About Us

WishWorks have been working with puppets since 1999. All our work is professional and evaluated continuously to maximise public benefit.

Our focus for workshops is on community inclusive process orientated work; facilitating creativity and raising awareness of environmental and social issues, as well as providing high quality entertainment.

WishWorks are a not-for-profit community organisation run by committee. All players are self employed. Those who work directly with the public have up to date DBS checks and public liability insurance. Click here to see our constitution and child protection policy.

WishWorks make theatre for children, involving hand, rod and shadow puppetry, story-telling and sillyness. Shows are between 30 minutes and one hour long.

These shows are ideal for entertaining children aged 4-8 but concise and stimulating enough to keep the attention of even the very young and the young at heart.

WishWorks also provide bewitching walkabout characters to publicise and enhance any event.

The company offers literacy, puppet making, mural, mosaic and carnival workshops, amongst others, for adults and children and those with extra support needs.

They are also available to lecture at conferences and events.

WishWorks take commissions to make puppets, or create murals and mosaics.

We can write a show especially for your event on request. We are excellent improvisers and adaptable to many situations. We enjoy the challenge of commissions and the opportunity to create new shows for different events, for example:

Life of a Tree, created in response to a brief from Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew for their Easter Festival 2010, about Biodiversity

Wildwood Tales, created alongside the learning team at the Natural History Museum in 2012, about native woodland animals

Tales of the Deep, adapted from a previous show to suit the criteria of the Lewes Railway Land festival in 2013

Here is a little film of us in our workshop, made by the BBC:

History of WishWorks

In 1999, Katie Edwards was making beautiful marionette puppets. She asked her sister Sally to help her write and perform a show for the Big Green Gathering that summer. They wrote and performed three shows, and did some puppet making workshops. It was fun. They decided to do it again.

In the year 2000 they travelled through Australia busking with Pok, a pixie marionette at various festivals including Healing Arts, near Melbourne, where they met Mal Webb.

In 2001 they set off on a Cycle Circus with several amazing musicians touring the South and West of England on bicycles performing a puppet show called “The Last Cod” in various streets, at Dorset wildlife trust events, at a special school and a hospice, teaching sustainability (and having a very nice time). They followed this with a musical about acceptance “Edna the ostracized octopus”.

In 2002, set up as a not-for-profit community organization, they started to work in schools with puppet shows and story-telling about creation myths, they ran after-school clubs and performed at various festivals and fetes. Katie and Sally worked full time for WishWorks and various other musicians, performers and workshop leaders worked with them on a self employed basis.

In 2003-2006 they continued in this vein, addressing subjects around conservation and respect in schools and community centres. They started doing shows at children’s parties. They also taught themselves stilt-walking and began to lead parades and perform higher puppetry, including their brilliant version of “Alice in Wonderland”.

In 2007 WishWorks got funding from the Arts Council, and Brighton and Hove City Council which enabled them to research, make and tour their fantastic show “Fynn Dragon and the Ugly Bugs”. This show and its accompanying anti-bullying workshops received much acclaim in schools across the country. The funding also enabled them to buy their own PA system, radio mics, and lights so that their shows could reach larger audiences. Around this time they stopped using marionettes as their main characters and started using more hand/rod puppets.

In 2008 Katie went on maternity leave. During this time Sally worked as a puppeteer for:

Little Angel Theatre on “The Snow Queen”; Long Nose Puppets on “Shoe Baby”, “Fly Away Katie” and “Penguin”; Jim Marcovitch/Ben Glasstone/Steve Tiplady on “Pocket the Clown”, and The Sooty Show, live. She gained valuable experience of puppetry in theatre venues.

In 2009 Andrew Miller became a full time member of WishWorks (having worked as a writer and storyteller on various projects previous to this). WishWorks could tour again and visited many schools with “Jamie’s Dog Dinners”, a show about healthy eating, and Excalibur Carrot (now re-named “Wildwood Tales”) about woodland animals. We did a tour of bilingual schools in France, helping to teach English to French children with our puppet show Whispering Smith.

In 2010 WishWorks was commissioned by Kew Gardens to make a show about biodiversity for their Easter Festival “Life of a Tree”. We also did a second tour of Bilingual schools in France.

In 2011 WishWorks added the show Terror of the Deep (now re-named Tales of the Deep) about marine conservation. We also started performing our own version of classic fairy tales.

In 2012 WishWorks gained a contract with the Natural History Museum to deliver shows in every half term and school holiday for the next three years. An independent market research company at the museum surveyed audience members across 4 shows, and 100% of audience members gave WishWorks FIVE stars for entertainment.

In 2013 WishWorks developed a wonderful literacy package for schools including story-making workshops and shows. We started performing in libraries.

In 2014 WishWorks developed children’s shows for the theatre and peformed at the Brighton Fringe Festival, being nominated for best children’s show, and getting a “Highly Recommended” review.