Every performance at the Festival does not literally address the theme of Peace, as that could be boring. You'd find comedy, satire, fairy-tales, epics, modern stories and musicals, on different themes done in a variety of styles, something that you can only witness by traveling around the globe. Isn't it terrific that you can experience all that at one site in the heart of your city? Since 1992, the Rafi Peer Theatre Workshop brings the International Puppet Festival to Lahore every other year. And more than anything else, it is through the coming together of artistes from all over the world and audiences from diverse socio-economic backgrounds, that the Festival promotes the ideals of peace.
The 5th International Puppet Festival Pakistan pays tribute to the art of puppetry at the turn of the Millennium. From 11 to 22 November, it will host some 250 foreign and 200 Pakistani puppeteers, and put up 242 shows in eleven days. At the Alhamra Cultural Complex, the RPTW has created a magical city boasting 11 theatres with technical facilities of international standard, and 22 performances are planned for each day of the Festival. Puppet groups from 20 countries and five continents are participating.
The Pakistan Puppet Festival is considered an important festival in South Asia and was described by the BBC World News as “the largest puppet festival in the world”. It is set in the historic and dynamic city of Lahore, an ideal meeting point for eastern and western puppeteers and puppet companies. Other than the splendid opportunity it provides for the people of Lahore to witness such a large collection of shows, the Festival is also a learning experience for local and foreign puppeteers who are able to interact, share and see each other's work.
This year's line-up is a sophisticated array of shows, featuring twenty masterful companies from around the world, most of them appearing in Pakistan for the first time. A museum of puppetry exhibits a terrific collection of puppets. It provides a panoramic showcase never seen before. The puppets, the music, the traditions, the laughter brought from so many corners of the world, are all ingredients for making the Fifth International Puppet Festival Pakistan a joyful event to realize the hope of peace and love for all.