Bristol Festival of Puppetry returns

Posted on Thu 20 Jul 2017

You can forget what you thought you knew about puppets, Bristol Festival of Puppetry is returning to the city between Fri 1- Sun 10 Sept to start conversations with audiences – showing how iPads can become hand puppets, film and animation can be a form of puppetry, and that puppets, just like humans, come in all shapes and sizes, with different abilities.

With events right here at Watershed, and also at Tobacco Factory Theatres and Puppet Place, this year’s line-up welcomes artists from all over the globe and is set to reflect how the world has changed over the past two years since the last festival in 2015.

This year's programme has been produced by Chris Pirie and Rachel McNally to ensure there is something for everybody, from free events for the curious who are new to puppetry, to workshops for both wannabe and professional puppeteers, and BSL and relaxed events for people with hearing impairments or other additional needs.

Highlights of Watershed's programme include Yamasong on Sun 11 Sept - a stunning, all-puppetry feature in the epic puppet storytelling tradition of ‘Dark Crystal’ and is bought to life by Whoopi Goldberg, Malcolm McDowell and George Takei.

Producers Chris and Rachel said:

"We are so excited to be inviting incredible artists from around the world to Bristol, to showcase the best of UK and local talent, and to stimulate conversations about puppetry in all its unique guises.

“The festival is an opportunity for everyone in Bristol to celebrate our city's diverse creative offer and to us reach new communities with our rich programme of live shows, film and free activities. We can't wait to welcome you all..."

Phil Gibby, Arts Council England, Area Director South West said:

“We are delighted to support the fifth Bristol Festival of Puppetry, celebrating and showcasing animation on the stage and on the screen. The South West has a unique relationship with puppetry and animation. National Lottery players’ money enables the Arts Council to invest in these celebrations that help to foster cross art-form partnerships with artists and organisations and allow more people to experience this engaging medium.”

See the whole programme here and you can book any of the BFP17 events online at