March 4 2015 Latest news:

An enigmatic underwater world created by the founder of a Norwich art course is among the innovative works audiences can enjoy at an international festival taking place in the city next week.

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Acts from around the world are taking part in Norwich Puppet Theatre’s Manipulate Festival which starts on Tuesday and is being presented in partnership with Puppet Animation Scotland.

Among the highlights is The Seas of Organillo by Stephen Mottram’s Animata on Thursday, which sees “fascinatingly weird” puppets swim and wriggle to soundscapes created by Argentinian composer Sebastian Castagna.

Joy Haynes, Norwich Puppet Theatre director, said: “We are very excited to be bringing this show to Norwich, as composer Sebastian Castagna not only studied at UEA but he established the MA in animation and sound design at Norwich School of Art and Design (now Norwich University of the Arts) with Suzie Hanna, who is also on the Norwich Puppet Theatre Board.”

She added: “This performance really showcases the calibre of puppetry talent within the UK.”

Other Manipulate events include a Scratch Event giving local and national puppetry companies the chance to present their work, and featuring crime drama-inspired Under the Microscope by Club Adelphi. Stuffed Puppet is bringing its show, Punch and Judy in Afghanistan, while Figurentheater Tuebingen, from Germany, is presenting Hôtel De Rive.

About the whole festival, Ms Haynes said: “This year’s festival features more performances than ever before, as well as short film mixed with live puppetry performance and animated features.

“Expect beauty, expect the surreal and expect the unexpected.

“Challenge your own notions of theatre and experience the unknown.”

•Manipulate is from February 4 to 8 at Norwich Puppet Theatre. For more about times and ticket prices, visit

Do you have a story about the arts in Norwich? Email arts correspondent Emma Knights at



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