Where: In the garden of St Paul’s Church, Bedford Street, Covent Garden, London WC2 9ED
What is it?
This year the Covent Garden May Fayre & Puppet Festival celebrates its 40th Anniversary with over 40 puppet shows performing throughout the day.
The festival takes place on Sunday 10th May and will be held in the garden of St Paul’s Church, Bedford Street, London. St Paul’s is known as the actors’ church, and is situated near the spot where Samuel Pepys first saw Mr Punch in England in May 1662.
Punch and Judy Professors and puppeteers will be travelling from all over the country to perform throughout the day. The festival begins at 11am with a Grand Procession around the neighbourhood of Covent Garden. The procession will start in the church garden, led by the Superior Brass Band, with a birthday toast to Mr Punch by the commemorative plaque on the church wall in the Piazza.
This is followed at 12 noon by a special church service with Mr Punch in the pulpit. Then at 12.30pm the Punch and Judy shows, and puppet shows begin. The festival will also have puppet workshops, stalls, refreshments, folk music by The Lost Marbles String Band, Maypole Dancing and clowns.
There will be stalls run by community groups from all over Westminster and Camden, together with the Covent Garden Community Association. Refreshments will be provided by the Food Chain, who are raising funds to help provide nutritional support for people living with HIV in London.
Performers at the festival will include Prof Geoff Felix, The Battey Family, The Budapest Marionettes, Stanelli’s Super Circus, Randolph the Remarkable, The Pink Policeman, Clown Salvo and Clown Gingernutt.
Everyone is welcome to enjoy the shows and celebrate the art of puppetry on Mr Punch’s 353rd birthday.
More info: www.alternativearts.co.uk/events