AROUND 5,000 people flocked to Calverley Grounds at the weekend to see a life-sized whale and other aquatic curiosities thanks to the return of the Tunbridge Wells Puppetry Festival
The normally biennial event staged a one-day spectacular on Saturday (October 15) with an under-the-sea theme following support from Royal Tunbridge Wells Together and Tunbridge Wells Borough Council.
The centrepiece of the festival was an 18-metre-long sperm whale where puppet master, Circo Rum Ba Ba presented shows inside ‘The Whale’ throughout the afternoon.
The whale was also joined by ‘Ocho’, the giant Octopus and ‘Iso’ the prehistoric sea creature created by Tim Davies.
Art in the Park ran under-the-sea themed children’s workshops at Calverley Grounds and in the Royal Victoria Place shopping centre. The Trinity Youth Theatre also performed alongside pirates, sirens and seahorses.
Last year’s festival saw over 15,000 puppetry fans descend on Calverley Grounds to see Luke Jerram’s ‘Museum of the Moon’, the largest outdoor art installation ever seen in Tunbridge Wells, at the time.
This year, over half of the puppets were larger than Jerram’s ‘Moon’ installation which measured seven metres in diameter.
The full Tunbridge Wells Puppetry festival returns for more family fun in 2023.