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Puppet Cabaret by Headstrung at the 2017 festival

2017 Festival 

The debut event snowballed very quickly from an initial idea of a handful of puppetry events to a 7-day packed programme spread across the city of Newcastle. The 2017 festival won The Journal Culture Award for ‘Best Newcomer’ in 2018.

“It is brilliant to see mask theatre and puppetry being taken seriously in the UK.”

– Masterclass participant, 2017 festival

As well as a programme of shows, talks and workshops for adults and children, the debut festival ran an Education Project with Newcastle College students to introduce puppetry into the curriculum; a Community Project with CRISIS Newcastle to run stop motion and mask making workshops with service users; and three bursary places for North East emerging artists to attend puppet making and performance masterclasses.


Aeyther, Blind Summit Theatre, Clockwork Moth, Creative Seed, Gavin Glover, Flabbergast Theatre, Handmade Puppet Dreams, Headstrung Puppets, Holy Moly & the Crackers, Jesse Ward Bubblologist, Lesley-anne Rose, Lori Hopkins, Martha Hill, Mirth & Misery, Monkey Puzzle, Nick Barnes, Paul Dewhurst, Scottish Mask & Puppet Theatre, Sokobauno Theatre, Stephen Mottram’s Animata, Steve Jarand, Theatre Témoin, Wondering Hands


Made possible through funding from Arts Council England and Sunday for Sammy.


Circus Central, Cobalt Studios, CRISIS Newcastle, Newcastle College, Northern Stage, Ouseburn Farm, Space Six

In the Press

Press contact: Kerrin Tatman