how theatre bristol supported puppet place

Theatre Bristol has been working with Puppet Place since November 2019 to develop a new business plan while providing vital financial and administrative support. Puppet Place trustee, Chris Pirie, outlines how this support has benefitted the organisation. 

It is hard to understate the impact that Theatre Bristol has had on our organisation.

12 months ago Puppet Place was experiencing the most turbulent and unstable period in its 40 year history. The fall-out from the government’s Brexit strategy had seriously impacted the organisation’s primary public-facing activity, Bristol Festival of Puppetry. Unable to rely on revenue from this biennial international festival, Puppet Place was forced into a rethink of its essential business model. Alongside this was the unforeseen departure of three core staff members; CEO, Administrator and Operations Manager and, without the resources to replace these core roles, the board needed to act decisively and swiftly.

An inside of the puppetry warehouse with many people inside, chatting in small groups. The space is filled with props and materials and is lit with the strip lights. There is a gold disco ball hanging from the ceiling.

Theatre Bristol was initially approached in an advisory role, but fortunately was in a position to offer its services as a stop-gap solution with the delivery of offsite essential administration as well as helping Puppet Place create an updated business plan. The trustees and resident artists are delighted with how diligent and efficient Theatre Bristol have been. Thanks to their hard work and dedication to this off-site role, our organisation has been able to navigate the fallout from Brexit as well as those challenges of the pandemic and the shutdown of the performing arts sector. Puppet Place has been able to secure emergency funding, regained its stability and has managed to keep operating during this crisis – an outcome that would have been impossible without the crucial support delivered by Theatre Bristol and their amazing staff team.

-Chris Pirie (Puppet Place Trustee and Artistic Director of Green Ginger)



At the forefront there are two grotesque puppets, one is wearing an old-men's mask and holding a cardboard gun, the other is a blue bear. Both are wearing clown's hats and have female torso's. Behind them there are shelves full of props and materials.