Beverley Puppet Festival Adapts to the Coronavirus Outbreak by Promising Two Months of Puppetry Online
The biennial Beverley Puppet Festival in East Yorkshire returns this year for its 9th edition. But it won’t be in the format as you know it. Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, the usual format of indoor and outdoor performances across the town will not be possible. Organisers have come up with a way to avoid the cancellations, pay artists and make sure that audiences still get their dose of high-quality puppet theatre for 2020. Between May and July, the Festival will now take place solely online.
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.”
We’re seeing a lot of performing arts going ahead online during lockdown. And whilst that means people can still enjoy performances, it’s important to remember to keep performing arts alive.
The Beverley Puppet Festival will be free to access but organisers will be setting up a Crowdfunder campaign. And in doing so, viewers can choose to donate if they’d like to. Donations will be split between the running costs of the Festival and event stakeholders. Many of whom have lost out on income due to the current status of lockdown.
More details about the line-up will be unveiled in due course. To keep up to date, visit beverleypuppetfestival.com