Tunbridge Wells Puppetry Festival will be back for 2019

The Mead School in Tunbridge Wells gave a professional level performance in the  ISA drama contests

Tunbridge Wells Puppetry Festival, one of the biggest events of its kind, will be back for a ‘bumper year’ in 2019, its Director has confirmed.

Linda Lewis told theknow she is currently planning the third edition of the biannual event, which last year attracted more than 2,500 across two days.

Subject to funding being secured, the 2019 edition will see community engagement events being held for the first time.

These will see seminars and workshops being held in local schools in the days preceding the main day of shows, which is likely to be on Sunday, October 13, in The Pantiles.

Mrs Lewis is currently scouting for puppet shows to be staged in this free centrepiece event.

She said: ‘We are planning for another bumper puppetry festival.

‘This time, we are working with Age UK Tunbridge Wells and Smoking Apples Theatre Company on a shadow puppetry project called Shadow Play for with those living with dementia.

‘We will be creating a shadow puppetry film from stories and memories from the participants which will be shown at the 2019 festival.

‘It will show how puppetry and other arts can benefit those living with dementia.’

Final details of the 2019 event have yet to be confirmed.

But Mrs Lewis has other ideas of how it can be the best edition since it was first held in 2015.

She continued: ‘The other project we are researching for 2019 is a newly created promenade performance which will tell stories about the Assembly Hall Theatre.

‘We are working with a company who specialise in this type of work called Herringbone Arts from Brighton.’

The festival has been funded by members’ grants from Tunbridge Wells Borough Council and Kent County Council.

It has also received support from the Kent County Council Arts Investment Fund as well as the Grants for the Arts programme at the Arts Council.

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