Meet Cap’n Fishcake and his singing fishfingers…

East Yorkshire’s medieval minster town of Beverley will host an action-packed weekend of puppetry this summer, welcoming otherworldly creatures, a huge inflatable octopus and singing fishfingers to its cobbled streets.

Returning this July, the 11th Beverley Puppet Festival, which is staged every two years, is promising a feast of family fun as well as proving that ‘puppetry is for everyone, not just children’.

Launched as a two-day weekend event in May 2005 with just five companies, the event was the brainchild of puppeteer Anna Ingleby, whose vision was to bring puppetry to her hometown.

Almost 20 years later, this year’s event, from 12 to 14 July, is being billed as the “best ever” featuring 38 puppet companies from not only the UK, but also Greece, Italy and Canada.

Around 30 ticketed shows and workshops, plus free outdoor performances, will transform the picturesque market town into a vibrant stage for puppetry performances ranging from the fantastical to the sublime.

While traditional shows can be seen, such as Punch & Judy – although even that has been given a modern-day twist – there will be plenty of unusual sights, including Cap’n Fishcake & His Fabulous Fish Fingers, featuring singing fishfingers and Salty the Sea Dog.

More fishy goings-on will come courtesy of Ocho The Octopus, a huge inflatable puppet that will be roaming the streets, and elsewhere A La Puppet Carte will add to the fun with a pair of pop-up puppet stages built onto the back of electric tricycles.

Among other treats in store for visitors is The Wandering Wizard, a larger-than-life wizard exploring the human world with his friend Glob the Goblin, and a giant White Rabbit, inspired by Beverley’s St. Mary’s Church pilgrim hare carving, said to have been the basis for the Alice in Wonderland illustrations.

While peformers will be out and about across the town, a Daytime Festival Hub at Beverley Friary – a 600-year-old Dominican friary with medieval and Tudor wall paintings – will also host face painting, food and a bar alongside shows and workshops on the Saturday and Sunday

More free outdoor performances will take place at the Flemingate Centre, while one of the oldest pubs in Beverley, The Monks Walk, will be the base for the Evening Festival Hub with a courtyard marquee and beer garden.

As part of the festival celebrations, a Puppet Trail will run 1-14 July across Beverley town centre with trail sheets downloadable on the website.

For full details, visit

For more details about things to do and where to stay in East Yorkshire as a destination, see

Photo: Ocho The Octopus by Tim Davies Design