The first Permanent Puppet Theatre ever built in Britain
ReOpening At Last!
All things continuing as announced by the Welsh Government we will be able to open for a short Summer Season, starting on Monday August 10th and ending on August 30th. We will have a show at 3pm, Monday to Friday when we will be showing The Grand Puppet Circus, then after a short interval we will have Mr Bimbamboozle’s Magic Tricks – with lots of participation by the Children. Then to finish the show, as always, there will be a selection of acts from Marionette Cabaret, where you see not only incredible manipulation but also see just how the strings are pulled.
From the replies I have received it seems that the online shows, Aladdin at Christmas and the Sleeping Beauty for February Half Term, then the ever popular Alice in Wonderland for the Easter Holiday, have proved popular and given me something to do.
So for the May Half Term, May 29th to June 6th, I plan to do Eric Bramall’s favourite Puppet Play, “The Princess & the Gooseberry Mandarin”. I know some of you have seen this before, but for those who haven’t, you are in for the biggest surprise ending in puppetry. Of course it won’t be as powerful on the screen as when you are actually in the theatre.
But hopefully this will be the last online show that we have to do. I’m desperately hoping that I’ll be able to open for at least part of the Summer Holidays.
Things are looking a bit more cheerful aren’t they? Just a bit. No sign of the Harlequin actually re-opening yet. Still I thought I should do something for half term.
Like everyone else we have been turned topsy-turvy by this Covid virus and the ever changing regulations to keep us all as safe as possible. Certainly it soon became clear that we in Wales were not going to be able to open theatres for pantomimes and Christmas shows. It won’t be the same, but we are going to upload our pantomime onto the web and invite you all to pretend you are at the puppet theatre watching the show. We have chosen that traditional favourite, ALADDIN, or the Wonderful Lamp. A version of this story is told in practically every country of the world but our version is loosely based on that which appears as one of the stories told by Sherazade in the Arabian Nights.It’s the story of a poor Chinese boy, the son of a widowed washer-woman, from Pekin . who gets the better of the wicked Abanazar who pretends to be his uncle. The story takes Aladdin and Abanazar into the mountains, to a secret cave and a magical treasure. Aladdin is locked inside this cave but manages to escape with the help of a Magic Lamp and a Giant Green Genie. Abanazar nearly defeats Aladdin but, with the help of his girlfriend, a beautiful Princess, Aladdin tricks the wicked Abanazar, marries the Princess and his mother,Widow Twankey, marries the Emperor, and everyone lives very happily indeed.
To book for this Puppet Pantomime Online please go to
I started writing this blog when the theatre was struck by tragedy and the theatre suffered an arson attack. It was a relatively small fire but it caused a lot of damage and kept the theatre closed for a full year.
Now we are closed again, but not for refurbishment (and hopefully not for a full year) but for the safety of us all. We are all, literally “all” because the whole world is involved, in the throes of this nightmare which is this coronavirus attack. It is quite terrifying in its speed of spreading among the community and the numbers to whom it proves fatal. The only good side, as far as there can be a good side, is that by and large it seems to be sparing children, who rarely catch the virus or if they do then only mildly.
I pray that all of you will stay safe and healthy, the children of course, but also the Mums and Dads and very especially, the Grandmas and Grandads who are so often the ones who bring the children to the theatre. Of course, they by dint of age, are, like me, among those who are most vulnerable. Of course as I’m much older than you grandparents I’m supposedly much more vulnerable.
Anyway I’m going to do my very best to come through this ordeal and hope to see you all in happier days when we are able to act normally and gather together when I can get my “fix” of children’s laughter.
Until then, keep safe, keep well, and keep praying.
Old but valued….
I had a lovely comment in an email toady. A lady had enquired about wheelchair access to the theatre. I had replied that such access was limited and only possible if the wheelchair user could transfer to a theatre seat. I went on to explain that the theatre was built in 1958 and no provision for wheelchair users seems to have been considered in those days. I have looked into such things, but there is no way that the theatre could now be adapted for the needs of the disabled user other than pulling down and rebuilding.
The lady’s very encouraging reply was “The theatre is the most wonderful and charming place and my friend said she remembers going as a little girl and please dont ever pull it down or rebuild it for any reason!”
With the October Half Term over now is the time to put Alice in Wonderland into mothballs as I refurbish the puppets for the Christmas Season. Some of them will be in need of a little TLC I think.
I’m off on Friday for a weekend in Skipton for their bi-annual “Skipton International Puppet Festival” and have a rest from preparations for October and also for the Christmas Show.
The Summer Season being over I am busy planning for the October Half Term (Oct 23 to Nov 2) with a show featuring characters from Alice in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass, and with plans for the Christmas Show, “Santa’s Magic Toyshop” (Dec 26 to Jan 4)
Online Booking is available for the October Half Term at
This weekend is the last of my Summer Season’s outdoor Punch & Judy appearances. This is for the Ruthin Donkey Derby held at Cae Ddol Park, Ruthin (adjacent to the Rugby Club). It kicks off at 12 noon. I usually do two shows in the afternoon. As well as Donkey Races I understand there’s also a Duck Race. This event was originally planned for June but was cancelled, or rather postponed, due to flooding. Entrance to this event is free – it is organised by Rotary and paid for by local businesses.