Walkabout Characters & our Puppet Rail at Bring On The Smiles Charity Ride Out 2017
Walkabout Character
Puppets - ideal for festivals!

Above: Some of our 'Puppeteenies' enjoying an afternoon of puppetry fun at the ride out.

Our Walkabout characters (typically one puppeteer with one walkabout puppet, or a team of 2 to 4 puppeteers with a rail full of puppets) are available to hire for your community events and festivals, with the priviso that our expenses are covered, and that our performers - many of whom have invisible disabilities - are well enough to attend on the day.


If you require a more secure booking (ie: for commercial events) please get in touch, as this will involve hiring from our team of 'less Broken' freelance puppeteers and may require more lead in time and set fees.

Shannon, twin sister Stacey and big brother Jack (photographed above) are the founding members of our 'Puppeteenies' programme, which aims to encourage children and young people to express themselves and their experiences of chronic illness through the Arts. Their lovely Mum Sharon runs CFDA, who we often join forces with for events where disability awareness is a key theme.

Our event dome [AKA 'The Puppet Pod'] is 4.5m x 4.5m and just over 3m high. It can be pitched on hard surfaces with weighted legs or on grass with guy lines and requires a minimum of 2 people to set up, though our full team of 4 can set up with more ease. Pitching the dome takes between 15 and 30 minutes. Set up time inside the dome varies according to the needs of each event.


The Puppet Pod can be used as our base when working on location, transforms into a mini puppet making & workshop space, or with a bit of theatrical magic becomes an enchanting story telling space & performance arena. We have plans to use it for night time festivals and displays - by lighting it from the inside to create a giant 360 degree shadow theatre, with the audience sitting around the outside. Follow us on social media to see how we transform this event dome into our unique Puppet Pod!


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This year we've been trying to improve links with our community, and have been out with our puppets as much as possible. We've even co-hosted our first ever community event in Plymouth City Centre alongside our good friends and collaborators The Campaign for Disability Awareness Lessons (CFDA). Together we hope to build M.E Awareness Day into an annual event joining the International M.E Awareness Day campaign - that happens worldwide on May 12th each year. The iconic characters who appeared at this year's event were Ephie the Ephelant, from our upcoming children's theatre performance project, and Blue Fairy, a 7ft tall, articulated blinking, talking giant.
We love attending community events & Arts festivals!
Clare with Ephie
group photo 3
Jon and Ephie
CFDA Team under our film
CFDA Team pic
ephie and bandit at cfda
best group pic
Ephie meets the TRP Narwals
Ephie meets Chaz

We'd love to hear about your Events & Festivals...

Everyone loves to get an invitation, and we're no different...but please do not be upset or offended if we are not always able to attend when invited, because we do get invited to attend way more functions than we are physically able to join, and the truth is, we really do wish we could come to all of them! Our availability is limited by two main factors, which we find it is best to be completely upfront with you about:

1. We're called BROKEN puppet company for a reason: our core team have chronic illnesses, complex health needs and invisible disabilities to juggle alongside all the fun puppetry and creative stuff. The reality of this is that our availability to attend events - no matter how worthwhile they are, or how much we personally want to be there - is largely dependent on our highly unpredictable health. We must take into account the longer term impact of our attending every event, as every hour we spend working can increase our symptoms, and this has consequences for our productivity after the fact, not just on event days.

2. Funding requirements - If we are being paid to attend an event, that fee must cover the cost of us hiring staff at the industry recommended and Arts Council approved rates, which are currently £85 per performer for a half day, or £175 per performer for a full day, not including basic expenses such as food, travel and accommodation, or any of our overheads, such as insurances and administrative costs. This means that just to break even, we must charge a minimum price per performer of £225 per day.


Of course, we have a small amount of discretion to support events that directly relate to our funded projects or to support our disabled practitioners, creative collaborators or local charitable causes, and we want to make our puppets available at as many events as we can, so we openly invite further discussions if you have a special event that needs our support. We simply ask that you remain mindful of our unique circumstances, which we are always upfront and honest about as we don't want to discourage or disappoint you. If we're too ill to work, we have a brilliant team of associate artists and freelance puppeteers who work with us to ensure you still get the great experiences you expect from us, but we can only do this for paid appearances.


Please contact us to tell us more about your event and we'll do whatever we can to support you. It's always great to connect for the future even if we are unable to attend this time round. Email clare@brokenpuppet.co / Tel: 07904 9111555

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