Royal Victoria Place

Sun 17 Oct 2pm

(90 mins)

Free Event

Online here from 17 – 24 Oct, free to watch

The premier screening of our festival competition to identify, support and nurture new, emerging young talent.

The project remit, for recent arts graduates, was to produce a piece original video work, created ‘at home’ during the coronavirus pandemic, expressing what the puppets and video-makers want to do as soon as they can get out.

Watch Unlocked

UNLOCKED is our 2020-2021 puppetry project for further education students and recent graduates in puppetry. The following winners were chosen and mentored by lecturers from University of Kent, Central School of Speech and Drama, Canterbury Christ Church University and Nottingham Trent University.



Dir Clare Jefferson Jones and Paul Jones Puppets and props – Clare Jefferson Jones Music Paul Jones

Splodge Designs

A puppet film created during lockdown. Little Piggy is trying to have a relaxing day – but her peace and quiet is disturbed by an unwanted visitor. Trapped in her own home – who will save the day?

Cuckoo! Cuckoo!

Dir Clare Jefferson Jones and Paul Jones


Dir Clare Jefferson Jones and Paul Jones Puppets and props – Clare Jefferson Jones Music Paul Jones

Splodge Designs

Made as a short piece for the 48-hour film challenge based in Bristol. It explores the concept being locked up and stuck, but also how friendship can conquer all. The drama is all in the hands of three little characters Rabbit, `Mousie’ and Cuckoo.

The puppets were made with tin foil, masking tape, tissue and glue and the sets were made from recycled foam board that was being thrown away. We enjoyed the way that we could play with the genre of action movies and the concept of problem solving all without any dialogue.


(5:53) Dir: Mengqiu Xu (Central School of Speech and Drama)

Credits: Many thanks to my mentor Kasia, Ants Theatre, Zhaolin my dear sister, and the sock with a hole.

A puppet wakes up.A puppet moves around. A puppet finds its desire. A puppet finds itself something. A puppet is muted. A puppet comes back. Is it your puppet? Is it your mirror?


(6.41) Dir Phoebe Hyder, puppeteerd on an OHP Projector Sound: Lia Todd

Shot all in one room, using typical household objects found during our time spent in isolation, Perspectives is a palindromic poem – you can read it from top to bottom, and bottom to top.

Reborn a DJ

(2:00) Creator and Director Emily King (Nottingham Trent University)

Over lockdown I was ‘reborn a DJ’. Unfortunately, it wasn’t reality, it was all dreams / future hopes. Corona Virus was in the way preventing us all to let go, release, dance, party, get together. This video was to highlight the good things that have been and to come again, after the pandemic.


(6:06) Dir Zhou Zahoulin (Central Speech and Drama)

It is an autobiographical puppetry experience. This is a story about a cat. It walks down a London street and my hometown in North Eastern China. It meets itself under a pine tree. Audiences are invited to walk together with the cat to fully experience the story. When playing with miniature mimetic building blocks the puppeteer needs to assemble, deconstruct and reconstruct them with great care. It creates an intimate relationship between the puppeteer and the puppet, which helps with autobiographical storytelling and personal journeys.With the document camera, the audience can view the actions with the same perspective as the puppeteer, therefore creating a more intimate relationship with the audience as if they are in the story themselves, walking with the cat.