Arts, culture and humanitarian organisations across London are coming together to welcome Little Amal when she visits the capital from October 22-25 as part of The Walk, a travelling festival of hope created by Good Chance Theatre and Handspring Puppet Company.

The 3.5m tall puppet of a nine-year-old Syrian refugee girl is travelling to Manchester from the Syrian border in search of her mother, shining a light on the stories of the millions of displaced refugee children she represents.

Events announced include:

  • A journey through the City and along the South Bank with free events at St Paul’s Cathedral, Shakespeare’s Globe, the National Theatre, Somerset House and the Southbank Centre
  • An evening vigil at the Royal Opera House, where Little Amal will sleep for the night
  • Little Amal’s 10th birthday party at the V&A involving children from across London with a birthday cake by Yotam Ottolenghi
  • A birthday celebration concert at Roundhouse
  • Hundreds of nine-year old children will welcome Little Amal to Lewisham, the UK’s first Borough of Sanctuary and The Mayor’s London Borough of Culture 2022.

The Walk is a 4-month long 8,000 km journey made by Little Amal across Europe in search of her mother. It began near the Turkey/Syria border on July 27. Having travelled through Greece, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium and France, she will arrive in the UK on October 19. Each village, town and city she visits along the way welcomes Little Amal with major new arts commissions, city-wide community performances as well as intimate events involving people of all ages.

While in the UK Little Amal will also visit Folkestone, Dover, Canterbury, Oxford, Coventry, Birmingham, Sheffield and Barnsley. The Walk culminates in Manchester on November 3 with a finale event produced by Manchester International Festival.

It takes three puppeteers to operate Little Amal – a stilt walker who also animates her face and a puppeteer on each of her arms.  The team of ten puppeteers includes two from refugee backgrounds who have themselves travelled the route. The puppet is crafted from moulded cane and carbon fibre.

The Walk is produced by Stephen Daldry, David Lan, Tracey Seaward and Naomi Webb for Good Chance Theatre (the producers of The Jungle),  in association with the Handspring Puppet Company, the creators of the War Horse puppets.  The artistic director is Amir Nizar Zuabi.  It brings together celebrated artists, major cultural institutions, community groups and humanitarian organisations as well as mayors, municipalities, civic and humanitarian organisations, faith leaders and schools.