Committed to innovation and experiment, Handspan Theatre emerged from humble beginnings in the late 1970s and hit the '80s running with a momentum that carried it through two decades of prolific output, until it ran out of breath early in the new century.

Handspan Theatre's roots were in puppetry, the art of animating the inanimate, where it learnt to communicate ideas in ways more visual than verbal. Integrating a puppetry sensibility with other theatre forms, the company mapped new territory in stagecraft, mixing the inanimate and the animate to develop a hybrid style that tapped the strengths of both.

From an original ensemble of six, members and associates increased to several hundred artists and theatre workers, who produced, performed and toured some 75 original works seen by more than 750,000 audience members on 5 continents.

A touring company, Handspan Theatre devised work for a wide range of audiences and locations, from kindergarten to cabaret, main stage to street and just once, a swimming pool.

This site documents Handspan Theatre's 25-year lifespan. Scholars, theatre enthusiasts and interested bystanders will find here an abundance of information about the company, its productions and the people who made them.


  1. Carmelina Di Guglielmo as the Fanlady in Secrets. Photograph (detail) © Stephen Hall, 1983 .
  2. Suitcase branded and photographed by Ken Evans.