Angel theatre company

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Little Angel Theatre

Little Angel Theatre is a puppet theatre for children and their families based in the London Borough of Islington.[1]

The 100-seat theatre, a former Temperance hall, was opened on 24 November 1961, by founders John and Lyndie Wright with a performance of The Wild Night Of The Witches.

As well as an internationally recognised theatre with productions touring throughout the UK and across the globe, Little Angel Theatre works with its local community to tackle barriers to arts engagement so all can benefit and enjoy the art form of puppetry.

Puppeteers who have entertained here include Sarah Burgess who has created several roles for CBeebies.[2]

The theatre's creative learning department work with schools and youth and community groups, running a wide variety of participation activities.

Little Angel Theatre is a registered charity.


Further reading[edit]

  • John Wright Rod, Shadow and Glove: Puppets from the Little Angel Theatre (Harper Collins 1986) ISBN 0-7090-2628-5

External links[edit]


CRASH by Pamela Mala Sinha

(The Film)

Pamela Mala Sinha’s multi award-winning solo play CRASH, directed by Dilworth, has toured North America to great acclaim. Necessary Angel will be filming the work in May at Toronto’s Crow’s Theatre, with broadcast release dates to be announced soon.

After the loss of a loved one, a woman must face the shattering memories of a past trauma in an attempt to bring back someone she loves. CRASH is the fractured unraveling of memory; a tour de force narrative about family, faith and love. 

“With Crash, Pamela Sinha has written a truly harrowing piece of theatre, a play all the more remarkable for being her first.”
– The Globe and Mail

“Sinha’s performance is, in both its rigour and its variety, beyond praise.” 
– National Post

“Crash is an insightful play given a magical production no theatre-lover should miss.
– Stage Door

Support for the filming of CRASH has been provided by the Canada Council’s Digital Now Fund.

More information coming soon!

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World Encyclopaedia of Puppetry Arts Logo World Encyclopaedia of Puppetry Arts

Permanent British puppet theatre founded in 1961 in Islington (London) by John and Lyndie Wright. Initially dedicated to string puppets, the small building has undergone many alterations so as to house larger audiences (150) and to enable many techniques of puppet and other small-scale shows to be presented.

John Wright (1906-1991) studied the fine arts in Cape Town and at London’s Central School of Art and Design. In the 1940s he created a company, the John Wright Marionettes, with which he toured Europe and Africa. Lyndie Wright (née Parker, born 1939) joined the group in 1958. Both performed in the shows.

Under the artistic direction of John Wright (who was awarded an MBE in 1977), the Little Angel Theatre gained a national and international reputation for its finely carved puppets, the atmospheric scenography and the excellent manipulation. Usually string marionettes, the puppets were about 70 centimetres high, their aesthetic often revealing the Wrights’ African heritage. Lyndie Wright designed and built many of the shows: folk and fairy tales, but also opera and orchestral collaborations for larger theatres, and for television. Their puppets appeared in two films: Britannia Mews and Tales of Hoffmann. In spite of the world tours, the company’s centre was always the Little Angel Theatre itself, where year-round weekend and holiday seasons for children and family audiences were rarely interrupted, and which might include companies from abroad. The Wrights have trained generations of puppeteers. Significant productions up to 1991 included The Little Mermaid (1955), Igor Stravinsky’s Soldier’s Tale (1968), Oscar Wilde’s The Fisherman and his Soul (1969) and the Gian Carlo Menotti opera Amahl and the Night Visitors (1970).

After the death of John Wright, Christopher Leith became the artistic director, working closely with Lyndie Wright. The theatre, while continuing to perform its existing repertoire, gradually introduced new ideas, such as live music and speech. New writers and scenographers were invited to collaborate and the company initiated workshop programmes throughout London. Christopher Leith was succeeded for a few years by Loretta Howells, who in turn gave way to Steve Tiplady in January 2004. The latter extended the work of the company into more experimental pathways and adult productions, drawing on artists new to the theatre (for example Animo by the Improbable Theatre company) and introducing audiences new to puppetry, as for Venus and Adonis (2004) produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company. Among the shows of this era were Jabberwocky (2004), The Mouse Queen (2004), Karagöz (2005), Grimaldi (2005) and Fantastic Mr Fox (2005).

The artistic director since 2006 has been Peter Glanville who has also brought innovations to the company’s activities. He has presided over the 50th anniversary of the Little Angel in 2012 when the celebrations included the positioning of a plaque above the theatre entrance to the memory of John Wright commissioned by the people of Islington; a highly praised production of Gabriel García Márquez’s A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings, and Lyndie Wright’s two personal awards: the J.M. Barrie prize for her contribution to the arts for young people and the MBE for her services to puppetry.

(See Great Britain.)


  • Speaight, George. John Wright and the Little Angel Theatre. London: Potheinos Ltd., 1980.
  • Wright, John. Rod, Shadow and Glove Puppets. From the Little Angel Theatre. London: Robert Hale, 1986.
People Behind the Puppets - Bronia Evers - Little Angel Theatre

Angel Theatre Company

Angel Theatre Company is dedicated to producing London fringe theatre of the highest calibre. Our aim is to create work which is entertaining, challenging, engaging and thought provoking. Although we often perform in small venues, we want our audiences to experience the same quality of production as they would in any West End theatre, but for a fraction of the price!

Previous productions include Can’t Stand up for Falling Down, Eavesdropping, More Eavesdropping, 4:48 Psychosis, No Exit, The Maids, Autobahn, Eavesdropping Again,Footfalls, Play, Stray, Not I, Catastrophe and Rockaby. Our most recent production was Gobstoppers, a piece specifically created for screen which streamed online in March and April 2021. Full details of each of our previous shows can be viewed on thePAST PRODUCTIONS page.

Our next production will be Innocence, written and directed by our Artistic Director, John Patterson, premiering at The Bread & Roses Theatre in November 2021. Future plans include another of John’s new plays, Forsaking Others, which will be performed at the White Bear Theatre in January 2022.

Nominated for an OFFWESTEND THEATRE AWARD - DIRECTOR (PLAYS) for his work on Not I, Catastrophe & Rockaby

Artistic Director of Angel Theatre Company

John graduated from the University of Hull with an honours degree in drama before training as an actor at ALRA. He has worked extensively in the industry for 25 years both as an actor and director. Recent acting credits include: The Intern (Channel 4), New Tricks (BBC), Murder on the Home Front (ITV), adverts for Bid TV, Netflix, Cineworld (Christmas advert 2019) and Schweppes (for Israeli television). Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, in December 2020 John appeared opposite Tamer Hassan in an online promotional series for Reem Products Ltd, playing the role of David.

In addition to acting, John is an experienced director and the Artistic Director of Angel Theatre Company. Throughout his career, he has directed over 70 productions. Recent credits include an agents showcase for graduate actors in the West End and Mark Ravenhill’s Citizenship at Watermans Arts Centre which was part of the Royal National Theatre Connections Project. For Angel Theatre Company John has directed: Can't Stand up for Falling Down (New Wimbledon Studio Theatre), Eavesdropping, More Eavesdropping, 4:48 Psychosis, No Exit, The Maids, Autobahn, Eavesdropping Again (all at Barons Court Theatre), Samuel Beckett’s Footfalls and Play (The Jack Studio Theatre), Stray (White Bear Theatre) and Beckett's Not I, Catastrophe and Rockaby (The Jack Studio Theatre) for which he received an OffWestEnd Theatre Award nomination for Best Director. When theatres initially closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, John organised and directed Sundays in the Park With Angel, a series of research and development workshops which took place in London parks in the summer of 2020.

John’s first project in 2021 was Gobstoppers, a filmed production of solo vignettes. He conceptualised, directed and performed in the piece which streamed online in March and April, and raised over £500 for the charity Acting for Others. In November 2021 John will direct Innocence at The Bread & Roses Theatre. Future plans include directing the premiere of Forsaking Others at the White Bear Theatre in January 2022. Both of these plays he also wrote.

John has taught, mentored and nurtured many successful actors, including BAFTA winner/Academy Award nominee Vanessa Kirby and the late Ingrid Pitt. He gives regular masterclasses to actors which have recently been delivered at ALRA, Arts Ed, Italia Conti, Drama Studio London, Royal Holloway University of London, University of Sussex and The Royal Ballet School. In February 2021 John gave a seminar titled 'Samuel Beckett - From Page to Stage' to students studying for their PhD at The University of Cambridge. He has led many sessions on behalf of Angel Theatre Company to give advice and guidance to established actors as well as those who are new to the profession.

Data Protection Policy

Once we are in contact with you, Angel Theatre Company will hold your name and email address on our database to inform you of upcoming productions and opportunities that might be of interest to you. This information will never be shared with any third party and is only accessible to our Artistic Director and Administrator.


Theatre company angel

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People Behind the Puppets - Oliver Smart - Little Angel Theatre

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