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Hopeful Monsters

by Hopeful Monster

theatre, physical-theatre-and-circus

From simple organisms to complex beasts! A story of evolution told entirely with hands.

about the production

Hopeful Monsters is a highly visual piece of tabletop theatre inspired by evolutionary theory. The show is a playful illustration of the notion that all living things are made up of the same fundamental building blocks. Using innovative hand puppetry to create unexpected creatures that move and morph in unusual ways, it takes a single element and reveals how much it can do and become. With no central character, the narrative flows between water, land and air on a strange and mesmerising journey through nature. The action is set to an emotive and humorous soundtrack.

about the artist

Hopeful Monster is an ensemble of three women working collaboratively to create playful visual theatre inspired by the natural world and informed by science. In evolutionary theory, a ‘hopeful monster’ is what you get when a sudden genetic mutation produces a radically new organism. Like its namesake, the company aims to create work that is weird and wonderful, playing with the possibilities of puppetry and delighting in the unusual visual creations that emerge. The company formed in 2017 after training at the Curious School of Puppetry and is now based across the UK (Glasgow, London and North Devon).

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stage dimensions

width: 6 metres

height: 3 metres

depth: 4 metres

Requires a black-box, blackout, fully equipped theatre space.
We rely on venues providing lighting equipment - please refer to the Technical Requirements document to see the list of fixtures we need.

We need min 6 hours get-in time (8 if possible), 1 hour get-out.

Families with children 5+ (younger siblings welcome).

"Hopeful Monsters is a completely gorgeous, highly skilled work, and joy to watch."

Young Perspective

"I've never seen anything like this before! It was incredible."

Audience member

"Your work echoed the simple joy of discovery, the elegance of taking simple components (the hands) and taking us on a fabulous transforming adventure. I love the moments where your brain bounces between recognising that you're watching a wiggling finger but simultaneously being completely absorbed in the survival struggles of an independent little creature. I loved the delight in transformation that happens repeatedly throughout the show. Perhaps above all else, I loved the show's playfulness. There is such joy to be had in becoming absorbed in play."

Philip Millar, Creature Technology Co.

The show is nonverbal - accessible to those with language barriers or Deaf/HoH audiences.

We have props to facilitate a post-show 'Stay & Play' session where audiences get to create their own hand-creatures.
No extra cost.

The fees are inclusive of travel expenses.
£1650 for 1 performance.
£2350 for 2 or 3 performances.