Molly Freeman (Co-Artistic Director)
Molly trained alongside the other Apples at Rose Bruford on the European Theatre Arts Course. She wholeheartedly blames her time studying abroad with them, in Prague (now her favourite place in the whole world), for introducing her to the three loves of her life, Puppetry, Czech Beer and travelling. With a keen interest in movement, Molly is fascinated with the anatomy of the body, both in performer and puppet, and this combined with a cracking story is the type of theatre she both likes to see and make. She also freelances as a puppet director/consultant, higher education facilitator and as a creative project manager.
Matt Lloyd (Co-Artistic Director)
Like all of the apples, Matt also trained at Rose Bruford and co-founded Smoking Apples in 2010. Matt comes from a background in comedy, performing arts and dance (yep that’s right dancing) at Homewood school. He enjoys working with puppets and particularly the relationship between the puppet and audience, engaging the audience’s focus into wholeheartedly believing in essentially… an inanimate object, (regardless of whether the puppet is 4 inches tall or 16 foot). Alongside Smoking Apples, Matt works as a freelance Puppet Maker, set builder and general DIY making.
Hattie Thomas (Co-Artistic Director)
Hattie is a musician and performer who studied puppetry and alternative theatre in Prague as part of her degree at Rose Bruford College. Having loved puppetry and art from a young age Hattie enjoys both making and operating puppets with Smoking Apples, she appreciates the challenge of bringing inanimate objects to life in a way that is engaging and relatable for audiences. Alongside devising and directing theatre, Hattie makes puppets and props for other companies, as well as designing print and marketing images, clients include Cornerstone, Didcot and Oxford Playhouse, Oxford, Nabakov, London. Hattie also teaches drama and puppetry to various ages and abilities, including neurodivergent young people, and people living with dementia.