Lambert Puppet Theatre to close for good after 46 years

Home of children’s TV programmes Bosco and Wanderly Wagon in Monkstown to be sold

 

Lambert Puppet Theatre, home for children’s TV programmes such as Bosco and Wanderly Wagon, is to close for good after more than 46 years.

The theatre’s director, Liam Lambert, said the decision to sell the building was taken as a result of increasing financial pressures after an arson attack and the recession.

The building was badly damaged by a fire in 2015 when 300 puppets were destroyed. The theatre re-opened, but Mr Lambert said it had been “an enormous blow.

“You keep on going but you do realise there is a point that you have to stop,” Mr Lambert told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.

“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”.

The theatre was founded in Monkstown, Co Dublin, by Liam’s father, Eugene Lambert, and officially opened by Gay Byrne in 1972.

The building included a live performance space and workshop.

“There is an old saying in the theatre business - first in to recession and last out,” he said.

“When the crash happened we were hit straight away. Our demographic - people with young children - were the first hit. Sixty per cent of our turnover was from school tours and in the first year of the downturn that was cut in half.”

He said the business had not recovered from the recession and that the ageing building is too expensive to maintain.

The Lambert Puppet Theatre will be sold but it is hoped that the business can continue as a touring company.