As Islington’s Little Angel Theatre celebrates its 50th anniversary year, the biennial Suspense London Puppetry Festival, celebrating puppetry for adults, returns with a over 30 new shows at 11 venues. The first Suspense Festival in 2009 received considerable acclaim, including a Fringe Report award for Best Festival. The ten-day event runs from 28 October to 6 November 2011.
The predominately North London-based festival sees previously participating venues Little Angel, Puppet Theatre Barge, Rosemary Branch, Pleasance, Jacksons Lane and Central School of Speech and Drama joined by the V&A, the Roundhouse, New Diorama, Tour de Force Studio and Wilton’s Music Hall. Many exciting British companies will be showcased together with works from the USA, Georgia, Austria and Iran.
Continuing to quash the myths that puppetry is only for children or pure escapism, Festival Director and Little Angel Artistic Director Peter Glanville explains that Suspense 2011 is loosely based around a political theme. Iranian company Yas-e-Tamam Theater Group will be presenting The House of Bernarda Alba at the New Diorama, a piece that is political in itself, with its portrayal of women in isolation and the fact that Lorca was killed for his political activism. Other highlights include the darkly magical Plucked… a true Fairytale at the Little Angel and the raunchy Puppet Grinder Cabaret at Jacksons Lane.
Glanville promises that alongside the festival’s political bent is a rich vein of humour. A demonstration by Folded Feather (to be seen at the Pleasance on November 5th and 6th) of a tragicomic journey through the lives of two chickens made out of a duvet was a most intriguing sample of the delights on offer.
For full details, visit the Suspense Festival website. Tickets can be booked online or through the centralised Pleasance Theatre box office on 020 7609 1800.