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Scotland’s Puppet Animation Festival turns 30

Scotland’s Puppet Animation Festival has been delighting kids from the Scottish Borders to Shetland for exactly three decades now, making it the oldest children’s theatre festival in the UK. This year the festival turns 30, and to celebrate its organisers have pulled together a programme of no less than 150 fantastic events, taking place all over the country from 29 March – 19 April. We’ve picked just a few must-sees from the exciting line-up – from retellings of fairy tales and stories of Incas to mini circuses and interactive workshops, you’re sure to find something to keep your wee ones entertained here!

The Secret Life of Suitcases
Larry works at the Suitcase Station, fixing pipes and sorting out everyone’s secrets. One day a secret escapes, and Larry’s world is turned upside down as he embarks on a mission to go and get it back. Created by Glasgow-based Lewis Hetherington and Ailie Cohen, this charming adventure story is suitable for ages 5 and up.

See it in… Castle Douglas,Giffnock, Shawbost (Lewis), Tarbert (Harris), Benbecula, Inverness, Skye, Mull, AberdeenPeebles, Edinburgh, Musselburgh, Selkirk

Oscar & the Lost City of the Incas
When a school history lesson about the Incas comes to life, Oscar the Mouse and a chimp named Monkey end up in the South American jungle, searching for their missing friend Bluebell and battling with a mysterious enemy on the hunt for a sun necklace. A funny, vibrant show for ages 4+ from Mousetale Puppets, told in their signature glow-in-the-dark style.

See it in… Irvine, Finzean, New Deer, Hamilton, Lochgelly, Lanark, Aberdeen, North Berwick

My City
My City is a story of two lost souls, Eibhleann and Soledad, told in Spanish, Gaelic and English. Though they don’t speak the same language, the characters tell fantastical stories using their own bodies, music and random objects. Check the festival listings for Puppetry Workshops where kids age 5+ can make their own puppets and instruments from recycled objects.

See it in… Cockburnspath, Glenrothes, Mallaig, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Bearsden, Bathgate, Mull, Stornoway

Celeste’s Circus
Roll up, roll up! Edinburgh collective FAUX Theatre presents Celeste’s Circus, a perfect first trip to the Big Top for under-5s. See performer Francisca Morton reveal a cast of adorable animal puppets in a charming, retro-style show that oozes creativity.

See it in… Kirkcaldy, Edinburgh, Falkirk, Dundee

Little Princess Goldtree
Scotland’s answer to Snow White, this fairy tale for kids aged 4 and up features a wicked stepmother, a beautiful princess and an all-seeing magical trout. A charming show from puppeteer Alison Monaghan blending hand-carved puppets, shadow silhouettes and traditional storytelling.

See it in… Irvine, Dunfermline, Coldingham, Edinburgh, Hamilton, Romanno Bridge, Banchory

Check the full listings for details of times, locations, prices and the many more shows making up this year’s Puppet Animation Festival. Looking for more things to see and do with the kids in Scotland? Get inspired with our family days out itineraries, or find free family attractions and much more.


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