The award winning Beverley Puppet Festival takes place every two years. Having grown from just 5 puppet companies in 2005 it now attracts circa 9,000 visitors and is the largest festival of British puppetry in the world, in terms of its focus on home grown talent, and all in one place – Beverley!

The 2014 festival was awarded with the Remarkable East Yorkshire Tourism Award for Small Tourism Event by Visit Hull & East Yorkshire.

 Beverley Puppet Festival – 15, 16, 17 July 2016


Book tickets and get group discounts via the festival website www.beverleypuppetfestival.com




Norwich Puppet Theatre

East Riding Theatre Café

Saturday 16th July 10.30am

(Families / Ages 3 – 8) 50 mins

Tickets £6 / £5

A curious city boy sets off in search of three unusual creatures. Deep in a strange forest he discovers the Lostlet, the Strangelet and the Oddlet. Together they find surprising ways to make their hopes, dreams and wishes come true. Adapted from the much-loved children’s book by Joyce Dunbar, the story is reimagined with a magical mix of puppetry, visual tricks, masks and original music. “a spellbinding show” – The Guardian


Frogs & Snails & Teddy Bear Tales

Freehand Theatre (of Shipley)

Masonic Hall

Saturday 16th July 12.00pm

(Families / Age 3 – 7) 50 mins

Tickets £6 / £5

Children are invited to bring a teddy bear to share the performance. No extra charge for bears! It’s bear’s birthday tomorrow. His head is full of excitement. How will he ever get to sleep? This gentle and humorous play explores themes of time and the seasons, story making and birthdays.


Nobody Rides the Unicorn

PuppetCraft (of Devon)

East Riding Theatre

Saturday 16th July 1.00pm

(Families / Age 4+) 50 mins

Tickets £6 / £5

The greedy King of Joppardy and cunning Doctor Slythe trick an innocent young girl, Zoe, into helping them capture a Unicorn. When she realises that they plan to take the Unicorn’s magical horn, Zoe knows she must set the Unicorn free… But will she be putting herself in terrible danger? Based on the book by Adrian Mitchell and illustrated by Stephen Lambert. Superbly crafted puppets, original live music, lyrical words and song and moments of unexpected magic, blend to tell this touching tale.


Little Frankenstein

Lempen Puppet Theatre (of Skipton)

Parkway Cinema

Saturday 16th July 3.00pm

(Families / Age 5+) 50 mins

Tickets £6 / £5

Semi famous puppeteer Frank Stein is busy rehearsing his new show “George the Dragon Slayer” but he’s finding it really difficult with his badly made puppets! He’ll never be famous because his puppets keep falling apart! Taking inspiration from the scientist Dr Frankenstein and with the help of the audience he creates a new real live puppet that is destined to change his life forever!


A Real Fairy Story

Ripstop Theatre (of Norwich)

East Riding Theatre Café

Sunday 17th July 11.00am

(Families / 3 – 9) 50 mins

Tickets £6 / £5

Miss Amelia Buttersnap is an expert on fairies but has never seen one! She needs to photograph one for her book but how can she get one? With the help of an array of gadgets and her cat, Tibbles, she finds herself in fairyland, where all is not well.



Zero en Conducta Co. (of Barcelona)

Friary Great Hall

Sunday 17th July 12.00pm / 1.00pm / 2.30pm / 4.30pm

(Families / 5+) 30 mins

Tickets £5 / £4

Corporal puppets with gesture theatre, using hands to tell five stories: a dream that wants to awake its dreamer, a shipwreck survivor waiting to be rescued whilst enjoying his sentence, a moment in the mind of someone tying their laces, a conjurer that is conjured and a child that learns how to fly to touch the sky.


Recycled Rubbish

Theatre-Rites (of London)

East Riding Theatre

Sunday 17th July 12.30pm

(Families / 3 – 11) 50 mins

Tickets £6 / £5

Imagine a world that celebrates its rubbish. Come and join our two excavators as they scuttle through the muck finding treasures hidden amongst a world of rubbish. A magical world where, at the touch of a puppeteer’s hand, the contents of a bin bag can transform before your eyes. It’s a beautiful, silly and inventive world. Inspired by Theatre-Rites’ hugely successful show Rubbish, which was featured on Blue Peter. “Trash-heap puppetry to transfix the kids”  – The Guardian 



Teabreak Theatre (of London)

Friary Gardens Marquee

Sunday 1.30pm / 3.30pm

(Families / 2 – 8) 40 mins show + 20 mins workshop

Tickets £6 / £5

Based on ‘The Elves and the Shoemaker’, Bobbin tells the story of a cobbler who returns home from war and finds he cannot make the shoes he used to. One night, the spirit of his workshop comes alive in the form of Bobbin. As Bobbin learns about the world, he decides to help the cobbler and bring him back together with his first love. Developed through the Incubate programme at The Little Angel Theatre.


Pandora’s Magical Box

Indigo Moon Theatre (of Beverley / Hull)

Parkway Cinema

Sunday 17th July 2.00pm

(Families / Age 5+) 45mins

Tickets £6 / £5

Internationally acclaimed Indigo Moon Theatre brings this classic myth into the realm of the child – combining shadow theatre, table-top puppetry and live acting. Pandora seems perfect, endowed with every good gift, however her vanity and capricious nature makes her think with her head and she opens the forbidden box, unleashing a world of shadows. Chaos, symbolic of the larger world, is let loose. But all is not lost when Pandora opens the box a second time, this time following her heart…! 


The Ugly Duckling

Finger & Thumb Theatre (of Smethwick)

East Riding Theatre Café

Sunday 17th July 3.30pm

(Families / Ages 4+) 60 mins

Tickets £6 / £5

What would you do if you hatched out of an egg only to discover you looked nothing like your brothers and sisters, or even your mother? Imagine if everyone laughed at you because you were different. A new show (commissioned by Junction, Goole) features trademark hand shadow puppetry of international shadowgrapher Drew Colby in collaboration with cellist Penny Callow. Inspired by the Hans Christian Andersen tale.



Join the Parade

Compagnie with Balls (of the Netherlands)

Butcher Row / Toll Gavel

Saturday: 10.30am, 12.30pm, 2.00pm

Sunday: 12.00pm, 1.30pm, 3.00pm

(All ages / families) 3 x 20 mins each day

Join the Parade and enjoy a joyful dance through the streets. Follow the gigantic puppet and watch him dancing and playing with Atharina as she moves gracefully on a ball almost 2 meters tall! This towering mix of puppetry and acrobatic dance is sure to get you dancing in the street!

Koweit 2014 - Remal International Festival - P2BK

Prince Amir and Nazreddin

Creature Encounter (of Birmingham)

Flemingate Centre

Saturday: 12.00pm, 1.30pm, 3.30pm

(All ages / families) 3 x 30 mins

From deep within the desert rides Prince Amir the Meerkat atop his trusty companion, Nazreddin the wise old camel. Come forth and witness the miniscule majesty of Amir and the curmudgeonly camel who will laugh at anything… especially himself! Join in with jolly japes as Amir tries, with varying success, to steer the lazy beast onward whilst maintaining his inflated ego. Be certain to step forward for a photo with these colourful, comic characters.


Little Fawn Caravan

Sokobauno (of Glasgow)

Friary Gardens

Saturday and Sunday: 11.00am, 11.40am, 12.40pm, 2.40pm, 3.20pm, 4.20pm, 5.00pm

(Age 5+) 7 x 20 mins

The Little Fawn Caravan presents experimental puppetry with two NEW SHOWS for children and their families with original music, improvisation and table-top puppetry.

The Great Tada’s Mesmerizing, Magical Moments

Sit back and allow The Great Tada to bamboozle you with his sleight-of-hand and mind boggling illusions. Close-up-puppetry at its very best.

Feature Comforts

No ears, no sound, no eyes, no sight, no mouth, no voice, no nose, no smell, no way of knowing. One by one these features come and with them senses creep and one by one, one whole becomes as dreams awaken from their sleep.

new Uncle Tacko The Peepshow (002)

The Raree Man and The Peepshow

Promenade Promotions (of Devon)

Saturday: Top of Cross Street opposite Sullivans 12.00pm, 1.30pm, 2.30pm, 4.00pm

Sunday: Flemingate Centre 12.00pm, 1.30pm, 2.30pm, 3.30pm

(All ages / families) 4 x 30 mins each day

The Raree Show is a live performance with a self-contained peepshow. Peepshows were a popular form of street entertainment in the 18th and 19th centuries – often used as a medium to educate, showcase exotic scenarios and present morality tales. Presented by the Raree Man, showman Tony Lidington & his ‘boy’, The Peepshow includes a modern day morality tale – The Banker’s Progress and Jack and the Beanstalk. Marvel as the Raree Man entertains the crowd, with a select, smaller group, able to view (for £1) animated scenes through the peepholes.



Creature Encounter (of Birmingham)

Flemingate Centre

Sunday: 11.00am, 1.00pm, 2.30pm

(All ages / families) 3 x 30 mins

Two vibrant birds in all the colours of the rainbow explore their surroundings with inquisitive beaks and joyful squawks. Marvel at the exotic beauty of these larger than life avian amigos. Make your friendship felt by stepping forward for a bright and brilliant photo and please remember, they won’t bite but they may decide on being friends forever!


Flights of Fancy & Piggery Jokery

Hand to Mouth (of Ashurst, Hampshire)

Friary Gardens

Flights of Fancy

Saturday: 11.30am, 4.00pm

Sunday: 2.30pm

(Ages 3 – 8) 45 mins

Tells the tale of a baby Glovebird learning to fly, while the earthbound puppeteer and stick-in-the-mud musician attempt to get the show off the ground. Anything is possible in this menagerie of the imagination, where we meet varieties of Glovebirds who sing, balance and unicycle and even a flying pig!

Piggery Jokery

Saturday: 2.00pm

Sunday: 12.00pm, 4.30pm

(All ages) 30 mins

 A whimsical perambulation through the seasons, touching on the circular nature of time, as told by the Green Man and his hurdy-gurdy playing Droning Crone and their troupe of rag-bag characters. There is plenty of laughter along the way as the old farmer tends his land and fattens his pig for the winter. Resonances of ancient pagan ritual and dark humour.


Punch & Judy

Les Clarke (of Slaithwaite, West Yorkshire)

Angel Square

Saturday: 12.30, 2.00pm, 3.30pm

(All ages / families) 3 x 25 mins

A fast paced show, packed with traditional slapstick action and starring zany larger than life characters. Featuring puppets over 50 years old in a magical show for the whole family.


The Explorer

Lori Hopkins (of London)

Saturday: Town Centre Market Cross 11.00am, 12.30pm, 1.30pm, 3.00pm

Sunday: Friary Gardens 12.30pm, 1.30pm, 2.30pm, 4.00pm

(All ages / families) 4 x 15 mins each day

Follow The Explorer as he embarks on a journey of discovery – frolicking with seagulls, zooming through outer space and meeting wild beasts! Each time a box is opened something incredible emerges. Features original music by Grandmaster Gareth, marionette and rod puppets and includes a wonderful string puppet carved by Stephen Mottram.


The Meanderthals

Noisy Oyster (of Frome)

Butcher Row / Toll Gavel

Saturday: 11.00am, 1.00pm, 3.00pm

Sunday: 11.00am, 1.00pm, 2.00pm

(All ages / families) 3 x 30 mins each day

Two fantasy walkabout characters carry their enormous loads whilst humming to themselves. Their roving, blinking eyes view the passersby with interest and occasionally they issue a gigantic sneeze. When they slow to a halt they are spurred on by the little disgruntled passengers stowed away in the luggage.


The Rat Race

Frolicked (of Todmorden)

Flemingate Centre

Saturday: 11.30am, 1.00pm, 2.30pm, 4.00pm

Sunday: 11.30am, 12.30pm, 2.00pm, 3.00pm

(All ages / families)

20 mins show followed by short ‘Inside the Cheese Experiences’ for groups of 3.

The Rat Race is a surreal and darkly funny commentary on modern life – as told by rats. Housed inside a giant wedge of cheese, intelligent puppet rats highlight some of the absurdities of society to show an audience of human lab rats what it’s really like to be in the rat race. A few lucky participants will be invited inside and thrust into a surprising series of sticky situations and, with help from our insightful rodents, they’ll attempt to complete the increasingly ludicrous tasks required to escape the rat race…


Extracts from Driftwood

Treebadour World of Marionettes (of Moray, Scotland)

Friary Gardens

Saturday: 11.30am, 2.30pm, 3.30pm

Sunday: 11.30am, 1.00pm, 3.30pm

(All ages / families) 3 x 35 mins each day

Set at the seaside, a marionette performance with music. Mermaid sings her song, the flute player performs his music and the girl enjoys her dancing, even a happy dog

plays at the beach alongside other performing beautiful wooden carved marionettes with short mesmerising scenes set to enchanting music.


FSI Fairy Scene Investigation

Ripstop Theatre (of Norwich)

Saturday: Town Centre streets 12.00pm

Friary Gardens 1.00pm, 3.00pm

(Families / Age 3+) 3 x 40 mins

Wherever and whenever there are reports or sightings of fairies… Fairy Scene Investigators are not far behind. Using the latest cutting edge technology (patented circa 1814), scientific gadgetry of the most baffling kind and pure detective wizardy, they can be relied upon to sniff out, track down and photograph the slightest evidence of the existence of fairies.


The Cryptid Petting Zoo

Headstrung (of Liverpool)

Friary Gardens

Saturday: 11.00am, 1.30pm, 3.30pm

Sunday: 11.00am, 3.00pm, 5.00pm

(All ages / families) 3 x 20 mins show + 20 mins petting zoo experience each day

An introduction to new and exciting animals from around the world, The Cryptid Petting Zoo gives the audience a chance to interact with some very unusual creatures, including the extremely rare Cornish Sea Serpent, the famous Jersey Devil and the loveable Giant Beast. See these Mythical Monsters up close and learn more about them from specially trained handlers, including the opportunity to ask questions and care for the animals. 

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