18th August: Summer Fun Activity Timetable



From 10.30 TWPF’s Linda and Bethan will be at Tunbridge Wells Museum and Art Gallery with information about the ongoing programme and work in the community. Sign up for information and find out about how you might be able to get involved.


Peg Doll with arms


Thanks to the support for the work we have done by Heritage Lottery Funding we have free craft activities all day starting with:


  • 10.30 Make a Peg Doll – free but bookable for up to 8 children aged 5+ – book here
  • 11.00 Have a go with the Puppets Drop In
  • 11.30 Make a Peg Doll –  free but bookable for up to 8 children aged 5+ – book here
  • 12.00 Have a go with the Puppets Drop In


From 2pm to 4.30pm you can find out about the work behind the scenes with the museum and the Kent History and Library Centre in conserving a collection of papers that have inspired the lovely Account of the State of the Place – or How to Drink a Glass of Water  and the brand new walking trail around Tunbridge Wells by nationally renowned artist Adam Dant.


  • 2.00pm Launch of the Map
  • From 2.00pm free limited edition maps available, suitable for all. Rewards for all who complete all missing clues
  • 2.30 to 4.30 Drop in paper craft – decorate boxes using using printing and decoupage based on the work of local entrepreneur Jasper Strange


Sprange image


Look forward to seeing you, if you have any queries don’t hesitate to drop us a line to bethan@twpuppetryfestival.org


Museum logo_TW logo Funded byenglish_landscape_pantone

18th August: Tunbridge Wells Puppetry Festival Family Fun Day


Did you know that since last October Tunbridge Wells Puppetry Festival organisers Linda and Bethan have been busy working on lots of other activities? We have held the dates of 13th, 14th and 15th October in 2017 for our next major event and in the meantime we have been making plans for lots of other activities you can join in with. Did you see the puppet show we commissioned especially for the festival about our local history? TWPF have also worked with fine artist Adam Dant to make a family walking trail inspired by the same set of wonderful papers the museum has documenting the town in its heydays. Adam was the artist selected by Parliament to document the General Election in 2015 and you can find out about his techniques and practice in this film made last year.

To celebrate the launch of the map we are holding a Family Fun Day at the Tunbridge Wells Museum and Art Gallery on 18th August with free craft activities, you can see some of the objects from the 18th Century usually kept in storage, find out about the stories from the archive and the art of the people who take care of them and collect a limited edition free map with a prize for all who complete the trail!

600-2 Peg Doll with arms

fan web

Of course it wouldn’t be a TWPF event without puppets so we have teamed up with local puppet company Strangeface so that you can “Have a Go” with some of the puppets in their collection. Events begin at 10.30 in the Museum, we hope to see you there!



An Account of the State of That Place Workshop


fan web Sprange Puppetwaistcoat web  KN Georgian pic for costume workshop

Just how Gorgeous were the Georgians?
Saturday 17 October at 11am & 3pm

We are so lucky to have events still to come in 2015! Experience the majesty and intricacy of how the Georgians got dressed, with the help of a costumed interpreter.

Tomorrow, 17th October at Tunbridge Wells Museum & Art Gallery they will be bringing some secret treasures out their stores and we have a costumed interpreter from Past Pleasures in replica clothing to explain what we wore in the time of Smart and Sprange.

Learn about Georgian etiquette, fashion and manners, and view some of the treasures from our collection. Booking is encouraged as spaces are limited. This event is suitable for all ages and glimpse into life in the town’s spa heydays!

Holly Whytock biography

Holly Whytock began her career in arts marketing and project management at Trinity Theatre working in and subsequently heading up the marketing department. She went on to become Communications Manager for The Theatre Royal Haymarket Masterclass Trust, a charity in the West End offering talks and workshops with leading names in theatre, film and TV for young, aspiring writers, actors, directors, producers and technicians. Holly was promoted to Programme Director for Masterclass in 2009 and led on the strategic planning, financial management, communication and delivery of the busy programme of events for young people.

Since 2011 Holly has worked as a freelancer on a diverse range of projects for clients including: The Old Vic, Unicorn Theatre, IdeasTap, Royal Opera House, Applause Rural Touring and The Kevin Spacey Foundation. She is excited to be working in her hometown again on the digital marketing strategy for the Tunbridge Wells Puppetry Festival.


Hayley Chester biography

Hayley Chester has experience in the arts, in particular in theatre, spanning over 20 years.

From organising national and international tours at the National Theatre, to General Managing Chicago The Musical in the West End, doing Press on numerous high profile productions with the PR legend Peter Thompson and working on long-running BBC TV series My Family for DLT Entertainment.

Hayley Chester Arts Marketing was set-up in 2011 after Hayley left her 10 year career as a Marketing Account Handler at top live entertainment marketing agency, Dewynters, to become a freelance consultant. There she worked with many high profile clients including Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group, Bill Kenwright Ltd, Cameron Mackintosh, Disney Theatrical Productions (The Lion King), Nimax Theatres, David Pugh and the Royal Opera House.

As a freelance consultant, Hayley has worked with a diverse range of clients; comedienne Helen Lederer, UK Theatre (as Editor of the membership magazine), National Theatre, immersive theatre company The Spectator’s Guild, Ambassador Theatre Group, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, Wizard Presents (Michael Morpurgo’s I Believe in Unicorns) and the National Gallery (Rembrandt – The Late Years and Inventing Impressionism exhibitions) to name but a few.

As a local lass, she is looking forward to introducing puppetry to Tunbridge Wells and is delighted to be marketing consultant on the inaugural Tunbridge Wells Puppetry Festival.


Bethan Tomlinson biography

Bethan Tomlinson established Tunbridge Wells-based Strangeface Theatre Company in 2001 with mask and puppet maker Russell Dean. In the intervening years their work has been seen in tiny village halls, residencies in mid-scale theatres, on a 13m haulage truck and tabletops across the county in a project called “Pubbetry” which served small-scale side orders on tables in cafes, pubs, garden centres and swimming pools.  Strangeface will premier their new work based on British Folklore at the Tunbridge Wells Puppetry Festival before touring venues across the UK during the Family Arts Festival. Bethan’s other projects currently include working on engaging volunteer promoters for work in unusual places for Applause Rural Touring and Ideas Test in Swale and Medway, and working for Puppet Centre Trust as Co-ordinator for a newly formed Puppetry Development Consortium.

Linda Lewis biography

Linda Lewis has worked in the arts for over forty years. On leaving the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama she was immediately snapped up by the children’s theatre company Theatre Centre both as an actor and director where she toured all over the country. As an actress she has worked in television in Scotland. She has run many workshops, taught in schools, colleges and universities as well as the commercial sector. During her role as Drama Officer at the South East Arts Board, the regional arts funding agency for the South East of England, she developed new initiatives in street arts, puppetry, and circus and this is where her enthusiasm and love for puppetry and outdoor arts emerged.

When she left South East Arts she became the Theatre Director for the De La Warr Pavilion, the iconic building in Bexhill where she programmed the 1000 seat theatre, the 100 seat Elizabeth Room and the outdoor Terrace as well as managing the staff and catering facilities.

In 2000 she was invited to take over as Director of the ‘visions’ festival of international visual theatre and puppetry at the University of Brighton. During her tenure here she made many international and national puppetry relationships and contacts.

Whilst visiting puppetry festivals abroad and in the UK, she longed to bring such a festival to her home town, Tunbridge Wells in Kent.

Linda has been a freelance creative producer with four highly acclaimed productions under her belt, ranging from a new play by John Retallack, ‘Ballroom’ which she commissioned in collaboration with the Nuffield Theatre, Southampton and the De La Warr Pavilion with a successful national tour, playing to packed houses at the Riverside Studios in London, to a community production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with 80 children from Tonbridge and the surrounding local villages at the E.M Forster Theatre.

More recently Linda was the Director of the Puppet Centre Trust – a development agency for promoting and advocating puppetry in England.