The award-winning, biennial Beverley Puppet Festival returns this year for its 9th edition, but not as you know it. Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, the usual format of indoor and outdoor performances across the town will not be possible. To avoid cancellation, pay artists and make sure that audiences still get their dose of high-quality puppet theatre for 2020, the Festival will now take place solely online between May and July.
Founder and Artistic Co-Director, Anna Ingleby, explains: “Our plan B will see 25 puppet companies create video activities that audiences can engage in using simple materials in their own homes. We will release activities via our website and social media channels between May and July in “Two Months of Puppetry Online”' on the theme of “Back to Nature”. We feel this is the best way forward to support both our artists and our audiences – while also generating some fun and creative activities to keep us all inspired and active during these difficult times of self-isolation which are ahead.
“We are hoping that our programmed artists will all come up with quite different ideas for their home-produced videos - where possible relating to their own artistic practice. We hope to represent a wide variety of styles, aimed at different age groups, including adults who have found themselves in home-educating circumstances with their children….or those amongst us who don’t need the excuse of a child to keep having fun! I hope very much that we all stay safe, look after each other and can look forward to an even more exciting next live event in 2022.”
Activities will be free to access but the Festival will be setting up a Crowdfunder campaign so that any audience members can choose to donate if they are able and wish to do so. Donations will be split between the running costs of the Festival and event stakeholders who have lost out on income due to the change in the way the Festival is being delivered this time. This event is only possible due to the unwavering support of Arts Council England, East Riding of Yorkshire Council and others.
More details about the line-up will be unveiled in due course. To keep up to date, please visit www.beverleypuppetfestival.com or check out social media pages on Facebook or Instagram @bevpuppetfest