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Moving Parts Scratch Space 2021 artists announced

Updated: Jun 28

The Moving Parts Scratch Space is a platform for puppet / visual theatre creators to try out new work to collect feedback from audiences. ‘Scratch’ means that the work showcased can be early on in its development - it doesn’t need to be a fully-realised piece. Think of it like a sketch. It is a space to experiment, to play, to test ideas and a chance to include audiences in the development process.


2021 marks the fifth year of the Moving Parts Scratch Space, having previously popped-up at Skipton Puppet Festival (2017), Beverley Puppet Festival (2018, 2020) and at our own Newcastle Puppetry Festival (2019). This year the Scratch Space will once again be part of Newcastle Puppetry Festival and will take place across three online cabaret-style events.


Check out some of the previous year summary videos at the bottom of this page.


2021 programme


We were originally only going to programme 5 companies for 2021, but the quality of applications was so high that we moved some budget around to make it possible to programme 10 artists/companies. As the Scratch Space will be online this year, we have been able to open it out to artists all around the world and are thrilled that the programme is truly international, with representation from Brazil, Kenya, Singapore, Finland, The Netherlands, Wales, England and Scotland.


We will announce dates and Pay What You Can tickets for the three sharing events very soon so watch this space!


Introducing...


"Dear Heartbreak" by Ffion Pritchard (Bangor, Wales, UK)

Ellie is a little unlucky in love. This sensitive little puppet wears her heart on her sleeve and, from time to time, grows to regret it. Determined to change her predicament, Ellie takes up her plight with Heartbreak. Ever the trickster, Heartbreak tells Ellie that she is wasting her time - who she needs to see is the lovely Acceptance! Ellie sets off of her quest, but encounters more than a few obstacles on her way.


A fun, heartfelt show for the whole family, Dear Heartbreak discusses love, loss and grief with whimsy and just a touch of magic.

"EntrƎ" by Cia. PlastikOnírica (of Brazil)

A miniature lambe-lambe show (theatre for one) presented inside a dome-shaped structure and inspired by the Japanese concept Ma間, which does not have an exact translation in Western culture but can be understood as a space between,"an empty place where all kinds of phenomena appear, pass and disappear" (Arata Isosaki)


In the beginning it was the Void, the power of infinite possibilities.


Life appears as a fragile alignment of signs, passes through the sands of time and disappears in the silence between two sounds, in the space between the past and the future.


A sensory and immersive experience invites the public to witness the creation of a microcosm that could be in the hole of a leaf eaten by an insect.

"Gee-rafee and the Hanging Pot" by Krystal Puppet Theatre (of Kenya)

Gee-rafee and the Hanging Pot is a story about a curious Giraffe who is trying to discover herself and the environment around her only to come across a mysterious pot that is hanging on a tree in someone’s homestead. The only problem is Gee-rafee wasn’t aware of the unmarked boundaries between animals and humans. Mr Nzau had left the pot to collect water after a long drought hit the area. This did not go well with Nzau who took it as an invasion of his privacy and land, it is at this point where they have to resolve it amicably or fight it out.

"Is the pecking of a woodpecker enough for the illusion of a heartbeat?" by Roos Buskes (of The Netherlands)

This surrealist piece of puppetry draws you into the world of a small creature and the woodpecker that lives inside its birdcage torso. Its internal and external world seems to become indistinguishable as our little friends tries to understand their relation to the bird in his chest.


Is the pecking of a woodpecker enough for the illusion of a heartbeat?


The little universe build from shadows, wire, existential doubts and an old suitcase becomes alive through cranky theatre and a combination of shadow- and table top puppetry.

"Potatohead" by Freddie Hayes (of York, England, UK)


Potatohead is a hilariously bizarre adaptation of Doctor Faustus and the Seven Deadly Sins. This unique solo performance by puppeteer Freddie Hayes tells the story of a humble spud who dreams of becoming a cabaret superstar. But how does a couch potato grow to become a golden wonder?

This original new writing blends puppetry, clowning and cabaret for highly entertaining and joyful performance. Potatohead is an unadulterated celebration of silliness. Guaranteed you haven’t seen anything quite like this before.

"SeedHeart" by Indigo Moon Theatre (of Hull, England, UK)

A small puppet show about big things for all ages.

Grey is trapped inside a jar. He tries to remember how he got there and how he could be free…

Indigo Moon Theatre’s latest show is suitable for children of all ages and explores the impact of human nature on our once green planet.

Follow Grey’s journey to a better future with magical pop-ups, puppetry and shadows, all bursting from a vintage suitcase.

"Tales I Was Told To Tell" by Pypedau Vagabondi Puppets

(of Ceinws, Wales, UK)

In “ Tales I Was Told To Tell”  Welsh storytelling puppet company, Vagabondi transport you to a land of snow and ice where we discover who is the swan goddesses most ferocious protector? What has that got to do with the great reindeer migration? And who initially told the “ Tales I Was Told To Tell.“ ?

This show has been specially designed for an online platform and was initially developed at the Virtual Puppet Residency.

"The Origin of the World" by Team Väinämöine (of Finland)

Have we forgotten how it all started?

The Origin of the World is an adaptation of a story from Finnish mythology where the mother of the sea gives birth to the world and to a bird that then helps her shape nature, the land, the clouds, and the flora. The piece creates a juxtaposition of the human-nature relationship of the past and our current relationship to our environment. Have we forgotten that we are a part of nature? What would the mother of the sea think about Boris Johnson?

The performance displays natural elements, such as feathers, hair, and sand, on a performer’s skin. The Origin of The World combines the Nordic landscape and visual theatre in a unique way.

"The 'Sleepwell' Party" by Nudge Puppets (of Glasgow, Scotland, UK)

Dormouse and her best friends Bat and Ladybird are getting ready for hibernation and want to have a ‘Sleepwell’ party. They are trying hard to plan something special but can’t seem to agree on anything! They better hurry….they’re getting sleepy and winter is on its way.

The story is told using a handmade book, brought to life and lifted off the page through pop-ups and puppetry. Join the animals in a tale about having different opinions, missing your friends and magical dreams.

"The Sultan's Palace ver 2.0 Beta" by Bright Ong (of Singapore)

First developed under The Artground's Groundbreakers Programme 2020.

Following the advice of his council of wise children, the Sultan will be opening up the palace

grounds for special invited guests only! That means you!

You’ll get to experience the grand palace from the comfort of your home, from your media devices, with a little help from an adult (if you need to).

You’ll get to see the palace from a 360 degree point of view, and also interact with the

occupants of the grounds. And knowing the Sultan, you probably will need to help him and the palace’s occupants solve some of their problems!


The Sultan’s Palace ver 2.0 Beta is a brand new exploration into creating a new genre of puppetry art in the digital realm. Drawing inspiration from the structures and aesthetics of Southeast Asian and Ottoman sultanates of the past; the show combines live-action performances with digital technology to become a: choose-your-own-adventure-360-live-action-puppet-show!


This version of the show is the first of its kind, and is a work in progress that will continue to develop and refine itself.

We will announce dates and Pay What You Can tickets for the three sharing events very soon so watch this space!


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