• 2010

    We created our first original production Whispers from a Wandering Tent for Rose Bruford Symposium week, which we toured throughout the Summer at outdoor events and venues. Shortly after this, we began to work together on a 20 minute performance called Seemingly Invisible for Molly’s final year degree show. The piece, which features our puppet ‘Harry’ as a magical force bringing unlikely characters together, went to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival the same August. It had such positive responses we decided to develop it into a full length piece of fringe performance after graduating.

  • 2011

    2011 saw us head back to the Motherland (Prague), performing Seemingly Invisible at the Prague Fringe Festival, IYAF and the Blue Elephant Theatre. We did our final performance of this show, with Aimee Holmes, in Wiltshire before deciding to part ways creatively. Don’t worry though, she’s still one of our bestest pals and will always be an apple at heart.

    We began working with the International Youth Arts Festival (IYAF) as puppetry directors for From Amazon, which was performed for HRH The Earl of Wessex, Prince Edward. We were then invited to join the Creative Youth Creative Talent program, which gives young companies an opportunity to perform and develop their work. Late in 2011, Community Brain invited us and fellow Creative Talent company Dumbshow to create a Heritage Lottery funded, site-specific show, Seething Wells and The Death of King Cholera.

    We also started to work behind the camera, puppeteering in TV Adverts for Weetabix and Most excitingly in November 2011 we worked on and puppeteered on Eider Falls at Lake Tahoe – a beautiful music video for Kate Bush using shadow puppetry.

  • 2012

    During 2012 we took part in Animate Festival, an outdoor festival, in association with IYAF and also puppeteered for the Queen on Blackfriars Bridge at the Jubilee parade. It rained and we got soaked but hey ho, Rule Britannia and all that!

    We started working on The Wordcatcher scratching the show at The Lyric Hammersmith and Battersea Arts Centre before performing the full show at IYAF and The Blue Elephant. Following the 2012 Olympics, we lead the medal winners across London with giant Lion puppets in Our Greatest Team Parade (which was awesome).

    Later in the year, we made A Christmas Carol in collaboration with Samuel Wyer and Petersham Road, a promenade and immersive show that sold out for December. It was Christmassy, there was mulled wine, we went to work in a beautiful house every day – happy days.

    Towards the end of 2012, we met with Little Cauliflower and submitted our very first Arts Council application to start a research and development project… CELL.

  • 2013

    From incurable diseases and new collaborations, to mythical creatures and fairy tales, 2013 was a year of real change for us. We received our first round of funding from Arts Council England for CELL, a new collaboration with Little Cauliflower exploring the story of one man and his fight with Motor Neurone Disease.

    In June, we worked with the BFI on a residency for Year 9 Lambeth students, helping them to design, make and operate puppets for a multimedia, collaborative performance of Hansel and Gretel. This was followed by our first project with Global Arts Kingston and the local Tamil School bringing their Traditional Tales to life for a performance at Kingston Connections 2013.

    August transported us to Wilderness Festival, to live in the woods all Summer, for a huge promenade production of Jabberwocky, in collaboration with Petersham Road, Secret Productions and designer Sam Wyer.

    Suspense Festival was the highlight of our Autumn season, we performed The Wordcatcher in this highly acclaimed, biennial, London Puppetry Festival. To finish off the year, we rejoined Petersham Road for Fezziwig’s Christmas Cracker at the Charles Dickens Museum for which we created a 20 minute rolling piece about Scrooge’s murky past, using storytelling and shadow puppetry.

  • 2014

    2014 went out with a bang and some very tired but content Apples! Our year started with the premiere of CELL at the Little Angel Theatre where we played to sold out audiences at their FIRSTS Festival. We then took the show to Greenwich Theatre and Incoming Festival and CELL was nominated for a Peter Brook Award 2014.

    In August we skipped off to some festivals, taking a giant UV grasshopper to the Merry Prankster’s Ball at Wilderness and our 10 foot goddess Xalia to Shambala.

    Our education and outreach work reached a peak with puppetry workshops at an all time high and we started teaching a puppetry module at Buckinghamshire New University.

    Autumn brought the birth of our new show, In Our Hands. Luke and George joined the team and after a 3 month R&D, we won Best Work In Progress at Mimetic Festival. To close the year we returned to the Charles Dickens Museum where we performed an original family Christmas show throughout December and got fat on mince pies. (Note to selves: MUST NOT EAT SHOW PROPS)

  • 2015

    2015 shaped up to be an absolute corker! We chucked ourselves in at the deep end, kicking things off with a Spring UK tour of CELL which was co-produced by house. We then took Ted on another adventure in August to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe where he played for the whole month, received a string of five star reviews, award nominations and sold out audiences. Chuffed doesn’t even cover it.

    Over in camp Alf, we were hugely privileged to have Arts Council England support our premiere stage of development for In Our Hands, allowing us to finish the show and undertake a series of regional showcases in London (sold out), Folkestone, Plymouth and Falmouth. It was a relief that at least half of these locations were by the sea so our rehearsal diet of pasties and fish and chips (sustainably caught of course) may continue. And also to get city audience and coastal audience perspectives on the show…

    We were also back at Buckinghamshire New University in the Spring, teaching the second year module on puppetry and started running Spectrum Youth Theatre at the Little Angel Theatre in the Autumn. SYT is a puppetry youth theatre specifically for autistic young people.

  • 2016

    We began the year by completing the SYT project with a puppetry piece inspired by Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein in March. Alongside this, Matt was designing and making the set and puppet for Intrepid Ensemble’s Jellyfish.

    In the middle of March we started our second tour of CELL funded again by Arts Council England, it was great to get Ted out on the road again, especially for our visit to Germany for Recklinghausen Fringe Festival. We were also delighted to be accepted onto the Oxford Playhouse’s Evolve Programme, providing a year of support and mentoring, and as we decided to start an entirely new show, it was a brilliant time to have them on board. Funded by Arts Council England, we began working on Flux, with our first female lead character and a predominantly female cast.

    In the summer our lovely fisherman Alf had some work to do, we took In Our Hands to the Edinburgh Fringe and got a string of 4 and 5 star reviews, Matt was even interviewed for a feature in the Scottish Times. After a short break we toured the show to 18 venues across England, with 5 post show talks, 3 workshops and 20 shows in total. To round off the year we took our two big outdoor puppets, Xalia and Atom, to help with the Christmas Lights switch on in Oxford, it was a really great end to a busy year, working with some of our lovely associate artists and a handful of volunteers.

  • 2017

    Another busy year, we started with our second tour of In Our Hands, including performing at DRAK Theatre in the Czech Republic, it was great to return here with our biggest show to date. In between tour dates, we continued to develop our new show, Flux, with support from Shoreditch Town Hall. We spent a week with the full creative team, lights, sound, dramaturgy and puppetry, trying out ideas and clarifying the content of the show.

    Our next project was ready to start as well, working with the Little Angel Theatre on their 4×4 project we began developing a new schools production, based on a play from the GCSE syllabus, using mainly shadow puppetry and an immersive set… all will be revealed in due course!

    2017 took us, and Ted, on some much further afield adventures when we performed CELL in Malaysia at George Town Festival in August, and Hong Kong at Ngau Chi Wan Civic Centre in November. This was a brilliant opportunity to take our non-verbal work to international audiences, and the show went down really well.

    In the middle of this, we were commissioned by Derby Feste to build a giant, 16ft tree man puppet called Arbor, who wowed audiences at the festival. Then to round off the year, we redeveloped A Christmas Carol for Salisbury Arts Centre, and had a lot of festive fun performing this show again.

  • 2018

    Kate, a female human sized puppet with red 80s glasses and a tight perm, sits behind a dark brown wooden desk in a badly lit office space. In the background there are some computers and equipment on other desks. Kate is looking directly at the camera.

    March saw the centenary of women’s suffrage, so in keeping with our new female centred show Flux, we held an open puppetry workshop exploring manipulation of the female body. This lead us directly into the second phase of R&D for this show, culminating in work in progress sharings in London at Shoreditch Town Hall, and Oxford at OffBeat Festival.

    Alf and Ben then made an appearance at the 10th International Youth Arts Festival, where we performed In Our Hands to a lovely home crowd.

    Aside from shows we were also busy delivering workshops, and collaborated with Tunbridge Wells Puppetry Festival to work with people living with Dementia. Together we produced a beautiful shadow puppetry film which was screened in the Autumn, and again in 2019. This lead onto working with Gunnersbury Park Museum to deliver their ReCollection project, delivering dementia friendly activities for another lovely group, and of course, we were delighted to return to the Little Angel to deliver Spectrum Youth Theatre 2018-19.

    We had a few commissions from other companies, highlights included performing and filming shadow puppetry for the Marysas Trio, building a giant outdoor puppet for Stories by Zenaida in Dubai, and creating and directing puppetry for Cornerstone Theatre’s Christmas Production of The Pied Piper.

    In November we finished developing Flux, with a complete light up set, finished and permed puppet, and original eighties style score we premiered in London, Swansea and Oxford.

  • 2019

    Alongside our outreach work continuing into the early part of the year, we began straight away with designing a new show for the Little Angel Theatre, Out of this World.

    We had a great time collaborating with Kinetika Arts International, working with the Witham community to build a giant puppet for their carnival, delivering puppetry workshops and parading at different events in their extraordinary giant puppets.

    We took Kate out on her first UK tour of Flux, we performed all over the country, and developed education workshops with the Institute of Physics to help encourage teenage girls into STEM careers.

    In the Summer we were commissioned by Applause Rural Touring to produce a family show about Arbor (the giant tree puppet), called Arbor the Tree, which we have toured around the UK, going to lots of festivals in Kent and Derby.

    We have delivered more workshops at Gunnersbury Museum, this time for primary school children doing their Arts Award Explore, and will be back there in 2020. Christmas saw us revisit an old favourite and stage a new version of A Christmas Carol at the Bridge House Theatre in Warwick, where we kept busy baking gingerbread between shows.

  • 2020

    Along with millions of other creatives, we watched a whole year of work slide away, not knowing if it would return. We had to pivot but we were hugely fortunate enough to secure support from Arts Council England, to deliver a condensed remote R&D of a new show Kinder. Inspired by real life events of the Kindertransport, we explored the story of British man, Nicholas Winton who helped Czech-Jewish children flee Prague before the outbreak of the Second World War. 

    In July 2020, we engaged our freelance Producer, Sofia Stephanou. This is the first time we have worked with a producer and it felt like a big step forward, in terms of streamlining our working processes as a company. 

    Summer 2020 saw us sneak in a small handful of Arbor shows, performing with the brilliant Little Angel Theatre and Marlowe Theatre. It was a true joy to get back to what we do best and share this with our wonderful audiences. 

    Spectrum Youth Theatre sessions moved online and we were joined by many more young people, from much further afield than London.

  • 2021

    After the quiet of 2020, we bubbled up and headed into in-person rehearsals for phase 2 of the Kinder R&D. Our host venues, Little Angel Theatre and EM Forster Theatre, Tonbridge kept us safe and sound as we explored a self-sufficient set and the use of OHP shadow puppetry. 

    The pandemic scuppered our plans to tour Flux live, so we created Flux Digital, to ensure that the work could still reach our audiences. We partnered with the brilliant TEA Films to create a fabulous resource, which digitally toured and is now hosted on Dramox, a digital theatre streaming platform in Europe. 

    Applause Touring also commissioned us to make another outdoor show. Buzz, a story about Billy being shrunk down to Bee-size was great fun to make and with a bright, bold and colourful set, we toured this, alongside Arbor, to events up and down the UK across the Summer. 

    SYT continued online and we also worked with Elevator Arts on a project with young people in Essex, to create a promenade performance, with large scale puppetry.

    A huge highlight of 2021 was working with the Story Museum, Oxford, to puppeteer their giant Alice and meet Little Amal. Part of a project called The Walk, Little Amal, a 3.5 metre puppet of a Syrian Refugee Girl, walked all the way from Syria to the UK and met a number of other puppets and performers along the way.

  • 2022

    The first part of this year was spent finishing and premiering Kinder. We opened at the Little Angel Theatre in May, having undertaken invaluable previews at EM Forster Theatre, Tonbridge and then went on to perform a small cluster of shows at The National Holocaust Museum, The Horton, Epsom and Harwich Festival. We were overwhelmed with the positive responses to the show, including a five star review and a very special visit from Nick Winton Jnr, Sir Nicholas Winton’s son. 

    The Summer months saw us bring Arbor and Buzz to more audiences than ever before. Three new cast members joined the teams and we visited some brilliant new places including the National Trust sites at Box Hill and Hindhead Commons. 

    In July, we visited Palestine, and worked with young people from the UK, Ireland and Palestine, as part of a British Council funded arts project. Hosted by Ashtar International Youth Arts Festival, we worked on the creation of a large scale puppet, bringing together folk stories from each country. 

    We also delivered SYT Summer School, in partnership with Little Angel Theatre and Whittington Health Speech and Language Therapy. Working together for a week, we had a fabulous group of young people; designing and creating puppets and backdrops for a film called The Twisted Jungle, which was screened to friends and family.

    2022 ended with us re-visiting a firm favourite in the SA camp, A Christmas Carol. Hosted by the Cornerstone, Didcot, this version saw the inclusion of a brilliant young company cast and we worked with them across the Autumn, to ready them for the run in December.

  • 2023

    2023 started off with a bang and us winning two Offie awards for Kinder. Nominated for three awards under the Theatre for Young Audiences category, we were delighted to pick up the awards for Best Sound/Music and for Best Production. 

    The Spring saw us working on the R&D of a new show, Three, inspired by Grandparent-Grandchildren relationships. This also involved the use of mask, alongside puppetry, for the first time and we were delighted to work with the brilliant Rachael Savage, artistic director of Vamos Theatre, to support. Hosted by The Marlowe, Canterbury and The Garage, Norwich, we had a fabulous few weeks and are looking forward to finishing and premiering the show in 2025. 

    We had a very busy summer of outdoor shows with both Buzz and Arbor on tour, and welcomed some brilliant new cast members to help make that happen. In August we also ran our second Spectrum Youth Theatre residency at the Little Angel Theatre in London, producing a short film with the young people. At the end of the month we began our Autumn tour of Kinder, starting at the very same Little Angel, performing across the country, and finishing at The Garage in Norwich. We did a total of 60 shows, at 14 venues, across 4 months, and were delighted to earn several 5 star reviews along the way.

    Whilst Hattie, David and Tea were touring with Kinder, Molly and Matt ran another week long Spectrum Youth Theatre residency at Cornerstone Arts in Didcot during October half term, creating another brilliant film. Finally, we ended the year by getting started on a new show, We Are More Alike Than You Think We Are, part of the New Popular Commission by Farnham Maltings.