2018) every corner of the city is filled with puppetry performances from local, national and international artists, commissioned new work, digital puppets, a large-scale puppetry parade along with workshops, talks and screenings from key figures in the puppetry world.
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 War Horse and it was the production’s appearance at the Royal Concert Hall was the impetus to do something really special for the city and its communities and the idea of a puppet festival was born.
A Festival for everyone
One of the Festival focuses is on creating opportunities for disabled artists and participants, as well as encouraging new audiences through things such as outdoor performances, street-theatre and free workshops. A three-month community engagement programme precedes the main event. There is also a focus on developing greater advocacy of puppetry as an artform, with opportunities for artist development.