New Puppet Festival Punches Its Way Into Dublin Next Month
Long known as the spiritual home of puppetry in Ireland – on September 21, Monkstown in Co Dublin will host its very own International Puppet Festival (MIPF). The event will feature a mix of ticketed and free events showcasing incredible new puppeteering talent, master puppeteers and household names.
Many adults in Ireland will have fond memories of growing up with the famous Lambert Puppet Theatre. Monkstown was home to the theatre until 2018. The group are set to make an emotional and rare one-off appearance by returning to perform a show at the inaugural year of the town’s festival.
What’s more, having scoured the country, MIPF organisers have tracked down the original Wanderly Wagon crew, icons of Irish childhoods. Organisers say there’s rumours Judge will an appearance.
Master puppeteers Louise Gold and Nigel Plaskitt will be there too. Gold started her career at the Jim Henson studio as none other than one of The Muppets puppeteers. She was also one of the core performers on Netflix’s prequel series to the film The Dark Crystal.
Gold also worked on Spitting Image with Plaskitt. His other credits include Anglo The Musical and Avenue Q, as well as being the animation director for Jim Henson’s Creature Shop and on the musical Doctor Dolittle with Phillip Schofield.
Dublin based puppetry improvisation group Fur City will act out an improvised soap opera. Kettle Fish Productions will perform Power Embodied, a 30-minute street spectacular at dusk in the village square which will be closed off to traffic. Animism, in association with IADT, will present Bronagh agus and Bean Sidhe, a tale of the Irish legend of the banshee told through different perspectives.
Karromato and their Wooden Circus will travel all the way from the Czech Republic to MIPF. Meanwhile, Hot Water Bottle Theatre Company, also in association with IADT, will transport audiences to another world with Good Morning Mr Moon. This is a story of desperation, transformation and unwitting power told through tricks, illusions, light, music and puppets.
On top of all this, no puppet festival would be complete without a traditional Punch and Judy show. Speaking about the event, festival director Roger Duggan said in a statement: “Puppetry offers all ages and families opportunities to engage, from formal talks to workshops, family shows and late evening acts.”
“Monkstown has a heritage of puppetry. It’s synonymous in people’s minds with the art form. There is strong community buy in for the project, with venues, community groups and the public offering support from the outset.”
For tickets and further details of events go to https://www.mipf.ie/.