Lizzie's company, Cresshead Puppet Productions, is based in South East London. Like most puppeteers, she has loved puppetry from childhood, and used everyday things to create characters and mimicking voices to entertain herself. Lizzie fell in love with Sesame Street, The Muppets, Labyrinth, but was fascinated with storytelling and how it can affect an audience. When she started puppeteering in a local preschool she found her dinosaur character kept the children’s attention, helping improve the focus and learning of children who struggled to concentrate.
It wasn’t until a few years ago that Lizzie decided this was the career path she wanted to pursue. She had her doubts as to whether she would be able to do it though.
Then Lizzie unfortunately lost the use of her right arm, so she didn’t think she would be able to perform professionally. Determined not to let it stop her, she was recommended to join Mike Quinn’s 'Secrets of Puppetry' online course. She thought ‘why not?’: if nothing else she could improve the limited skills she had and learn from a professional puppeteer.
Lizzie thought, ‘I only have one arm and a career in puppetry is going to be difficult: prepare for disappointment and the reality that my arm will be a problem.’ This online course was so inspiring that it pushed her to practice and relearn how to puppeteer with her non-dominant hand. She learnt that if she wore a sling she could puppeteer as close to normal as possible. Lockdown in 2020 was what really pushed her creativity to the next level. Because the world had been turned upside down, Lizzie wanted to give people something to watch and smile at, as that’s all anyone could do at that time.
She built a little studio and filmed her first short film called Creating Dreams. Lizzie had no idea how to edit or film with greenscreen, but she had a lot of fun and learnt so much. She then had an amazing opportunity. Broken Puppet Theatre Company commissioned her to produce a short film called The Cursed Arms about her own story; how her injury happened and how she had overcome obstacles. She had so much fun figuring out how she could get a puppet to high board dive and swim. Hopefully it can inspire others not to give up on their own dreams.
Along with making videos, Lizzie makes her own puppets. The first was Bunny who features in Creating Dreams. She later made Oleg the Troll for a short film in the Bristol 48hr puppetry challenge called A Forever Changing Life. Her latest puppet, Fuzzles, features in her Ehlers Danlos Syndrome awareness month daily fact videos on Instagram and TikTok. She hopes to continue to share the art, stories and magic of puppetry to kids and big kids of the world and can’t thank the puppetry community enough for being such a welcoming, encouraging and inspiring family! Facebook