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Sanctuary in Creativity artwork designed by Rachael Horner


Beverley Puppet Festival runs once every two years and 2021 is an 'off' year. We like to keep puppetry bubbling away in Beverley so are running a project called 'Sanctuary in Creativity', made possible through funding from Arts Council England and Beverley Town Council.


Beverley has long been a town of sanctuary since the Middle Ages. Famous sanctuary stones stand at its edges and a towering Minster at its heart, marking an ancient boundary line where fugitives could seek shelter from the law for up to 40 days. Today, Beverley remains a town of sanctuary but of a different kind - as a safe place to live and work; as a place to escape away to on holiday; as a place of creative sanctuary - a town filled with arts and culture.

The project will have three main outcomes:

  • To collect stories, memories, hopes and thoughts about Beverley from residents past and present, which will be used by an artist as inspiration to create a puppetry film that tells the story of Beverley. The chosen artist to deliver this film is The House of Funny Noises - read more here.

  • To connect local school children and care-home residents through shadow puppetry and Beverley stories of sanctuary, designed and led by Indigo Moon Theatre - read more here.

  • To redesign and rebuild our website and app ready for the next festival in 2022


The results of the first two aims of the project will be exhibited in Beverley Minster in June-July 2021 and remain online thereafter.


Stay tuned for more updates!

Puppet making and performance activity library of 25 videos free to access!

The award-winning Beverley Puppet Festival usually fills the streets with excited onlookers. Giant creatures roam around Toll Gavel, Butcher Row and the Flemingate Centre; tiny, magical worlds are revealed to unsuspecting audiences in the Friary Gardens and indoor shows for all ages from 0-103 take place at The Friary, East Riding Theatre, Beverley Masonic Hall and Toll Gavel Church Hall.

In 2020 however the Covid-19 pandemic faced us with the painful prospect of cancelling it all. Unthinkable! We decided instead to go online! This was a new adventure for the festival team and one that now spanned two months instead of just one weekend!

Live performances are very different from the medium of film, so the emphasis was on what we all can do at home, not on filming finished performances which we would prefer to see live.  We commissioned three artists’ videos per week to start appearing from May 18th – July 12th 2020 to inspire and invite people of all ages to participate in a diverse range of puppetry-related activities that can be completed at home. All of these videos now remain in our Activity Video Library - free to access!