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Pins and Needles Productions

“Text and theatricality intersect in the work of a company very adept at showing how physicalised story-telling is at the heart of some of the best theatre around.”


Pins and Needles are committed to creating inspiring visual theatre that unites both physical and text based work. We have a particular interest in physical storytelling, multimedia performance, and work that encourages the audience to take an imaginative leap. The company was established in 2009 by Director/Designer partnership Emma Earle and Zoe Squire.

Pins and Needles recently co-produced the Total Theatre Award nominated Ernest and the Pale Moon with Les Enfants Terribles Theatre Company.  The show toured nationally in 2010 to venues such as Sheffield Theatres, The Lowry, Harrogate Theatre, Buxton Opera House, Wales Millennium Centre and Bristol Old Vic after a sell out run at Edinburgh Festival 2009.  Lyn Gardner described Ernest and the Pale Moon as “clever, slick and with a sharp design”.

Earlier this year we began developing an interactive style of theatre inspired by the Choose Your Own Adventure books as part of Ferment, a festival of new work at Bristol Old Vic.

Director Emma Earle trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.  She is a member of the Tobacco Factory’s Peer Review Panel and the Young Vic’s Genesis Directors Project.  Her recent directorial work includes Select A Quest (Bristol Old Vic); Pavement (Alma Theatre); Flies (Tobacco Factory); Ernest and the Pale Moon (UK tour); Gizmo Love (Tobacco Factory) and A Clockwork Orange (Alma Theatre).  Emma is also a filmmaker.

Designer Zoe Squire also trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.  Zoe works in film, TV and theatre, and her recent credits include Suntrap (Gala Theatre, Durham); Romeo and Juliet: Get out your Bards (Bristol Old Vic); Ernest and the Pale Moon (UK tour); Beasts and Beauties (Theatre Royal Bath) and A Clockwork Orange (Alma Theatre). She has also designed several music videos and mainstream commercials.

Press Quotes from Ernest and the Pale Moon:

“Sheer inventiveness…combining physical and musical ingenuity to luminous effect.”

The Telegraph ****

“Such beautifully choreographed storytelling that you sit mouth-agog at the sheer spectacle of it all”

Broadway Baby *****

“The ingenuity and imagination with props and physical acting is stunning”

Fest ****


Photography by; Paul Blakemore; Karen Scott Photography; Jude; Josh Biggs


Key Projects

Ernest and the Pale Moon

Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock, ticked the clock, as Ernest Hemel sat. quiet and still, in the darkened corner of his apartment block. Watching, waiting... Inspired by Poe and Hitchcock, ‘Ernest and the Pale Moon’ is a noir horror about a man who spends his days watching the beautiful young woman who lives opposite. Upon seeing her with another man he is thrown into rage and driven to murder. Slowly Ernest is on a spiralling descent into madness. The piece contains live music, inventive design and physical storytelling to provide a thrilling and terrifying experience. “A gloriously gothic production” THE TELEGRAPH **** “Channelling Edgar Allan Poe and Henry James.. the company produces a compelling and macabre account of obsession, immurement and murder …” THE STAGE – CRITICS’ CHOICE (MUST SEE SHOW 2009) “As fresh as a new wound” THE METRO ****

Key Personnel

Emma Earle
Co-Artistic Director
Zoe Squire
Co-Artistic Director