Husam Abed

Husam Abed

PhD Researcher

Husam Abed is a Palestinian Jordanian theatre director, puppeteer, facilitator, producer and musician, specialising in alternative and puppet theatre. He is currently undertaking a Ph.D. at Bath Spa University in the UK, researching refugee visibility through puppetry and object theatre. He holds a Master of directing for alternative and puppet theatre from the Academy of Performing Arts (DAMU), Czechia. Husam has published in Applied Theatre Research. He is a co-founder of a multi-awarded Prague-based theatre company Dafa Puppet Theatre, Ya Khayyal Theatre Lab. for refugee and local youth in Jordan and LIV’in Festival in Czechia.
Dafa Puppet Theatre (Facebook)
Ya Khayyal Theatre Connects (Facebook)
Liv’in Festival (Facebook)

Rachel McNally

Rachel McNally

Creative Producer

Rachel’s work explores puppetry as a creative methodology with the ability to engage with all ages across cultural and geographical boundaries. She is interested in how we use puppetry and the arts across our society from the entertainment to health sector, within education and politics. For over 10 years she was Executive Producer at Puppet Place – Artform Hub supporting over 100 artists and Co-Producer of Bristol Festival of Puppetry.

Current projects include Noisy Oytser’s The Noughty One – an interactive puppetry/robotic installation at Upfront Arts Centre.

Laura Purcell-Gates

Laura Purcell-Gates

Lead Researcher

Laura is Reader in Drama at Bath Spa University and Co-Artistic Director of UK-based puppetry company Wattle and Daub, through which she conducts practice-based research on puppetry, object performance and non-normative bodies. Recent projects include The Depraved Appetite of Tarrare the Freak, a chamber opera for puppets funded by the Wellcome Trust and Arts Council England as part of her research into puppetry, monstrosity and the medical humanities.

In addition to Objects Without Borders, she is currently working on a book project about puppetry and the performance of monstrosity, and a puppetry piece about ageing and disabled bodies.

Project Partners

Angie's creature


Angela Athay-Hunt is a theatre maker, practitioner, actor and director with a wealth of experience creating inclusive theatre opportunities with diverse communities. She co-founded Myrtle Theatre Company, a specialist participatory theatre company delivering theatre projects both locally and nationally. Angela now works with a range of theatre companies including Bristol Old Vic, Travelling Light Theatre, and The Egg as well as Theatre Orchard. As a director, Angela specialises in ensemble and collaborative performance, verbatim theatre and is passionate about creating inclusive theatre experiences. She has been delivering engagement projects for Theatre Orchard since 2007, including devising and directing site-specific performances.


Seenaryo is a leading specialist in theatre and play-based learning with marginalised communities in Lebanon and Jordan. Having reached 67,000 children, youth and women to date, we use theatre and play to transform education and equip people with the tools to collaborate, think critically and build transferable skills. Lara McIvor established Seenaryo’s work in Jordan and has been leading the team there as Country Director since 2018. Lara is a theatre performer and facilitator and has co-directed several Seenaryo youth theatre productions, as well as supporting across the organisation on evaluation and development of training resources.

Matt's creature


Matt Fleming is an actor, writer, theatre maker and emerging artist. He holds both an FdA and a BA (Hons) in Performing Arts. Recently he has gained a Level 1 in British Sign Language (BSL). Matt has experience volunteering for “I Am An Egg” for adults with mental health and well-being needs. He has participated in Creative Youth Network’s youth theatre projects. Recently Matt co-founded From The Mud cabaret (an ecletic group of emerging artists), and Let’s Get Visible (an LGBT+ art collective). Matt’s involvement with Theatre Orchard began during Bristol Old Vic’s Angels in Bristol outreach programme in 2020. Since then he has become a member of the vibrant adult theatre company, Open Door. Matt is inspired by many theatre styles and practices and is passionate about reimagining Ancient Greek drama for a modern audience.

Raghad's creature


Raghad Rasras is a self-taught artist – actress and painter- who works as arts and theatre facilitator and director with children in marginalised communities, she worked on several theatre projects with Seenaryo and Ruwwad Al Tanmeya 

Raghad is fascinated by abstract forms of theatre.

Photograph of Reka's work


I am Réka Deák, a Hungarian puppeteer and social artist. I hold a Master of Contemporary Theatre Directing. I am living in Prague and working with Dafa Puppet Theatre on various independent projects worldwide. The last 14 years I’ve worked mostly as a puppeteer. During these years I also facilitated many educational and social projects and dedicated my time to spreading Puppet Theatre as a tool for empowerment, skill development and self-expression for children, youth and adults in not only marginalized and refugee communities but also in highly structured organizations.

Portrait of Sam Harp, by Sam Harp


Sam Harp is a Palestinian artist now living in England. His work includes illustration, mixed media, calligraphy and photography. He is interested in positive participation, using visual art, calligraphy and objects to create international drama.

Photograph of Tobi Poster-Su


Tobi Poster-Su is a UK-based theatremaker and scholar who specialises in puppetry and devised, crossdisciplinary work. He lectures at Bath Spa University and is undertaking an AHRC-funded PhD (Towards a Critical Puppetry: Racialisation and Material Performance in the Twenty-First Century) at Queen Mary University of London. He has published in Critical Stages, Theatre Journal and Applied Theatre Research. As co-artistic director of Wattle and Daub, Tobi has co-created and performed in Chang and Eng and Me (and Me) (2021), The Depraved Appetite of Tarrare the Freak (2017) and Triptych (2011). He has directed puppetry for shows including Tom Morris’ adaptation of A Christmas Carol (2018) and Heidi: A Goat’s Tale (2012).


Victoria Hole has worked in the arts as a dancer, facilitator, project co-ordinator and producer. She has worked for Tobacco Factory Theatres, Bristol Old Vic, The Egg, Travelling Light, and MAYK in various capacities. Vic trained in Classical ballet with the Royal Academy of Dance and holds a BA Hons in Contemporary Dance. She has taught dance to a mixture of ages and abilities for Travelling Light, Bigfoot Arts Education, Pauline Quirke Academy, Take Art, and Activate. She is the co-founder of 2 O’Clock Beauty Queens, a dance troupe championing all things female. She is Theatre Orchard’s Company Manager and Dance Producer.