Ards Puppet Festival Presents The Enchanted House of Puppetry!

Ards Arts Centre in Newtownards will be transformed into a magical world of puppets this Halloween when the historical building becomes the home of The Enchanted House of Puppetry.

Presented by Ards Puppet Festival, the two-day event will feature an eclectic mix of scheduled performances, free puppet shows and workshops and plenty of madcap puppet shenanigans, to inspire the imaginations of both young and old alike. Expect puppets in all shapes and sizes, from hand puppets to strings and socks.

The festival is thrilled to welcome Hands Up! to the programme. All the way from the Netherlands, with nothing more than his bare hands and wooden eyes, Lejo creates a unique, fresh style of puppet theatre. Hands up! is a lively, wordless performance with lots of music. Simple but adorably mischievous, it’s sure to be a highlight.

Little Gem Puppets will make a welcome return to the festival with their adorable Three Little Pigs and Maggie shows and Cre8 Theatre will be performing their wonderful Sleeping Beauty: 80’s Throwback. In this modern adaption of the well-known fairy tale, the heroine wakes to find herself in the most fantastical world full of 80’s inspired music! As well as scheduled performances, visitors can expect drop-in shows and workshops, taking place at various times throughout both days.

Stories, Just in Case by Clydebuilt Puppet Theatre is a series of fun performances featuring a mermaid, a crocodile, Little Red Riding Hood and more. After each story, kids can have a go at puppet manipulation with guidance from puppet master Steve Smart.

The Puppet Labyrinth by Brothers Dimm invites you to take a magical meandering wander to find festival favourite Aloisious Ginderbalm the Troll! Only the bravest travellers dare to seek out the enchanted ramblings and gobbledegook from an ancient 700-year-old Swedish Troll called Aloisious Ginderbalm. He tells the tallest tales for being the shortest troll.

Prepare to be amazed at The Flea Circus - involving feats of astonishing bravery and breath-taking beauty – acrobatics, trapeze, high wire and more!

There are also opportunities to get creative at the Puppet Making Workshops where everyone can have a go at making simple puppets to take away and create your very own puppet shows at home.

Speaking about The Enchanted House of Puppetry, Amy McKelvey, Community Arts Development Officer with Ards and North Down Borough Council said; “It is very exciting to be hosting this event for the first time at Ards Arts Centre, we hope it will be something a little different for families to enjoy over the half term break and we would encourage everyone to come along and join in the fun.”

The Enchanted House of Puppetry takes place from 30 – 31 October in Ards Arts Centre, Conway Square, Newtownards. To view the full programme and to book tickets, go to: https://puppetfestival.andculture.org.uk/

Puppet festival