A giant model of a snail, in front a lot of people. The body is bright pink while the shell is covered in multicoloured strips of fabric , arranged in the order of the pride colours.

The Snail

An out-and-proud celebration of queer identity & exploration of home.

The Snail is a gigantic, hot-pink snail puppet that speaks to the current LGBTQ+ homelessness crisis through an out-and-proud celebration of queer identity and exploration of home. With 1 in 4 of the UK’s homeless population identifying as LGBTQ+ and numbers set to rise in the face of the cost of living crisis, now is a crucial moment to shed light on this complicated and often overlooked issue. Developed as a big puppet travelling parade performance and 30-minute-long static show, The Snail provides a flexible, dynamic range of performance options for outdoor arts festivals and public events.

The slow-moving Snail sways high above audience’s heads, standing at 12M long, 6M tall – larger than a double decker bus!

Bright and bold, the Snail’s rippling inflatable head, googly eyes and springy tentacles are brought to life by a team of highly skilled performers. Gently moving through space, it will be accompanied by a specially-composed soundtrack or optional local live ensemble band. On its back the Snail carries a giant snail shell, a visually arresting spiral of kaleidoscopic colour that uses an integrated bubble machine to create a floating snail-trail of glistening bubbles wherever it goes.

Artistic director Ivan Thorley, Theatre Director and Engagement Producer Vicky Moran, Writer Andrew McCaldon, Olivier award-winning puppet designers and makers Nick Barnes Puppets & Artistic Associate Designer Caroline Bowman, will collaborate on creating the light-weight biomorphic shell structure, using bamboo as its main building material. At night, innovative creative lighting technology will enable the puppet head and shell to illuminate in darkness.

Past Performances

We presented the Snail as part of Brighton Pride 2019 as a work-in-progress and hit the national headlines including making an appearance on BBC News.

What’s Next for The Snail?

The Snail is in development for 2023 and we are looking to open up conversations with presentation partners, programmers and producers.

If you are interested in booking Snail for your project or event, we’d love to hear from you! Get in touch.

  • “Thousands of people lined the streets of Brighton during the Pride parade”

Cast and Creatives

Artistic Director: Ivan Thorley
Theatre Director and Engagement Producer: Vicky Moran
Designer: Nick Barnes Puppets
Associate Designer: Caroline Bowman
Writer: Andrew McCaldon

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