42 articles

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21 Aug 20133 stars

Mara Menzies' colourful puppetry and storytelling lights up the night

There are a few key ingredients you need to entertain young children, and this show has pretty much got all of them. An engaging storyteller, Mara Menzies interacts with the children as if they were sitting in the library at school, instantly taking…

Circus in Hand

17 Aug 20123 stars

Hand made circus puppetry with a human touch

There can’t be many circuses at the Fringe where you can behold a ringmaster standing on a giraffe’s head or a tap-dancing zebra. But then there can’t be many circuses at all where the performers are made from neat slices of stretchy fabric, adorably…

Teaching kids French through puppetry

26 Mar 2012

Bilingual puppetry company Le Petit Monde present their Easter show, Lapin Wants an Easter Carrot

As any adult who has undertaken a language class will tell you, it goes in quicker when you’re younger. Learning French as a child, when that little sponge-like brain is firing on all cylinders, isn’t just easier, it’s a lot more fun since Tania Czajka…

Cloud Man

14 Aug 20114 stars

Delightful puppet show with its head in the clouds

Puppet maker/performer Ailie Cohen has been delighting young folk and their grown-ups for many a Fringe with her original stories and fairy-tale adaptations. Cloud Man is no exception, a deceptively simple story that will melt even the flintiest of…

Interview - Artist Shelly Nadashi

21 Mar 2011

Glasgow Transmission show continues interest in puppet shows

Your new installation continues your interest in puppet shows – how did that fascination come about? The first puppets’ performances I saw were in Hungary when I was traveling in 2000. They have some very authentic but contemporary puppetry there. I…

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Henson Alternative's Puppet Up! Uncensored

20 Aug 20133 stars

A two level adult-orientated puppet show by the Jim Henson Company

The Jim Henson Company step away from their Muppet legacy to create something a little more adult-orientated. Chaired by Brian Henson (son of Jim), the company revel in semi-controlled anarchy and improvisation with strings attached. Host Patrick…

Dustpan Odyssey

20 Aug 20134 stars

Kitchen utensils take a life of their own in inventive recounting of Homer's Odyssey

Philippe Genty’s puppetering company has gained international renown thanks to its imaginative use of a wide range of cultural influences and upbeat performances that captures the audience’s full attention. His latest piece ‘Dustpan Odyssey’ is a…

Boris & Sergey II Perilous Escapade

16 Aug 20134 stars

The Balkan bad boys go straight to Hell in this unmissable comedy sequel

After the dramatic finale of their previous adventure, Boris & Sergey II Perilous Escapade, accompanies the infamous brothers on an unforgettable journey to the underworld that tests their unique brotherly bond to its limit. A mixture of physical…

2013 Manipulate festival of puppetry and animation

22 Jan 2013

Programme includes work by TIP Connection, Will Anderson, Ainslie Henderson and The Paper Cinema

Now in its sixth year, the Manipulate Festival has evolved into a highlight of Scotland’s cultural calendar. In 2013, the puppetry and animation festival returns to the Traverse but adds Summerhall to its list of Edinburgh venues too and boasts its…

A guide to Scotland's cabaret, circus, magic and puppetry festivals and organisations

8 Nov 2012

Groups and festivals working in live art, including Conflux, Club Noir, Manipulate and Surge

Cabaret artiste The neo-burlesque scene has gone mainstream thanks in no small part to the efforts of Club Noir, which runs events all over the country from its base at the O2 Academy in Glasgow. Claiming a place in Guinness World Records for being…

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The Great Puppet Horn

22 Aug 20122 stars

Shadow puppetry show that leaves the comedy in another room

The Great Puppet Horn showed a devilish side recently by using their vast shadow puppet skills to project an image of Stewart Lee onto Edinburgh Castle. It was not an act of idolatry towards the agitprop comic, but the Horn guys were expressing their…

Boris and Sergey’s Vaudevillian Adventure

20 Aug 20123 stars

Droll and bawdy puppet double act

Droll and bawdy puppet double act Nothing covers cracks like cuteness. Boris and Sergey are two faceless leather bunraku puppets that look like reconstituted old footballs sprung to life. They speak in gravelly Russian honks and have more than enough…

Night of the Big Wind

9 Aug 20123 stars

Touching show set in an Irish fishing village, ambitiously told

Following last year’s hugely enjoyable Street Dreams, Canterbury-based Little Cauliflower Theatre Company return with more puppetry, physical theatre and clowning in this whimsical and sometimes dewy-eyed show set in an Irish fishing village. But here…

Children's puppetry show Luminous Tales at 2012 Edinburgh Fringe

25 Jul 2012

Zannie Fraser's Ripstop Theatre perform show about night-time for ages 4 and above

Zannie Fraser’s shadow puppetry has toured all over the world, but 2012 marks her Edinburgh Fringe debut in the guise of Ripstop Theatre, her own company. Fraser’s new show, Luminous Tales, is a collection of stories about night-time for audiences aged…

Fringe children's puppet shows Circus in Hand and Time For Fun

23 Jul 2012

Russian puppeteers who have it all in hand

St Petersburg’s Hand Made Theatre make exactly that: theatre with their hands. The company’s actors all trained in puppetry at Russia’s State Theatre Arts Academy, and are about to make their Edinburgh Fringe debut. They bring with them two shows: Time…

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Constance Marks, director of puppet doc Being Elmo - interview

25 Apr 2012

The documentary shows the life of puppeteer Kevin Clash

‘I backed into it innocently,’ says Constance Marks of her project to illuminate the man behind the world’s most famous fuzzy red baby monster. Whilst working as a cameraman on Sesame Street, Marks’ husband brought home a personal recorded message from…

The Lost Sock Princess

19 Dec 20114 stars

Puppet Lab's festive show for under-sevens is infectious, interactive fun

Ever wondered what happens to your socks when they disappear from the washing machine? Puppet Lab provides some highly persuasive answers to this conundrum in a big-hearted entertainment pitched at children under the age of seven. The show kicks off in…

Interview: Simon Hart, artistic director of the Manipulate Visual Theatre Festival

19 Dec 2011

Highlights of the 2012 theatre and puppetry festival programme

What can we expect from this year’s Manipulate programme? A great festival with an eclectic international mix: of stylish and sophisticated object theatre, digital projections, animations – and lots of water – in the Theatre Sans Soucis’ Hamletmachine…

Lost Sock Princess

13 Dec 2011

A puppet theatre performance that lets you join in – all you need is an odd sock

Try as you might to wash and dry them together, socks have a way of parting company somewhere between the laundry basket and underwear drawer. It’s at that point you need the Lost Sock Princess to help you reunite the estranged pair. Or do you? One…

Archive Trails - Artists making new work from old photos and songs from Scotland's past

21 Sep 2011

Scottish folk ballads reworked via song, video and puppetry

After months of delving through old photos and songs, three performers aim to bring to life Scotland’s long-lost folk ballads through experimental vocals, video and glove puppets. Rachel Devine reports

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Sammy J and Randy: Ricketts Lane

30 Aug 20114 stars

Extraordinary performances in an endearing show

It’s been a busy month for comedian Sammy J and his antipodean compatriot Randy the purple puppet (performed by Heath McIvor). As well as their respective solo shows they pair up for this high-energy musical about companionship and tax evasion. After…

Soldier and Death

26 Aug 20112 stars

Soldier fable let down by tiny puppets

There’s bags of potential in this talented young troupe of puppeteers who tell the fable-esque tale of a soldier who cheats death. All are compelling storytellers, taking turns as the narrator. But the puppets are miniscule, dwarfed by multiple…

Cloud Man combines puppetry and storytelling for 4-7-year-olds

29 Jul 2011

Edinburgh Festival children's theatre show based on clouds

Sometimes they’re white and fluffy, more often than not they’re full of rain - but there’s something about clouds that holds our interest. The latest in a long line of artists to be inspired by the natural phenomenon is puppeteer Ailie Cohen, with her…

Avenue Q - The adult puppet musical

15 Jun 2011

Tony Award-winning show touches on more grown up issues

Don’t judge a book by its cover – and in the case of Avenue Q, don’t judge a musical by its poster. This Tony Award-winning show may look like a toddler’s dream date, but Muppet-style puppets aside, it’s adult content all the way. ‘We deal with…

Manipulate festival - Puppetry and animation festival avoids the P word

14 Jan 2011

Traverse season features cult animation and visually arresting films

Simon Hart is trying not to use the P word. When he describes his annual Manipulate festival, he prefers to call it a celebration of visual theatre (with the teasing strap line: ‘innovative theatre arts for consenting adults’) than to say anything about…