★★★★ “Diverting and Imaginative” The Stage

Tucked away in the windows of arts centres, shops and cafés, something curious is stirring. All across the city, in a moment of wider social and cultural upheaval, hidden worlds are shifting and revealing their secrets. In a unique project for the COVID-19 era, MANIPULATE Festival has commissioned eight leading Scottish artists to create moving sculptural installation works incorporating automata, miniature figures, or animated screens, alongside a compelling short story or soundscape (available in audio or BSL), which is downloaded direct to your device.

Taking an initial seed of inspiration from Boccaccio’s 1353 novel The Decameron, where ten strangers shelter together in hiding from the Plague, finding their way through the quarantine by telling each other stories, Restless Worlds will offer glimpses into magical miniature worlds which bring joy and escapism in this unsettling time, with each piece telling a unique original story.

Working in partnership with the Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh and Aberdeen Performing Arts, the project is designed to be a live, engaging, outdoor artistic experience that audiences can enjoy whilst maintaining social distancing.


The eight artworks will be located in the city centre in each location; in Edinburgh they will all be in the windows of the Royal Lyceum Theatre foyer, and the other cities they will be in various windows in the city centre, within 30 mins walking distance of each other. The artworks will be in motion between 13:30 and 21:00 on each date, in four 90-minute slots with 30 mins break in between each. Audiences should book a ticket for the day of their choice; you can attend at any time and in any order on that date, as the experience is completely self-directed. Prior to the event, you will be sent the links to the audio and BSL elements of the artworks, along with a guide to match these to the physical artworks. The final locations of artworks in Aberdeen and Glasgow will be revealed when you buy your ticket.

Audiences can complete the artwork trail in whichever order they choose – the experience is completely self-directed. We have allocated a limited number of tickets to each date, however we ask audiences to take responsibility for maintaining social distancing whilst viewing the artworks. Should it become busy at a particular site you may have a short wait to view the artwork, or may prefer to return at a later time to ensure you can view it safely.


PERFORMERS (BSL): Bea Webster and Ciaran Stewart

STILL LIFE WITH WILLOW PATTERN / Shona Reppe & Tamlin Wiltshire

Is silence still golden when it is broken? Shona Reppe is a multi-award-winning Scottish theatre-maker designer and puppeteer who has performed extensively all over the world including US, Canada, Japan, Belgium, France, Netherlands, Australia, Estonia, Slovenia, Poland and Israel with her shows Atlantis, Cinderella, The Curious Scrapbook of Josephine Bean, Potato Needs a Bath, Olga Volt and Magic Sho. Other creatives: Ben Seal (soundtrack) and Eva Reppe-Roverselli (poem/text).

CREATURIUM: THE LOST ONES / Lucas Chih-Peng Kao & Katanari

Lost to evolutionary history, Creaturium offers a peek into a curious collection of imaginary beings that may have existed in the past or the future. Lucas Chih-Peng Kao is a filmmaker, collaborator and multidisciplinary artist working across installation, performance, dance and video, born in Taiwan and based in Scotland. Katanari is a visual artist, puppeteer and theatre maker who often uses elements, materials from nature and objects with memory. The cabinets are designed and made by maker Emily Martinelli.


The seemingly timeless and utopic Renaissance architecture of Florence sets the scene as we unravel layers of deceit and disinformation in the present day. Chell Young is a visual artist based in Scotland, graduate of Edinburgh College of Art and former recipient of the John Kinross research scholarship. Through her work she interrogates architectural space in theatrical, cinematic and illusory ways.


A cabinet of curious journeys and impossible science. With many years of experience as a theatre practitioner, Gavin Glover specialises in puppetry and live feed micro cinema. He has developed his own distinctive style of work in both visual and text-based theatre.


This curious machine generates regulations governing social behaviour in the era of COVID-19. Guy Bishop is a sculptor, puppet-maker and designer who has created work for and with leading cultural institutions in the UK across visual art, theatre, film and heritage.

APPLE EATERS / Sharmanka Kinetic Theatre & Heather Parry

Is it better to be alone in ignorance, or together in despair? Exploring the classically gothic themes of isolation, love and the loss of innocence, Apple Eaters is a creative fusion of Sharmanka’s world of kinetic sculptures, Heather Parry’s writing, music by Brian Irvine and vocal performance by Kirsty Logan.

MR HOLDCROFT / Jessica Innes

An unexpected gift connects a lonely old man to the world outside his front door. Jessica Innes is an early-career puppeteer, performer and multidisciplinary artist, with an emphasis on work that is socially and visually engaging.

HERE. WE’RE NOT. / Samuel Watterworth

This installation challenges viewers’ perceptions of self, presence, and connection by pulling them into the work with interactive visuals and found audio from radio frequencies around the world. Samuel Watterworth is a Canadian visual artist based in Scotland, who focuses on generative design and real time systems, with an interest in how people interact with space, and with each other.


How many tickets can I book?

You are welcome to attend in groups of up to three, however we ask that you book tickets individually with each email address, to allow us to send you each the links for the sound files. This also allows us to manage the numbers of audience in attendance. Please do not attend with multiple people listening to files using the same ticket/on the same device, as this may lead to queues and crowding of the artworks.

Can I touch the artworks?

All of the artworks will be behind glass windows and you should not touch or press on the glass. You must maintain 2m social distancing when viewing the artworks.

Should I wear a mask?

We ask all attendees to bring a mask with them and to consider wearing it whilst viewing the artworks if there are other attendees are in the vicinity. As you will be standing in a public space outdoors in the street and maintaining 2m social distancing it is not a requirement to do so, however we ask you to use your judgement and consideration for others throughout. In any spaces where it becomes harder to maintain distancing or proximity is close, please wear your mask.

What happens if I/someone in my household develops symptoms of COVID-19?

Do not attend Restless Worlds. You should follow NHS and Government advice to get tested and self-isolate: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested/pages/covid-symptoms/

What happens if I receive a text message from NHS Test and Trace?

Do not attend Restless Worlds. You should follow NHS and Government advice to get tested and self-isolate: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested/pages/covid-symptoms/

What happens if develop COVID-19 symptoms after attending Restless Worlds?

If you develop COVID-19 symptoms you should follow NHS and Government advice to get tested and self-isolate. Please work with the NHS Test and Trace team to advise Puppet Animation Scotland as soon as possible on [email protected] so that we can communicate with people who viewed the artwork on the same date as you.

Can I attend Restless Worlds after the event date on my ticket?

You can attend Restless Worlds at any time during the date on which you have booked. You are responsible for maintaining social distancing during the project and ensuring that you do not contribute to crowding. If the particular artwork you wish to view is very busy at a particular time, please consider viewing them in a different order or returning later in the day.

If you have been unable to view a particular artwork because it was too busy, or have been unable to attend the event for another reason due to the coronavirus pandemic, please contact Puppet Animation Scotland on [email protected] and, availability permitting, we will allocate you to another date.

What’s the refund policy?

No refunds are available on tickets for Restless Worlds. However, if you are no longer able to attend on the date booked, a transfer to an alternative date may be possible – please email [email protected] Alternatively you may wish to transfer your ticket to a family member or friend; if so please contact us from the email address you used to book in order to request this.

What if I am shielding?

Please refer to government guidance in your local area on the date of your proposed attendance of the event to get advice about shielding.

Image credit (c) Robin Mitchell

This event is produced in partnership with: