2018 was a busy interim year for the festival! We commissioned two exciting new community projects – Hall of Dreams, a celebration of Tunbridge Wells’ historic Assembly Hall Theatre, and Shadow Play, a project that brought puppetry to those living with dementia. There’s been singing, dancing, puppet workshops, filmmaking and a lot of fun. If you haven’t already, put your feet up, grab a mince pie and watch the Shadow Play film.
Planning is well underway for the third Tunbridge Wells Puppetry Festival, which will take place 11-13 October 2019, subject to funding. We have lots of new ideas to share and we hope that you’ll want to get involved. Stay tuned!
Thank you for your ongoing support and we look forward to seeing you next year.
Happy Christmas and best wishes for 2019
Linda, Holly, Justine and Sarah
Tunbridge Wells Puppetry Festival team
It’s Christmas! Oh no it isn’t! Oh yes it is! Whether you love this time of year or not, there’s always lots of wonderful theatre to enjoy. If you need some inspiration, we’ve chosen our favourite Twelve Plays of Christmas within reach of Tunbridge Wells.
7 December – 2 January
This starry pantomime is getting lots of love and so it should – it’s fabulous family entertainment. Claire Sweeney is the baddest of witches. Boo, hiss!
13 December – 2 January
Tunbridge Wells’ small but mighty theatre always puts on a slightly alternative Christmas show and this year it’s Mole, Ratty, Badger and Toad getting the Trinity treatment. We predict a riot!
Brighton & Hove
19 December – 12 January
The amazing 1927 theatre company (Golem, The Magic Flute) present a twisted tale, spinning together performance, animation and live music. 12+.
11 December – 16 December
A one-hour show for children aged 3+, celebrating winter with songs, dance and dressing the Christmas tree with edible decorations. Meet the dancers afterwards for a stay-and-play session.
Horsted Keynes, East Sussex
Steam trains, reindeer, storytelling and a puppet show from the lovely Rust and Stardust gang – all aboard the Bluebell Railway for a nostalgic family day out.
19 December – 5 January
A spectacular take on a turn-of-the-century circus, this is Circus 1903’s European premiere. The show features sensational life-sized elephants created by the War Horse puppeteers.
15 December – 31 December
The barge is moored at Little Venice for an enchanting family show starring hand-carved marionettes. A very special floating theatre!
7 December – 27 January
Puppet theatre for littlies aged 2-5, this sweet story of what happened next to Tim Hopgood’s curious little owl is one of the highlights of Little Angel’s festive programme.
Now on, extended until 24 February
We’ve seen this and can highly recommend! A clever new play following the early adventures of Charles Darwin on HMS Beagle, told through puppetry, music and cinematic animation.
11 December – 30 December
With puppetry and music, Tove Jansson’s captivating world of The Moomins comes to life in a snowy story of a family that wants to hibernate over Christmas…
20 December – 24 December
Quirky adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale with puppets and projections, presented by Banyan Theatre and Polka Theatre. 3+.
15 December – 23 December
Our favourite witch-and-cat double act touch down their broomstick in Oxford for this festive puppetry show created by local company Wild Boor Ideas.