Harlequin Puppet Theatre – Colwyn Bay, Wales - Atlas Obscura

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Harlequin Puppet Theatre

Colwyn Bay, Wales

Britain's oldest permanent theatre designed and built for puppets.  


Located just off the Rhos on Sea promenade, the Harlequin Puppet Theatre was opened by Eric Bramall in 1958 with an interior of Italianate frescoes and ornate plasterwork. The 100-seat, privately-run theatre is home to a collection of approximately 1,000 marionettes.

The theatre is open to the public for short seasons over the year and throughout July and August. During the summer, the shows run for around an hour and a half and are split into three sections. A traditional marionette show opens proceedings, with only the puppets visible onstage. This is followed by a magic show with Mr. Bimbamboozle, with assistance from the children in the audience.

The last section is the Marionette Cabaret, in which the puppeteer comes out from behind the stage and performs in full view of the audience so they can see the skill involved. Following Bramall’s death in 1996, the theatre is run by his friend Chris Somerville to this day.

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September 26, 2022

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