Outdoor Event

Puppetry at the Castle

Date of event: 26 Jun 2021 Event start time: 11:00am - Event end time: 5:00pm

Venue Address: Nottingham Castle, Lenton Road, Nottingham, NG1 6EL

Age range: Suitable for all ages

Nottingham Castle Gatehouse

A day of puppet magic at the newly renovated Nottingham Castle and Museum. We are delighted to be part of The Castle’s opening weekend celebrations!

Come explore the castle and discover characters and stories to entertain and delight.  

With walkabout puppets high in the sky, stories told by grand ladies and the beat of carnival to welcome you in, your day at the castle will be the perfect puppet adventure. 

How to book

This is a one day, one off event, presented within Nottingham Castle. Entry to the Castle is ticketed but once inside all puppet festival events are free. Make sure you book for the right day! The ticket prices here are illustrative, there are more options on the Castle site.

Booking steps

  1. Click ‘Book Now‘ on this page
  2. Select ‘Castle – General Admission
  3. Choose ‘Saturday 26th June
  4. Select you tickets
  5. Choose your time & pay

What’s on

Maid Marionette – Alison Duddle & Nicky Rafferty 

11:00am, 12:00pm, 1:30pm, 2:30pm, 3:30pm & 4:30pm

Maid Marionette Nottingham Puppet Festival mascot created by artist Alison Duddle

To the heart of the Forest, in the dead of night 
A noble woman has taken flight 
No longer fun, this isn’t a game and 
To protect her family, she must find a new name 
The landscape’s familiar, it’s stories well known 
And they speak to her now as they welcome her home
Marian, Marian, Marian.

Marian, Matilda, Mary, May – shepherdess or noblewoman? love interest or pioneer? Using puppetry and storytelling, Nicky Rafferty and Alison Duddle will explore the enigmatic figure of Maid Marian, the only female character among Nottingham’s revolutionary Merry Men.  Funny, feisty and fearless, she blazes a trail for us all to follow. 

The Cloud Travellers – Judith Hope 

11:30am, 1:00pm, 3:00pm & 4:30pm

Moon faced walkabout puppet sat on a cloud

Fortunate you shall be, should you stumble across the curious, wandering Cloud Travellers!Meet Nimbus and Cumulus, two enchanting puppet characters, riding high aloft their cloud kingdom homes. Gaze from below as they glide gently along, casting magical rain drops from the tips of their fingers!

Judith Hope is a London based puppet designer and maker, creating puppets for theatre, commercials and events. Her work is inspired by the strange and the wonderful, by folklore and fable. Judith is known for making extraordinary puppet creatures with a detailed aesthetic. Her large scale walkabout puppets perform at festivals across the UK as well as internationally. Curious and spellbinding, these puppets interact with people in unexpected outdoor settings, drawing viewers into an imaginary world of magic and make believe. Her walkabout puppets create unique experiences for all who encounter them.

Lord and Ladies Story Puppets – City Arts Puppet Club

11:00am, 12:00pm, 1:30pm, 2:30pm, 3:30pm & 4:30pm 

Plush stuffed puppets in elaborate clothing

Say hello to these grand characters as they take tea.

Designed by Nottingham artist Jessica Kemp, these beautiful puppets were created with older people in residential care. Their clothes were hand painted by care home residents in workshops for City Arts’ Imagine programme. The Lord and Ladies are interactive, with deep pockets full of mysterious objects. 

Wonka’s Magical Workshop – Inspire Urself Carnival Troupe 

11:30am, 1:30pm, 2:00pm & 3:30pm 

Carnival performer in a Willy Wonka inspired costume


Come Meet Willy Wonka in his world of Pure Imagination! Inspire Ureself Carnvial Troupe bring the childhood character to life, with a carnival twist. A magical experience for the whole family to enjoy.

Puppetry and Protest – YOUnique Get Radical

12:30pm, 2:30pm & 4pm

YOUnique is a young people’s collective at New Art Exchange exploring arts and activism, event management and festival producing.

Each year, they develop an annual programme of YOUnique Festival events, working closely with the NAE team, professional artists and local activists. This ranges from festival ‘takeover’ days at NAE to organising arts ‘interventions’ in city spaces. These events focus on taking space, having voice and being active about the issues that matter to them. The YOUnique 2021 collective is an exciting all-female group of young producers and creatives, aged 14-24 years. They are passionate about gender equality, rights, expression, and inclusion, and will be using Radical Puppetry concepts to design and make their own puppet(s) and live happenings as an act of protest.