MANIPULATE Festival Announces Programme For 2023

16 01 2023

MANIPULATE Festival 2023

Edinburgh's international festival of visual theatre and animated film, MANIPULATE, is a celebration of visually stunning work, with a focus on artworks which breathe life into the inanimate or tell stories primarily through imagery.

The 16th edition of the festival will offer audiences a rich palette of events across a range of visual artforms, including large-scale illuminated hands which will roam across the city; intricate live micro-cinema featuring over 2000 miniature animals; an aerial work inspired by lobster fishing; and theatre simultaneously performed and livestreamed between Scotland and Argentina.

There are an array of themes and ideas to uncover, with much of this year's programme speaking to the stories that we tell ourselves, and one another, about who we are. Further themes of the programme include migration, the resilience of the human spirit, memory, celebrations of life and of death, and our relationship with a changing climate.

MANIPULATE Festival 2023 will run from Thursday 2 - Sunday 12 February, presenting a dynamic programme of live performances, installations, workshops, and film screenings - taking place in person and online, with shows at Summerhall, The Studio @ Festival Theatre, Traverse Theatre and, for the first time, Fruitmarket. The Festival will also see outdoor installations take to the streets of Edinburgh. Acclaimed International Artists will share work alongside Scotland's own leading artists, including the return of MANIPULATE favourites and brand-new companies.

Alongside a diverse programme of brand-new work for MANIPULATE Festival 2023, some elements of the programme are finally coming to the stage after being rescheduled from 2021 and 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dawn Taylor, Artistic Director and CEO of Puppet Animation Scotland, says:

"We are thrilled that 2023 will see the return of a full MANIPULATE Festival programme for the first time in three years. By expanding across Edinburgh into new venues, the city streets and online, we can reach and connect with new audiences and spark new conversations. We are looking forward to celebrating the sheer magic that puppetry, visual theatre and animation can offer during these challenging times; a spark of hope and light that MANIPULATE has come to represent in the dark of the Scottish winter.

With a more varied palette of artforms than ever, and featuring work which is playful, bold, interrogative and joyful from a dynamic group of visually-driven artists, 2023 promises to be one of our most ambitious programmes to date. We can't wait to share it with you!"

Jaine Lumsden, Creative Scotland's Theatre Officer, says:

"MANIPULATE is all about bringing together Scottish and international visual theatre and animation of the highest quality and artistic ambition. The Festival plays a central role in the physical performance sector and we're so glad to be behind its return to full programming next year."

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The festival programme can change. For full information about the festival, visit: