Since 1997, Rachel Riggs of DNA has been artistic programmer of
this lively street arts and theatre event produced by Blackpool
Bids, in partnership with the Grundy Art Gallery, the Grand Theatre,
Blackpool Education and the Town Centre partnership.
A yearly community festival incorporating a parade of hundreds
of puppets created in local schools especially for the event mixed
in with bands and giant puppets and figures from professional companies,
the weekend programme of studio theatre performances and free shows
on the street makes this an exciting and vibrant event for the local
Blackpool residents to enjoy and participate in as well as a popular
weekend for visitors and shoppers.
The Grand Parade - led by Speekee!
Puppet Up! 2007 - May 18th, 19th and 20th
Friday 18th May - Grand Theatre Studio 6:30pm
by Thingumajig Theatre
A monkey looks for a Messiah, a mother tries to keep pace with
her voracious child, a flute-player has the wind taken out of him
by today's headlines. At times hilarious, at times heart-breaking
but always strangely entertaining, 'Want' explores the distance
between what we want and what we get. Inspired by Topeng Pajegon,
a Balinese tradition of solo mask performance, WANT is told through
masks, puppets, clowning, live music, and a highly emotive sock
For tickets call Box Office on 01253 290190
Saturday 19 May - Grand Theatre Studio 11.00am and 2pm
"Ball Pond Bobby"
There's a trip to the Ball Pond! Hip Hip Hooray! Off we go to tumble
Bobby's trip to the Ball pond takes us into another world as we
deep down into a child's imagination...through the universe of lost
socks, hidden games & magic sweets. We swim through spheres
and encounter a universe of mislaid toys, goldfish & balloons.
Through DNA's unique style of skilful puppetry, visual theatre,
dance choreography, live song & a specially composed soundtrack,
this combination of originally-devised performance and special guided
activities explores circular movement and the joy of play!
DNA has developed this special event for 2-5 year olds, drawn from
research with young children & play
Sunday 20 May Grand Theatre Studio - 11.00am and 2.00pm
Man Who Planted Trees" by Puppet
State Theatre Company, Edinburgh
Performers Richard Medrington and Rick Conte make an unlikely yet
effervescent double act. Medrington, the straight man, narrates
a beautiful, understated version of Jean Giono’s famous story-
first published in Vogue in 1954- about a shepherd called Elzeard
Bouffier who took it upon himself to grow a forest in an area of
the French Alps which had previously lain barren. Conte, meanwhile,
gives voice to a hugely likeable puppet called Dog, who, in a nicely-judged
bit of preamble, enthusiastically agrees to play the part of Elzeard’s
dog in the story.
The drama is peppered with a host of simple but effective touches,
including the wafting of smells into the audience at appropriate
intervals. And for all the laughs to be had along the way, the ending
when it comes, is genuinely touching.
A packed programme of free, open access street shows starts from
11am on Saturday and Sunday MAy 19th and 20th 2007 at various town
centre sites featuring;
Chris Topper's Puppets
- with his unique style and a special show of 'Little Red Riding
Creature Feature with 'The
Gorillas' - uncannily lifelike costumes and performances
making everyone wonder whether they are real or not!
Punch and Judy from Richard Coombes
- the classic street puppet show from an accomplished professor
whose reputation as a puppeteer spans international film and television!
with 'Tock Tick' - As mice take over the clocktower, can
time be saved with ladders, dancing flowers, levitation and time
flying in delight. A large scale performance to charm and enthrall
The Wright Stuff with 'Sideshow
Buzz' - He's out and about and ready to ask anything, anywhere,
anyhow. He's the zany quiz show compere with his finger on the button.
Will you be a millionaire or the weakest link?
Little Big Top Theatre with
'The Sunflower Show' - A gardener opens the lid of her
whellbarrow to reveal a world where seeds grow into the most extraordinary
plants and battle with slugs and other mischievous garden pests
Rough Magic Theatre
with a walkabout shadow booth show
Frolicked with 'Never Too
Old to Busk' - A grandpa with an undeniable musical talent
and a feisty grandma battle it out for your attention and affections.
A love story with a difference.
Puppets A Go Go!
world of visual theatre
and puppetry under canvas.
"DNA is a good example of a contemporary
company that moves easily from work aimed at children to work aimed
at a general theatre audience to adult cabaret." - Total
weatherproof marquee was an opportunity to showcase innovative performances
of puppetry and visual theatre which are designed for outdoors,
but are improved by an enclosure.
project allowed companies to reach out to new audiences by taking
work to them where they live, shop and play. In a festival environment,
'Puppets a Go Go!' provided a focus for work robust enough to work
on the street, while also allowing the delicacy of working with
shadows light materials or poignant subject matter to be appreciated
without being compromised by wind, rain and external visual distraction.
Rachel Riggs' behind-the-scenes film of one of our 'Puppets A
Go Go!' gigs. Fun times at the Green Man festival 2008 with all
our crew, familly and friends. Music by Sian de Lier and Paul Sherwood
- who won the prize for the best buskers that year!