Tessa Bide


E-mail: admin@tessabide.com
Website: http://tessabide.com (opens in new tab)
Twitter: @tessabide (opens in new window)
Instagram: @tessabide (opens in new window)
Facebook: https://facebook.com/tessabideproductions (opens in new window)

Tessa is a Theatre Maker and freelance performer and puppeteer. Her company, Tessa Bide Productions, makes award-winning family theatre from original stories then tours it all over the world. Tessa also offers consultancy for emerging artists and small-scale companies who wish to produce themselves.

I am a Theatre Maker, producer and performer specialising in puppetry, physical theatre and music. As well as freelancing for other companies, I make innovative theatre productions for family audiences with my own theatre company, Tessa Bide Productions. Our shows tell original stories, aimed at encouraging a dialogue between the generations. All of our productions have received funding from Arts Council England (12 successful grants to date) as well as other match funding.

I also consult emerging artists and companies who wish to produce themselves. I offer help and advice in writing funding applications, tour packs, building branding and successful tours. I aim to work with the ‘teach a man to fish…’ approach, helping artists to build valuable producing skills they can go on to use for many years to come, rather than working as a freelance producer and helping artists in the short term on a project-to-project basis. For more information on my consultancy, see my website: www.tessabideconsulting.uk.




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A young boy waits for the birth of his baby sister… He can’t wait to tell her all about the swifts which nest not far from the top window of their pointy house… it’s nearly time, she’s nearly here. ‘Perfect’ is an innovative adaptation of the beautiful illustrated book by Nicola Davies and Cathy Fisher, about a young boy meeting his disabled sister for the first time. Perfect is a remarkable story of anticipation and disappointment, acceptance and love, and the power of nature in all our lives. It features stunning animations inspired by the book’s illustrations, two talented performers, puppetry and a beautiful original soundscore composed. Perfect is at The Wardrobe Theatre from 31st May – 3rd June 2018.

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The Tap Dancing Mermaid

Portfolio image: Tessa Bide - The Tap Dancing Mermaid
Gather round, gather round for the Moon’s magical, mystical story about a tippetty-top tap dancer who he has been watching at night. Marina Skippett creeps out of her house every night to shuffle and stomp on the boardwalk to the sounds of the sea. She can’t tap dance at home anymore since her evil, tractor-sized Aunty banned it, threatening to feed Marina’s dinners to the dog! But then, one moonlit night, Marina meets a mysterious, watery boy called Leo swimming in the sea and her life is never the same again!rnrnThe “truly amazing one woman power house” Tessa Bide brings you her celebrated devised solo production, called “just everything a children’s theatre experience should be” (Childplays). There are stunning puppets, original live music to sing along to and tap dancing that will make you want to stick 50ps to your shoes and join in! For everyone aged 3 to 133.

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Arnold’s Big Adventure

Portfolio image: Tessa Bide - Arnold's Big Adventure
Gather under the branches for the biggest day in the woodland calendar, Drop Day! Arnold the acorn is about to drop from his tree and begin his amazing adventure in search of somewhere to put down his roots. Join Arnold as his story flies in the wind, wiggles across the land and splashes into the sea… Who will he meet along the way and will he ever find the perfect spot to call home?rnrnTaking place in a special bell tent, Arnold’s Big Adventure features beautiful shadow puppetry, wonderful original music to sing along to and plenty of thrilling surprises along the way…rnrnAn intimate, interactive production perfect for a child’s first theatre experience and with plenty for parents to enjoy too.rnrnSuitable for children aged 3 – 10 years and their grown-ups.

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The Melody Makers

Portfolio image: Tessa Bide - The Melody Makers
Pip Christmas hates Christmas. Her family love it so much they made it their name – they put the tree up in September and put it away in March and they eat beans all year to save up for the festive indulgence. Pip’s only saving grace is her best friend, Rupert – a tiny robin who visits her every morning for the month of December. One morning, the Christmas music disappears and Pip must go on a quest to find out why the music has stopped – she must find the Melody Makers and, boy, they’re not happy….rnrnStarring 4 talented actor-musicians, beautiful hand-made puppets and A LOT of music, this will be a magical, musical extravaganza set to charm the stockings off of the whole family.rnrnThis production went through a Research and Development period in June 2015, supported by Arts Council England, Bridport Arts Centre and The Marine Theatre’s ‘Ru0026D By The Sea’ programme. It later toured to The Wardrobe Theatre (Bristol), The Marine Theatre (Lyme Regis) and Bridport Arts Centre in winter 2015. It will be touring again from November 2017.

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A Strange New Space

Portfolio image: Tessa Bide - A Strange New Space
Did you know that Astronauts get taller in space? That our solar system is around 4.6 billion years old? Or that there are more stars in the universe than grains of sand on all of the beaches on Earth?rnrnAmira knows all of these things. She is completely obsessed with space and dreams of becoming an Astronaut. But one night, the bangs, whooshes and fizzes of her imagination explode right out of her dreams, becoming a deafening reality. In the darkness, Amira must leave her hometown to go on an adventure, to find a safe space. Hearing the words ‘space’ and ‘adventure’, Amira quickly packs her bag for the intergalactic trip she’s been waiting for…rnrnA completely original one woman show without words, A Strange New Space melds physical theatre with stunning puppetry and original music. We travel on an imagined voyage into space, paralleled with Amira’s real-life journey as a refugee across continents, forming an unforgettable introduction to theatre for audiences of four years and older.rnrnThis production has recently undergone a successful ‘research and development’ phase in partnership with The Trinity Centre, May Park Primary School, Integrate Bristol and Circomedia, funded by Arts Council England. The project will be further developed over the Spring of 2017. A National tour will commence in Easter 2017, before continuing internationally in 2018.

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Puppetry Intensive Weekend Course

A weekend of two intensive workshops to learn the art of bringing objects to life, with puppeteer and puppetry director Tessa Bide.