THE annual puppet festival at the Boo in Waterfoot this weekend will showcase the new-look venue which re-opens after a four-month refit.

Home to the world-renowned Horse and Bamboo theatre company, the Boo has undergone a £250,000 transformation which includes the addition of a second studio space to complement the existing main theatre and also new kitchen facilities.

“The redevelopment means that the Boo is now a multi-purpose community resource,” said Horse and Bamboo’s joint artistic director Bob Frith.

“With the addition of the kitchen facilities, groups can now hire one of the two rooms for events or for meetings and puts the Boo firmly within its community.”

The cost of the redevelopment work was funded in the main through grants from the Arts Council and also Lancashire County Council and other grants and donations.

“Funding is always difficult to get hold of,” said Bob, “but we were able to demonstrate that by adding the extra facilities, the Boo should be able to generate more revenue and host even more events.”

An ongoing project with residents in Haslingden will see a series of Bollywood cinema nights being held at the venue – a new cinema screen is part of the redevelopments and a film programme is being looked at.

The Boo acts as the hub for Horse and Bamboo for their touring productions which are in great demand in this country, in Europe and further afield.

Live shows include Mice On Skates, a reworking of the classic Ugly Duckling and a tribute to Buster Keaton. There will be live music from Fireman’s Blame.

The festival runs from 11am to 8pm tomorrow and 11am to 5pm on Sunday. Many activities free, ticketed shows are £7. Visit for more.