Somebody needed to pull strings at the popular puppetry festival

Somebody needed to pull strings at the popular puppetry festival
VIBRANT: Last year's puppetry festival [Picture David Bartholomew]

Last year, crowds braved the dreary weather and flocked to The Pantiles and Royal Victoria Place as puppeteers from around the world enthralled the audience at the third Tunbridge Wells Puppetry Festival.


It was fortunate that he event, which is biennial, was not planned for this year when the Covid pandemic would have forced its cancellation. However, founder, Linda Lewis, says the crisis has still affected the festival.

“It has meant we have not been able to do the workshops we had planned ,” said Linda, who founded the festival in 2014.

“We work a year ahead and we were hoping to do a lot of community work during this year, but of course, that couldn’t happen.”

She says she hopes the festival can go ahead next year, but if not it may go online, with puppeteers recording videos.

“We are trying to cover both bases,” she said. “We may have to do things differently next year and perhaps it won’t be as large scale – the great thing about puppetry is the fact you can do it with just two people or with thousands.”

However, she added that the responsibility for organising next year’s festival will fall to others as the festival is looking for both an artistic director and an administrative director.

Ms Lewis said the positions were voluntary to begin with, but that part of the job was to raise funds so some of the other organisers can get paid.

“The sorts of people that can do this job are those that are retired from the arts and want a challenge, or perhaps somebody from drama school seeking their first opportunity.”

Anybody interested in applying for the positions can find out more information on the Puppetry Festival’s website.

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