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Andy Evans

Andy Evans is a retired teacher who spent over thirty years in classrooms working with pupils that aged from Year 2 in primary to post-graduate students studying for an MA in Theatre. He is currently a full-time PhD candidate at the University of Lincoln and Artistic Director of Breakwater Theatre Company and Kazbah Theatre. He is also a professional playwright that has worked with Hull Truck Theatre, Slung Low, Middle Child Dirty Protest and National Theatre Wales. His most successful play to date is Moonlight Marionettes published in the USA, which has been produced many times internationally.

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His interest in puppetry began at an early age when his younger sister was given an Emu puppet which he enjoyed manipulating and bringing to life long after she lost interest in it.

Working on a production of The Hobbit, which Andy wrote and directed (with permission from the Tolkien Estate), Andy sought to employ puppets to portray the giants and Smaug the dragon. This was facilitated by Natasha Holmes of Tell-Tale Hearts Theatre who became a friend and advisor in puppetry. In February 2023, Andy obtained a grant from Grimsby Creates to establish a new professional theatre company making theatre for children and family audiences.

He set up Kazbah Theatre and sought opportunities to make work that would be capable of employing young, early career performers locally. Having brought a team together, Andy was commissioned to create a live puppet show for Grimsby’s Festival of the Sea 2023 and created Cap’n Fishcake and His Fabulous Fish Fingers, a show that dealt with ocean pollution and sought solutions to help children avoid developing “climate anxiety”. The show used four puppets which Andy designed and built and proved incredibly popular with family audiences. They were Salty the Sea Dog and The Omega 3 (otherwise known as Fry, Grill and Bake) – a group of singing fish finger puppets who sang a song about plastic pollution.

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The show proved popular, and the company has been invited to appear in a music video which it is hoped will be shot late 2023. Andy and Kazbah Theatre are currently developing a new show which is intended to be accessible to audiences who may be hard of hearing or not speakers of English as a first language. The show will feature a cast of circus-performing bunraku style puppets. This show has officially been commissioned by Lincs Inspire and will premiere in May 2024 in Cleethorpes before touring elsewhere.

Andy has applied to work on a local initiative as a creative practitioner in local schools teaching puppetry and puppet making to children and hopes to be able to go into schools to enhance a love of literacy designed around the National Curriculum for Key Stage 1 & 2. Andy continues to enjoy making theatre and is developing his own skill as a puppeteer and puppet builder and looks forward to performing for many years to come yet. His membership of the Guild is just the starting point.

Andy can be found on Facebook Twitter & Instagram. 

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