Little Amal finally makes it to Manchester


A stop in Italy for Little Amal
A stop in Bari, Italy for Little Amal. Pic: Teatro Pubblico Pugliese

The epic 8000km journey of puppet Little Amal, which was to have come to an end during the Manchester International Festival in the summer but was another victim of coronavirus, will now end early in November.

The almost 12ft high puppet depiction of a nine-year-old refugee girl started its walk in late July at the Turkish-Syrian border, and will now conclude its journey at Castlefield Bowl on November 3 (from 7pm), after stops in Rochdale and Wigan.

Manchester International Festival will stage the final event of The Walk – a free, large-scale outdoor gathering called When the Birds Land, with live music and song, puppetry and dance.

Little Amal has travelled from the Syrian border across 65 villages and towns in Turkey, Greece, Italy, France, Switzerland, Germany and Belgium “in search of her mother”. Her journey represents those taken by the millions of people, especially children, violently displaced by war or persecution.

MIF is running an education programme for 4,000 school pupils throughout October on the subject, as well as music and dance sessions in 10 primary schools.

On October 31 and November 2, Little Amal will go to Wigan and Rochdale to visit communities there, ahead of the walk’s finale.

Manchester International Festival artistic director John McGrath said: “At MIF we have a proud history of creating participatory events that bring the city together. The power of projects like these to start important conversations, create connections and bring communities together is more important than ever.”

Tickets for The Walk: When the Birds Land are free but must be booked in advance here from today. The event will last about an hour.