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Northern Ireland's only puppet festival set for return

Northern Ireland's only dedicated puppet festival is set to return later this month.

Ards and North Down Borough Council's Puppet Festival will take place at various venues from Saturday, May 27 – Monday, May 29.

The event kicks off on Saturday, 27 May with the The Puppet Open Day at the North Down Museum.

Visitors can meet Polly Pocket, get up close and personal with Strangeface Puppet Theatre and catch the elves helping the shoemaker with the retelling of this magical story by Banyan Puppet Theatre.

Also appearing will be William Haslett with his ventriloquist dummies, who will be telling stories, as well as a variety of free scheduled performances, free puppet workshops and plenty of quirky characters to meet.

One of the highlights of the festival is the Northern Ireland premiere of ‘Beached’ by Strangeface Theatre Company.

The play tells the story of Arnold whose walk becomes an adventure. The miniature set is a box with the Strangeface trademark puppets, while a soundtrack is played on headphones for each audience member, creating a world to share round the table.

On Sunday, May 28 , the Puppet Festival will be visiting Exploris Aquarium in Portaferry with The Three Little Pigs show by Little Gem Puppets.

This rendition of the children’s fairytale, is performed in a Punch and Judy style booth.

Also, Strangeface Theatre Company will be performing their ‘Spaced’ show at Castle Espie Wildfowl and Wetlands Centre - which is a puppet version of a silent disco.

The puppet tour continues on Bank Holiday Monday, 29 May when “Maggie” - a show loosely based on Hansel and Gretel - by Little Gem Puppets will visit Donaghadee Paddling Pool.

For a full programme of events visit www.ardsarts.com.

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