Celebrating our Pop-Up events

From the ancient Crypt in Ripon Cathedral to the back of The Little Ripon Bookshop, this year’s festival will see puppets, stories and drama popping up in multiple venues across the city. It’s a strand of our programme we’ve been keen to develop, given the enthusiasm of local venues and businesses wanting to be involved.

Gav Cross, master storyteller, will be thrilling young audiences in three different venues, students from Upstage Academy will present a half-hour of prize-winning mini dramas and three different puppet shows will be found in venues as varied as the tiny cabmans’ shelter, The GreenHouse shop and Ripon Cathedral. Local poet Ian Gouge performs his latest long-form poem, Crash and look out for miniature puppets with a soundtrack played through headphones (Beached), a five-minute rolling suitcase puppet show (The Hare and the Moon) and chaotic handpuppets from Hazelsong Theatre.

From chaotic puppets and slightly scary stories to intense mini dramas and performance poetry, our pop-ups will help animate the city across the weekend.


Pop-Ups at The Little Ripon Bookshop

Imaginative hourly entertainment across the middle of the day on Festival Saturday, 10 June. Pop-up events from two very different puppet theatre companies sit alongside musical tales of travel and adventure and a lively visit from Ripon’s own Open the Book team. All four shows are FREE events, so just turn up and put your feet up in the lovely back room of our favourite bookshop before returning to the festival fray outside. There will be something popping up every hour – 11am, 12noon, 1pm & 2pm.

This link for RTF website filtered by venue: Upcoming Events › bookshop › – Ripon Theatre Festival

Pop-Ups at The Curzon Cinema

We’re back at the Curzon in 2023, this time using the atmospheric Crypt space. First up will be the award-winning Upstage Academy students. Audiences in 2022 were bowled over by their talents and we are delighted to have them back. Local poet Ian Gouge takes to the stage as he performs his own intense piece Crash, or the Last 30 Minutes of a Life. And in the afternoon we welcome larger-than-life storyteller Gav Cross with his Twisted Tales show – perfect for older children and those not of a nervous disposition! Booking advised for all three shows which are “Pay What You Can” events.

This link for RTF website filtered by venue: Upcoming Events › Curzon › – Ripon Theatre Festival

Pop-Ups at The Claro Lounge

Here on Saturday we will present Strange Face Theatre with their immersive miniature puppet show for a mini audience. Beached will be performed to a small audience wearing headphones every 20 minutes from 10.30am – 11.30am. Sunday morning gears up for a more grown-up audience hankering for a musical taste of adventure and exploration. Author and musician Steve Bonham will take us on a musical journey from Europe to Africa in a Sunday brunch-time special event. Booking advised for both shows which are “Pay What You Can” events.

This link for RTF website filtered by venue: Upcoming Events › claro lounge › – Ripon Theatre Festival

Pop-Ups with Wetherspoons

The Unicorn Hotel is a brand new venue for us in 2023. Two 9.30am breakfast-time shows for little ones provide a chance for all the family to enjoy their first show of the day, before venturing into the Market Place for more colour, fun and spectacle in the open-air. Why not combine the shows with breakfast for all the family? Gav Cross will perform his show for younger children on Saturday morning and on Sunday morning Hazelsong presents The House that Jack Built hand puppet show.

This link for RTF website filtered by venue: Upcoming Events › Unicorn › – Ripon Theatre Festival

Pop-Ups at Ripon Cathedral

We bring the festival to Ripon Cathedral for the first time this year with a range of intimate events for all ages. The Cathedral’s Thursday Concerts event this month brings Songs from Shakespeare performed by soprano Louise Wayman accompanied by Tim Harper. On Festival Saturday the crypt of St Wilfrid will be inhabited by Mark Cronfield from Fell-Foss Theatre as he presents a marathon of mini performances as visitors pass through the ancient crypt. The Wanderer promises an evocative and spiritual blending of Anglo Saxon poetry and Rudyard Kipling. Meanwhile families will be entertained in the North Transept on Saturday afternoon with a visit from expert puppeteers Strange Face with Beached, their immersive miniature puppet show for a mini audience.

This link for RTF website filtered by venue: Upcoming Events › Ripon Cathedral › – Ripon Theatre Festival

The Hare and the Moon – Five Minutes of Magic to brighten your day

And we mustn’t forget our shortest show of the festival. The five-minute long The Hare and the Moon suitcase puppet show will be popping up in our smallest venues – catch this charming show as it runs on repeat in the following venues throughout Saturday 10th June: The Cabman’s Shelter on the Market Place, Minster Gardens, The Little Ripon Bookshop and The GreenHouse shop.


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