Puppet Festival goes virtual
The Puppet Animation Festival, the UK’s oldest and largest annual festival for children and their families, is back – virtually.
Since 1984, the festival has programmed more than 5000 puppetry performances, workshops and animated film screenings which have been enjoyed by more than 450,000 people.
In the last five years alone, it has toured to more than 200 venues the length and breadth of Scotland and the north of England.
Sadly, last year’s festival was cancelled after the first nationwide lockdown was announced.
However, it is back with a bang this year – entirely online – aimed at children aged up to 12 years old. There will be five online shows, five practical online workshops and two animated short film programmes.
All will take place digitally, hosted by 10 accommodating venues including Dundee Rep and Dumfries and Galloway Arts, between April 5 and April 17.
Dawn Taylor, the festival’s artistic director, said: “The festival is a dynamic and continually evolving partnership with local authorities, organisations and venues across Scotland.
"Over the past 38 years, puppeteers have presented their work to large and enthusiastic audiences in city centre theatres, community and art centres and the smallest of village halls across the nation.
"This year, for the first time, they are coming straight to audiences’ homes.
"Reaching rural communities with high quality work is a key part of our mission and we’re excited to build on this work by opening our programme to any family in Scotland with access to the internet.
"This has also been an extremely testing and difficult year for artists and performers. We are so excited and proud to see how our community has been adapting work to fit into these digital spaces.
"Going virtual allows them to perform to an even wider audience whilst, most importantly, keeping them, our artists and performers safe.”
The festival is produced by Puppet Animation Scotland which champions puppetry, visual theatre and animated film in Scotland and produces two festivals annually.
For the full programme, visit www.puppetanimationfestival.org.