Wednesday 11 May 2022

MORE THAN 40 puppet theatre companies will be descending on Beverley for this year’s puppet festival, which runs from Friday July 15 to Sunday the 17th in indoor and outdoor venues across the town. The full programme is unveiled this week, with more than 60 events in total, many of which are free, plus a six-day puppet making workshop for adults. 

Beverley bound: Ronnie Le Drew and Zippy

One highlight is called “The Whale: Plastic Ocean” at Flemingate – an environmentally-themed 30-minute show for families, who will be able enter the belly of an enormous inflatable Sperm Whale, where they find themselves in the depths of the bubbling, kelp-swirling ocean.

They encounter an aquabatic diver who leads them swimmingly through the age-old journey of the life of an ancient leatherback turtle.

The festival opens on the Friday evening with the Eurovision Sock Contest, by the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre, and Zippy And Me, a talk by puppeteer Ronnie Le Drew.

Where tickets are priced, they range from £4 to £12; there are shows in the morning, afternoon and evening, and for children, teens, families, and adults.To view the full programme go to

Throughout this July’s festival there will be free outdoor acts and ticketed indoor shows including at East Riding Theatre, Beverley Friary & Gardens, Beverley Masonic Hall, Toll Gavel Church, The Friary Nursery, East Riding College, the Minster’s Peter Harrison Room and Parkway Cinema, as well as on Beverley’s shopping streets and at the Flemingate Centre.

Other acts at this year’s festival include Long Nose Puppets’ family show The Hug, which is based on the popular children’s book; and adult shows including Big Boys Don’t Cry by Opposable Thumb whose show Coulrophobia was a big hit in 2018.

The festival’s new six-day Puppet Making Workshop called ‘Winged Creatures’ with Judith Hope, runs from July 10th-15th and will allow adult participants to create their own moving-winged creature puppets which they’ll be able to take away with them.

Participants will learn to translate their 2D drawings into 3D, to carve styrofoam, model fine features, shape in plastazote, and make a simple flying puppet mechanism.

Judith Hope is a London based puppet maker who creates puppets for theatre, commercials and festivals, some of which can be seen performing at this year’s festival in The Keeper’s Nests.

Applications are also still open for Volunteer Positions at this July’s festival but need to be in by June 1st 

POLICE will be at Beverley Leisure Centre this Saturday between 10am and noon offering free cycling marking as part of a new forcewide crime prevention scheme to help people keep their bikes safe and to protect them from thieves. Leading the new scheme is Pc Graham McNally, who told Beverley FM: “Both the local community police team and Safer Roads Humber will be on hand to mark and register bikes and provide cycle security and safety advice. You don’t need to book, just turn up with your bike.”

Most of the cycle crimes in Humberside Police are thefts, where bikes have been left unattended and insecure, or with poor security in busy areas – affording an opportunist thief the chance to simply walk or ride away undetected, Pc McNally told us. “But some are taken in burglaries and robberies, where more than one bike might be stolen, and some are targeted specifically. The financial loss to victims is huge, with the average retail price of a new bike being around £500,” he said. 

[More information here]

THE Hull & Beverley Guide Dogs for the Blind Group is looking to recruit a volunteer to help co-ordinate events for its fund-raising group. To find out more contact