The MANIPULATE team have been working hard behind-the-scenes to present MANIPULATE Festival 2022 in its full festival format despite the ongoing and changing circumstances relating to the pandemic. We are therefore deeply disappointed to confirm that a number of events and elements that will no longer go ahead.

The purpose of MANIPULATE is to present the very best of Scottish and international puppetry, visual theatre and animated film to audiences in Edinburgh and beyond. Artists and audiences and their safety and comfort lie at the heart of our work and so, in light of the Scottish Government’s announcement on Tuesday 11 January, we have made the difficult decision to adapt our current programme.

The impact of the Omicron variant has presented significant challenges for the festival. The ongoing uncertainty surrounding the restrictions to indoor events, the international nature of our programme and the particular challenges facing small capacity venues, have caused disruption such that it is not feasible for us to deliver the festival in its original format.

Whilst we are disappointed to not to be able to bring you the full programme as intended, we are pleased to present a reduced programme, that offers indoor, outdoor and online to opportunities engage, and can be enjoyed in a safe, distanced way.

Artists affected have been contacted and we are working in collaboration with venues to ensure that ticket holders are contacted directly about any changes. We would like to thank you for your patience and support, and we hope to welcome you to celebrate our 15th edition of the festival either in person or online this year.

Please see below for an overview of the changes to MANIPULATE Festival 2022:


The shows and events below will go ahead as part of Manipulate Festival 2022, with 1m social distancing measures now in place and other changes as noted. Audiences who have already booked a particular seat may be contacted about a change to their seat position to allow for social distancing. Prospective bookers may experience a short delay in ticket availability to enable us to amend the seating plan to a socially distanced bubble system. Please check our website and social platforms for updates.

EAT ME – Snap-Elastic

(Le) Pain – JD Broussé

Short & Sweet – Thick and Tight

Dinner with…LARDS

Dinner with…Plutôt La Vie

The Chosen Haram – Sadiq Ali – this will now take place at  Festival Theatre Studio at 7.30pm on Friday 28th January

After Metamorphosis – Lewis Sherlock and Ali Maloney – this now take place at Festival Theatre Studio at 4pm on Saturday 29th January

Animated Highlights – this will now be hosted online only

Animated Womxn: Aaronimation – this will now be hosted online only

Animated Womxn: International Highlights – this will now be hosted online only

My Favourite War – this will now be hosted online only

Netwalks series

Acqua Alta – The Crossing of the Mirror – Adrien M & Claire B

FAUNA – Adrien M & Claire B x Brest Brest Brest

Forest VideoLAB – Mettje Hunneman

Workshop: Trash-Hack Puppetry – Chris Pirie



The following shows and events have been cancelled. All ticket holders will be contacted by the booking venue to arrange refunds:

Birdie – Agrupación Señor Serrano

Moč / The Power – Ljubljana Puppet Theatre

Ill-Lit – Kasia Zawadzka

EIDOS / Rules To Live By – Suzi Cunningham

Workshop: What Makes a Good Show? – Al Seed

Between Earth and Moon – Noah Tomson & Rober Segura

Sand – Daniel Livingstone and Petre Dobre

SNAPSHOTS & Industry Discussion

Animated Highlights – Live screening

Animated Womxn: Aaronimation – Live screening

Animated Womxn: International Highlights – Live screening

My Favourite War – Live screening

For the events remaining in our programme, we endeavour to provide our audiences with clear details about the measures we are putting in place to keep you safe, so that you can make informed choices about what you feel comfortable with.

For all our performances and events, 1m social distancing will be in place, and face coverings are mandatory unless exempt (or unless seated for a meal). We ask ticket bookers to complete lateral flow tests before attending any performances or events, and to follow the up-to-date self-isolation advice from the government if a close contact tests positive. Read more about our COVID Safety guidelines here.

A note from our Artistic Director and CEO, Dawn Taylor: “On behalf of myself and the MANIPULATE team I am so disappointed to be sharing news of cancellations today. We are heartbroken on behalf of the incredible artists who have been working hard to prepare artistic projects to share with you at the Festival. We are working closely with all the artists affected to find ways to support the work to return to a stage near you soon.

The pandemic has presented enormous challenges for the performing arts sector in Scotland, with freelance artists being most significantly affected. At this challenging time we send solidarity to all our peers across the industry and especially the independent artists whose very livelihood depends on being able to share their work live.

We are pleased however, that some elements of the festival can go ahead in a way which prioritises the safety of all involved, and look forward to welcoming you indoors, outdoors or online at an event during MANIPULATE 2022

Thank you for your understanding and continued support during this time, and we look forward to celebrating our Manipulate 2022 festival with you. To browse the programme and book tickets, visit our updated What’s On page.

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