Forget Punch and Judy – puppetry’s come a long way in recent years as evidenced by the programme for Suspense, the second ever London Puppetry Festival. With 30 companies bringing shows to 11 venues (from The V&A and The Roundhouse to puppetry stalwart The Little Angel Theatre) and with work from Iran, Georgia, Austria and the USA complementing the best of British, there’s a dizzyingly diverse array of attractions on offer.
It all kicks off today and runs until next Sunday, and includes not just puppet shows (from the more traditional to the cutting-edge) but also talks, workshops, dance, films and even a puppet cabaret to round off the week.
Events that jump out include Little Edie, the tale of a would-be socialite who dances her days away in the crumbling mansion she shares with her mother, shadow puppet drama in The Invisible Cities of Margharita Monticiano and Plucked – a true fairytale enticing not only for its weird, unnerving imagery but also the strapline: “Pull from your loins a nest of twigs, beware the wolf-man and the raven too!”
There’s also Passing On, an exploration of how we die based on a person’s last hours in hospital, a puppetry weekend at The V&A, The House of Bernard Alba by Tehran-based company Yas-e-Tamam – a politically-charged tragedy about trust and loyalty – and Autumn Portraits a piece involving a series of mature characters interacting with their puppeteers, excerpts of which are shown in this video.
- Envisions collective, breaking down the boundaries of design
- Zsofia Schweger’s paintings depict her Hungarian home frozen in time
- Illustrator Nuno Maria’s fresh aesthetic and smooth shapes rework ordinary objects
- A cookbook inspired by Brad Pitt's on-screen eating habits
- Uganda’s boisterous nightlife as captured by photographer Michele Sibiloni
- Vanguards magazine explores Scotland's undiscovered creative treasure
- Sagmeister & Walsh rebrands fashion label Milly to reflect its "edgy" new personality
- Dominic Wilcox designs art exhibition for dogs (plus exclusive artist sketches)
- Jaemin Lee’s gloriously retro exhibition identities and poster designs
- James Jean’s phantasmagorical world of technicolour fever dreams
- The Refugee Nation Olympic flag was inspired by a lifejacket
- Things: the inspiring post that got us through the long hot summer nights of August