Artist Caoimhe Dunn puts her street theatre know how to use, creating puppets for the latest production from the Ark, ‘The Race.’

Starting with a development week in September 2022, Caoimhe has been working with the cast and crew of ‘The Race,’ under the guidance of director/choreographer Marc Brew, to create unique puppets for a show inspired by Aesop’s Fables.

‘The Race’ premiers this May as part of the Dublin Dance festival.

‘I wanted to create a different style of puppet for each character, so for example, the lion puppet is probably closest to the work I usually do – inspired by giant lantern making. His head is made using willow and paper and can be illuminated internally on stage. Whereas the hare is something new to me, created using a large wheel as its center point to create that sense of speed and movement. I loved the challenge of creating new puppetry structures suited to their performers, and to the nature of the characters.’

Caoimhe has worked over the last month with the cast, honing the puppets to their own unique performance styles, working with the creatives through the rehearsal period, helping create their own characters and introducing puppetry techniques to the performers.

The Race will make its World Premiere as part of Dublin Dance Festival 2023. Presented by a cast of disabled and non-disabled dance artists, all performances will have integrated ISL and are also accessible without captions thanks to the show’s highly visual style. Audio description and touch tours will be available for every show but will require advance booking. Every performance is relaxed in nature, offering an inclusive audience experience that is welcoming to children who are neurodiverse.

The show promises to be a remarkable piece of art, taking into account dance, movement, music, shadow play, and larger than life performances and puppetry. A visual feast and a fun day out for the audience.


Marc Brew – Director and Choreographer | Rob Heaslip – Performer and Rehearsal Director | Caoimhe Coburn Gray – Performer | Florent Devlesaver – Performer  Helen Hall – Performer | Kelly Phelan – Producer | Alyson Cummins – Set and Costume Designer | Suzie Cummins – Lighting Designer | Tom Lane – Composer and Sound Designer | Caoimhe Dunn – Puppet Designer | Kilian Waters – AV Designer | Clive Welsh – Stage Manager | Sara Gannon – Assistant Stage Manager and Artist Liaison