Puppet Theatre Barge

Theatre, Puppetry Maida Vale
5 out of 5 stars
(4user reviews)
 (Full auditorium)
Full auditorium

Moored at lovely Little Venice, this intimate water-borne theatre is the setting for quality puppet shows that put a modern twist on traditional tales and kids’ classics. Movingstage, a touring puppet company established in 1979, anchored here in 1982 and has since produced critically acclaimed marionette and animation shows for a mini 55-seat audience. The barge is here from October to July, with regular performances on Saturday and Sunday and a daily schedule during school holidays. The barge moves to Richmond from August.

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Puppet Theatre Barge says
We have been putting on a programme of unique and magical puppet shows on a converted Thames barge for over thirty years.

The audience begin their journey as soon as they step onto the gangplank and climb aboard. They descend below the water line (wellingtons not necessary) and leave the real world behind.

Puppets from other parts of the world hang from the walls in retirement. The theatre’s golden curtain is softly lit and banks of seats slope gently to the roof. A ship’s bell is rung, the audience falls silent in anticipation.

Music plays, the lights dim, the theatre goes dark and finally the curtain rises to the delight of children and adults alike.
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Venue name: Puppet Theatre Barge
Address: Little Venice
Blomfield Rd
W9 2PF
Opening hours: Check website for show times
Transport: Tube: Warwick Avenue
Price: Various
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Average User Rating

5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:4
  • 4 star:0
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  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
2 people listening

The puppet barge is a great, fun, alternative outing for kids and adults alike. We saw Red Riding Hood which was a witty retelling of the classic, with different twists here and there. There is lots of puppet memorabilia to keep the kids interested when you arrive and the box office doubles as a cafe to get treats in the interval. It's a barge and they get hot in the summer months!


An utter delight. First of all, the barge is moored in scenic Little Venice. Second, the theatre itself is an ingenious setup. It's a novel experience to watch a play in a narrowboat, but it works well; visibility is good from anywhere in the boat, and the experience is charming and intimate. Third, the play I saw was good-natured fun - good for both children and adults in touch with their inner children.


When I first walked into the Puppet Barge, I felt like I'd walked into Mary Poppins's bag. Where did all this space come from? Are we still on a boat? Who knew an entire puppet theatre could fit inside a barge, and still feel like a real puppet theatre? Because for some reason I didn't quite imagine that this place would be actual theatre-sized but it turned out to be more spacious than than some theatre-above-a-pub setups I've been to. For one thing, there was staggered seating, which was very helpful for short people like myself and meant being right at the back still gave us a good view. The show itself was Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, which was very charming in an old-fashioned kind of way. Amazingly you can also get a cup of tea and a snack to watch the show with which was an unexpected bonus. I don't know whether this is meant for kids, but it was a lovely enjoyable evening for three adults.

Your work is wonderful, I am a costumier and a puppeteer non-professionnel, and I always loved puppets! I make my puppets and there outfits, I write the stories and make my shows. I would like to be able to take a course with you if possible. Many thanks. Dany