I’m writing about my experience of manipulate Visual Theatre Festival, as one of the little placement people pottering about, attempting to help Puppet Animation Scotland remain sane inamongst the beautiful chaos of a festival and have everything running as smoothly as a glass of Baileys (a bottle just gets messy).

So here I am working at manipulate, collaborating with a small team in the office and a diverse group of talented artists and performers. I’m having so much fun at work that I’m probably on the government’s watch list. There are three of us doing a placement with manipulate. Kimberly and myself are working together on marketing and Katie is one of the festival photographers (check out her fantastic photography on this page!). We could not have picked a friendlier or more supportive bunch of people to work with, especially the Puppet Animation Scotland team. I have learnt a lot from them and have thoroughly enjoyed working with people who share a love for creativity, theatre, festivals and munching mini eggs.




manipulate celebrates visual theatre and animation, showcasing innovative work from around the world. It is interesting to see the wide range of creativity transmitted into this. Some pieces have spoken dialogue while some of the others don’t but there is nearly always an element of visuality for you to be watching.




I believe the festival highlights for me would be the ‘Snapshots’ and ‘Testroom’ series. This is a variety of performance artists doing a wee test and presenting a little peek of their creative experimentation on stage. They’re usually in a form of physical theatre or puppetry. All of manipulate’s productions are spectacular in their own ways. This is another element of uniqueness they bring: ‘Snapshots’ and ‘Testroom’ deliver a more playful and thoughtful aspect to the festival with their smaller experimental performances.



Kimberly, the other marketing placement, particularly liked ‘Egg’ by Sarah Bebe Holmes, an aerial performance exploring the physical distortion and discomfort of the effects of hormones on the body. According to a review by Edinburgh Guide,  ‘a stand-out moment from Egg, Holmes submerges herself tightly inside the plastic bag of water, the liquid slowly trickling out until she is thrust from the bag, born in a watery drop to the floor, a remarkable display that piques audience curiosity as to what other surprises this piece has to offer.’




Katie, the photography placement, adds ‘this is my third manipulate festival as part of the team, though my first time going behind the lens for the duration of the festival. It has been a huge learning curve and I’m really enjoying getting to see everything from a new perspective. Working with the Puppet Animation Scotland team is always fantastic and I love getting to see the full variety of performances on offer from the programme.’


End of blog.

*carries on munching mini eggs*