Buxton Puppet Festival

Buxton Puppet Festival was an annual festival run by the Buxton Opera House (BOH) and co-presented with Funny Wonders. It took place over a week during the end of July-start of August in the middle of Buxton’s summer festivals between 2003 and 2014.

It was initially set up by the British Puppet and Model Theatre Guild (BPMTG) and Funny Wonders in 2003.

The Buxton Opera House became the partner with BPMTG in 2005 and the BPMTG left it for us to take it forward from 2007 onwards. The Puppet Festival, which saw performances in the Opera House, the Pauper’s Pit and Buxton Community School, went on to have the Pavilion Arts Centre in the Pavilion Gardens as its main venue.

The Festival offered activities for all ages including workshops, free street performances on the Opera House forecourt and afternoon and evening performances. Puppet companies and workshop leaders from all over the country and abroad were welcomed.

For the latest news visit the Festival Facebook page or search #BuxPuppFest on Twitter.

The Buxton Opera House took the decision to no longer run the festival in 2015. Any companies wanting to perform in Buxton are recommended to look at taking part in the Buxton Festival Fringe which takes place in July. 

To find out more about Funny Wonders activities in the festival and to see photos and the programmes of past Festivals, please click on the pictures below. 

Buxton Puppet Festival Archive

Click the posts below to see an overview of each festival, including performers, pictures and the programme.

Our Buxton Puppet Festival Activities

We ran activities to involve the local community in performing in the festival.

We delivered projects to create gigante puppets to parade at the start of the festival, puppets to parade in the Buxton Carnival to promote the festival and ran workshops to make puppets to put up around Buxton during the festival.

We also produced pieces of puppet theatre shows for the festival, working with local schools and community groups such as Brownies, and with our own youth group and after-school puppet clubs.

During the festival week, we also ran workshops, hosted national and international puppeteers and theatre groups, hosted national events and puppeteer network meetings.

Click on the images below to see our activities.

Contributing Artists

The Buxton Puppet Festival has featured performances, workshops and/or street theatre performances by the following artists and companies:

About Face Theatre
Adian Shingler & The Antidotes
Anarupa Roy
Arcadia Open Zirkus
Babbling Vagabonds
Banyan Theatre
The Beresford Puppets
Black Cat Theatre
Blue Sky Theatre
Blue Yonder
Bridgehead Arts
Cath Connolley
Clive Chandler
Crooked Timber
Cuckoo Clocks
Diddley Dee Puppets
Dynamic New Operations
Figure of Speech
Finger & Thumb Theatre
Folded Feather

Funny Wonders
Garlic Theatre
Geoff Felix
Harvey’s Puppet Show
Helen Ainsworth
Idolrich theatreRotto Productions
Indefinte Articles
Indigo Moon
Keith Barnes
James Arnott
John Mowat
Jonathan Storey
Jose Navarro
Lempen Puppets
Magic Box
Marcus Clarke
Matthew Cohen
Mister Peter’s Puppets
Noisy Oyster
No Nonsense Theatre

Nori Sawa
Nutmeg Puppet Company
Objects Dart
Octopi Puppet Theatre
Off Book Theatre
On The Other Hand
Pangolin’s Teatime
Pastiche Puppets
Pauline Venables
Paul Kingsley’s Cappriccio Theatre
Peak Puppets
Pelham Puppets
Peter Charlton
Peter Peasgood
Peter Piper Puppets
Peter Wynne-Wilson
Pickled Image
Presto Puppets
Professor Popup (Melvyn Rawlinson)
Purves Puppets
Ramshackle Theatre
Rebekah Caputo

Ripstop Theatre
Rouge 28 Theatre
Rough Magic Theatre
Samuel Lepetit
Shadowdance Puppet Theatre
Sim-Sim Puppet Theatre
Sketty Productions
Smallmassive Theatre
Stephen Mottram’s Animata
Theatre of the Small
Thingumajig Theatre
Trembling Hands
Tysoe Marionette Group
Waggish Radish Puppet Theatre
WaxBaby Productions
The Wright Stuff
The Wychwood Puppets
Yamabiko-Za Children’s Theatre
The Yarn Spinner