After receiving many exciting proposals for our Giant Puppet Commission last month, we are delighted to announce that this has been awarded to Ronan McMahon and Fergus Dunnet!

Photo credit: Eoin Carey 
Still  of Ronan from Very Mild Peril by Two Detectives

Ronan has collaborated with Fergus Dunnet on numerous projects including performing parade puppets for the Paisley Sma Shot and Christmas Parades, and The Museum of Mistakes (Two Detectives and PAS Creative Fund). Recently he performed in Christmas Dinner (Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh/Catherine Wheels), MESS (Tenterhooks Theatre), and he regularly performs in the band Sprog Rock. He co-runs Two Detectives with Naomi O Kelly, a company that makes joyful, mischievous new performance, to bring people together and celebrate the diversity of brains, bodies, abilities and cultures in our world. Other Credits include: Blue Man Group (Berlin, New York, Las Vegas), White (Catherine Wheels) Slug (Visible Fictions) and A Ladder to the Stars (Visible Fictions).

Fergus operating a giant puppet of a sea ship captain at a street parade

Image of Fergus at Sma Shot Day Parade 2022

Fergus makes visual work for live and digital environments. He often collaborates on projects including theatre and street performance, puppetry, magic and illusion, games design, illustration and animation.

Recent credits include The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar (Helen Milne /Horsecross Perth Theatre), Pickled Republic (Ruxandra Cantir) and MESS (Tenterhooks). Puppetry credits include Doppler (Grid Iron), Strange Tales (Grid Iron / Traverse Theatre) and Uncanny Valley (Edinburgh International Science Festival / Borderline

Their giant puppet will be revealed at an opening event for next year’s MANIPULATE festival. We had strong ideas from a range of puppeteers, makers, and companies to consider for the commission this year. We are excited by Fergus and Ronan’s piece due to its versatility and sense of playfulness that we think will create an interactive and exciting opening night spectacle for Manipulate 2023.

We believe this work will contribute to our long-term aim of bringing MANIPULATE Festival to new and diverse audiences who may never have experienced puppetry and visual theatre before. We look forward to sharing this with you soon!

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