Puppetry Festival

Local residents can prepare for a puppetry takeover as Tunbridge Wells welcomes its fourth annual festival from Saturday 9th – Sunday 17th October

This year, Royal Victoria Place will be hosting a range of activities for the whole family to enjoy, including a puppet exhibition, an interactive performance for toddlers, a video screening, and model making workshops from Aardman Animations, the studio famed for creating Wallace & Gromit and Shaun the Sheep.

Visitors can follow the puppet exhibition through the centre from the Monday 11th – Sunday 17th October, as some of Royal Victoria Place’s most popular retailers display puppets from Astrid Goldsmith of Mock Duck Studios in their windows.

In addition to the exhibition, The Moose on the Moon, a brand-new interactive performance for toddlers and their families with be at the centre this month in one-hour slots on Saturday 9th October at 11.00am, 2.00pm and 3.30pm, from just £5. Audiences will learn about Erik the moose, who lives on the moon and longs to hear all the sounds of the universe, and little ones can be enchanted by the beautiful handmade puppets, music and storytelling.

After each performance, families will be able to join Erik on his adventures in a post-performance workshop where children can learn about the different noises and music, as well as discover the phases of the moon and even make a moon-moose puppet of their own.

Additionally, on Saturday 16th October, there will be a fun and hands-on workshop lead by Aardman Animation from just £10, where participants can get creative with clay and discover how to make their own model of one of Aardman’s world-famous characters. The team will teach visitors how to make models of some of their best-loved titles, such as Gromit and Feathers McGraw from Wallace & Gromit and Shaun the Sheep. Each workshop is dedicated to one character and children must be aged eight or above to participate.

Royal Victoria Place will also be hosting a free screening at 2.00pm on Sunday 17th October of winning entries to this year’s Unlocked competition, which asked emerging artists and students in further education to present puppetry work created at home during the pandemic on video. The screening will be free to attend in the the Pop In: Pop Up unit on the Upper Mall.

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