Lambert Puppet Theatre set to close after more than 40 years

Eugene Lambert founded the puppet theatre in 1972. Photo: Julien Behal/PA Wire
Áine Quinn

The Lambert Puppet Theatre, home to iconic children's characters like Bosco, Judge and Mr Crow, is set to close its doors after more than 40 years.

The theatre and museum in Monkstown, South Dublin, was founded in 1972, by puppeteer Eugene Lambert. It is Ireland's only purpose built theatre and it includes a live performance space and a workshop.

Eugene's son Liam, the theatre's director, said the decision to close the theatre had been taken as a result of financial pressure in recent years.

RTÉ has reported that the ageing building has become increasingly expensive to run and the company has not recovered from the recession.

"When the crash happened we were hit straight away. Our demographic - people with young children - were the first hit. 60% of our turnover was from school tours and in the first year of the downturn that was cut in half," said Mr Lambert.

The building was also seriously damaged in 2015 when 300 puppets were destroyed in a blaze. The building had to be extensively rebuilt and although it reopened, Mr Lambert said that it had been an "enormous blow."

“You keep on going but you do realise there is a point that you have to stop,” he added.

“It is extremely hard to be closing the theatre with all of its memories. I am sure it is going to affect an awful lot of people”.

Although the Lambert Puppet Theatre will be sold, Mr Lambert hopes that the business can continue as a touring company.

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