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.
- Best of the Web: a few of our favourite things we've spotted on the internet this week
- Tom Phillips' magnum opus turned a Victorian novel into a work of art spanning 50 years
- Matisse-inspired posters for Serbian Youth Day from designer Monika Lang
- Raphael Schoen's cheerfully chaotic posters for a Swiss youth club
- Illustrators including Sam Taylor and Charlotte Mei's tributes to NWA's Straight Outta Compton
- The slides and sleep pods of LA's Silicon Beach startup scene captured by Lauren Greenfield
- A mind full of filthy ideas and creative brilliance: we visit Malika Favre
- The bizarre, twilight world of Berlin-based photographer Maxime Ballesteros
- Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam and Colophon create typeface that works with the Earth's tilt
- The Anonymous Sex Journal is back, and this issue is all about wanking
- The homeless Dirty Kids of America and their "rainbow party" explored in new film
- 12-year-old accidentally punches a hole $1.5 million painting