Curtain to rise on annual puppet showcase

Field of Asphodel. Photo: Clive Tagg.
Field of Asphodel. Photo: Clive Tagg.

BUXTON Puppet Festival is back with a bang, to celebrate its tenth birthday from Monday July 23 to Saturday July 28.

Events during the five-day puppet extravaganza - co-produced by Buxton Opera House and the Buxton puppet company Funny Wonders - will include a selection of performances and workshops for all ages, at the Opera House, Pavilion Arts Centre and Paupers Pit.

The Pavilion Arts Centre will play host to a delightful array of large-scale puppet shows. Funny Wonders will deliver Funny Wonders & Friends, a colourful evening of puppetry featuring the Buxton Infants Puppet Club on Wednesday July 25.

The following day, Presto Puppets will deliver the exciting family show Rumpelstiltskin & Puppet Parade, combining marionette and rod puppets.

International Purves Puppets will present the eye-popping show The Firebird (for ages six-plus) on Thursday July 26 with large-scale puppets that glow in the dark.

The Pavilion Arts Centre’s Studio Theatre will also serve up a delicious selection of puppet shows, with themes for all ages. On Tuesday July 24, there will be two performances on offer – Alice In Wonderland (for ages four-plus) by Rough Magic Theatre, and Rouge 28 will present Urashima Taro (for ages 14 and over), a highly visual piece using Bunraku-style puppetry about duality, seduction and death.

On Friday July 27, the venue will host Noisy Oyster’s The Three Billy Pigs (for ages three-plus) blending two classic fairy tales The Three Little Pigs and The Three Billy Goats Gruff, with beautifully crafted puppets, live music and a little bit of eco-awareness.

Also on the Friday, Idolrich Theatre’s Field of Asphodel (for ages 12-plus) follows the corn goddess of ancient Greek mythology, Demeter, on her journey to recover her daughter, Persephone – told with puppetry, dance and music.

In the atmospheric Paupers Pit, Diddley Dee Puppets will be offering two shows for children aged three and over - Aladdin & His Magic Lamp and Red Riding Hood, both on Monday July 23.

Two creative and explorative treats will be delivered by Nutmeg Puppet Company - The Intangible Cities of Margherita Monticiano on July 23 (for ages 14-plus) and Pip’s Wildlife Garden (for ages three to six) on July 24.

There are also a variety of workshops available during the festival including Potty Puppet Workshop with rod and umbrella puppets on July 23. Shadows of Wonderland will teach the art of shadow puppetry on July 24 and Funny Wonders will give a demonstration and lesson in creative puppetry on July 25 and July 26. And on July 28, Idolrich will provide a workshop in 3D puppet animals entitled Endangered Species.

For more information or to purchase tickets, call 0845 127 2190 or visit www.buxtonoperahouse.org.uk.

l This replaces the information supplied to us last week which was found to be incorrect.