The Grand Women Project

Black and White photo of a young couple. The man is in the foreground, out of focus, the woman is staring at the camera and in focus.

Katherine and Peter Bide, taken by Tim Bide in 1967.

We are embarking on an intergenerational community project in Winter 2021 to Spring 2022, with the aim of uniting communities and creating connection after over a year of restrictions in place due to Covid-19. Introducing The Grand Women Project.

The Grand Women Project is a community-led engagement project, celebrating and championing the voices of older women, using members of the community to unravel and tell their stories. An intergenerational experience, bonding those from diverse backgrounds and bringing them together to celebrate local matriarchs and their lives. It will be led by the community, and performed to friends, family and neighbours followed by a knees-up with music and food. 

Join the party, meet your neighbours and celebrate the personal histories in your local area and its Grand Women.


What happens next?

We are incredibly excited to announce that Tobacco Factory Theatres are partnering us with the project, which will get started in December 2021. If you would like to hear our updates, and get involved later down the line, please sign up to our mailing list.


Film from our R&D

From January to March 2021, we underwent an early research and development period to research this piece, and working with intergenerational participants in general. We were funded by Arts Council England, and partnered with Wyldwood Arts, BS3 Community and Headley Park Primary School. We made this short film to document the project, shot and edited by Camilla Adams.


The Anarchist’s Mobile Library – digital

An interactive, digital adventure for ages 6-11. Available in English Audio, BSL and Welsh Audio.

‘The Anarchist’s Mobile Library’ will take you on an incredible adventure that YOU choose, solving problems and meeting characters, from anywhere you choose to play! With many different worlds to explore, where will your adventure take you? Perhaps an intergalactic space adventure? Or a deep-sea swim, meeting creatures that lurk in the depths? Or even an abandoned witch’s kitchen, with the cauldron bubbling away?

Tessa Bide Productions have created an interactive adventure children, with colourful animations, guided through by performers Tessa Bide, David Ellington and Gareth Bale. The Anarchist’s Mobile Library empowers children to be masters of their own destinies, to be inspired by literature and to change the stories they see unfolding around them.

Antur ddigidol, ryngweithiol aqr gyfer plant 6-11. Ar gael yn Saesneg, Iaith Arwydd

o Prydain (BSL) gydag isdeitlau Saesneg ac yn Gymraeg.

Bydd ‘Llyfrgell Symudol yr Anarchydd’ yn mynd â chi ar antur ryngweithiol anhygoel o’ch dewis CHI i ddatrys problemau a chyfarfod cymeriadau a hynny o ba bynnag le hoffech chi chwarae! Gyda nifer o wahanol fydoedd ar gael i ymweld â nhw, i ble aiff eich antur chi? Efallai i’r gofod ar antur galactig? Neu yn ddwfn o dan y môr i gyfarfod trigolion y dyfnderoedd? Neu hyd yn oed i gegin ddiarffordd rhyw wrach a’i chrochan yn ffrwtian yno?

Mae Tessa Bide Productions wedi creu antur ryngweithiol arlein sydd wedi’i dylunio i annog plant i lywio llong eu hunain, i gael eu hysbrydoli gan lenyddiaeth ac i newid trywydd y straeon sy’n datblygu o’u hamgylch.


Dates / Dyddiadau

There are currently no dates programmed. Are you a venue looking for some innovative online theatre for your audiences? Contact us to find out about hosting The Anarchist’s Mobile Library!


Reviews / Adolygiadau

“an incredibly accessible experience” The Family Stage

“a fantastic, highly engaging experience which will have youngsters using their imaginations and getting involved in the action instead of staring passively at a screen.” The Family Stage

“delightfully descriptive, inspiring young imaginations to build their own mental pictures.”★★★★ Everything Theatre

“It’s very much designed so you could easily head back in a second, even a third time and still find new thrills.” ★★★★ Everything Theatre

“A well-crafted, imaginative journey. Playful text and fun activities that held the attention. This has been curated with care and always with the child in mind” Stevie Thompson (theatre maker & parent)

Trailers / Cipolwg

Creative Team / Tîm Creadigol

Original concept: Tessa Bide
Dramaturgs: Gwendolyn Scott and Lorna Rees
Written by: Tessa Bide
Composer/Sound Design: Chris Menes
Creative Technologist: Martin O’Leary
Animations: David Rock
Produced by Tessa Bide Productions
Supported by Arts Council England, Pervasive Media Studio, National Rural Touring Forum a Pound Arts

BSL Version 
Performer: David Ellington
Accessibility consultant: Jonny Cotsen
BSL monitoring and interpretation: Pascale Maroney
Dynamic Captions: Sarah MacGregor
Costume: Luned Gwawr Evans
Filmmaker/studio: Frame Dogs
Produced by Tessa Bide Productions
Supported and funded by The Library Presents

Welsh Version
Co-Director: Tessa Bide
Co-Director: Chris Harris
Performer: Gareth Bale
Translator: Lois Gwenllian Jones
Produced by Tessa Bide Productions
Supported by Blackwood Miner’s Institute, Pontardawe Arts Centre and Carmarthenshire Theatres.

Education Pack / Pecyn Addysg

If you’re a teacher, or a parent wanting to take the experience further with wraparound educational activities, check out our beautiful Teacher’s Resource Pack for ideas linking the project to literacy, PSHE, science, art and drama! Co-written by Tessa Bide Productions and retired primary school teacher with over 20 years experience Yvonne Dobson.

Os ydych chi’n athro/athrawes, neu’n rhiant sydd eisiau ymestyn y profiad gyda gweithgareddau ychwanegol, yna edrychwch ar ein Pecyn Adnoddau i Athrawon am syniadau sy’n cyd-fynd â’r prosiect – o lythrenedd, i wyddoniaeth, celf a drama! Mae’r pecyn wedi’i gyd-awduro gan Tessa Bide ac Yvonne Dobson sy’n athrawes ysgol gynradd wedi ymddeol gyda dros 20 mlynedd o brofiad.

Download the English audio version here.

Download the BSL version here.

Download the Welsh version here.

Further reading… 

Why did we make this show? / Pam ydyn ni’n gwneud y sioe hon?

During rehearsals in August 2019, Tessa wrote a little bit about our aims and interntions for the show, and why we made it!  Read the blog here.

Yn ystod ymarferion ym mis Awst 2019, ysgrifenodd Tessa flog o ryw fath a oedd yn amlinellu ein bwriad ni o gynhyrchu’r sioe, a’r rhesymau pam y creom ni’r sioe. Darllennwch y blog yma.

Research and Development Blog / Blog Ymchwil a Datblygu

While developing the show, Tessa and the team had the opportunity to spend a week browsing the Seven Stories archive where the first ideas for The Anarchist’s Mobile Library were born. Find out about Tessa’s trip to Seven Stories, the National Center for Children’s Books, a partner and collaborator for this show.

Wrth ddatblygu’r sioe, cafodd Tessa a’r tîm gyfle i dreulio wythnos yn pori drwy archif Seven Stories lle eginodd blagur cyntaf Llyfrgell Symudol yr Anarchydd. Darlennwch am drip Tessa i Seven Stories, Canolfan Genedlaethol Llyfrau Plant, sydd yn bartner a chydweithredwr ar gyfer y sioe hon.

Booking Information / Gwybodaeth

We are now accepting bookings for our 2021 digital tour. Download The Anarchist’s Mobile Library – Digital Tour Pack and for all enquiries, please contact us at

Rydym ni nawr yn derbyn archebion ar gyfer ein taith ddigidol 2021. Am ymholiadau, cysylltwch â ni ar

Gallery / Oriel


The Magic Snow Globe

Illustration by Delphine Jones

‘The Magic Snow Globe’ is at the very beginning of its development with an exciting team of creatives ready to tell this special, new story.

Cleo and Gloria have never been close and the idea of spending the Christmas holiday in her grandmother’s stifling, trinket-cluttered house fills Cleo with dread. But it soon becomes clear that they share more than just family and they both have questions about the world which need answering.

After a throwaway wish on Gloria’s old snow globe, Cleo is whisked away to a barren arctic tundra where she must face her fears and learn from the past in order to save the planet’s future. Will Gloria and Cleo unite and overcome their inner demons? Or will their differences stop them from succeeding?

Join us to celebrate the power of intergenerational relationships in a heart-warming and magical show which encourages young and older audience members to find their voices and unite to save our planet.

About The Show

After working with local children and older people during an Arts Council funded outreach project in South Bristol in early 2021, the team, including Director Amy Draper and Designer Katie Sykes, have developed a show which examines intergenerational relationships and celebrates the connections between families.

With a strong focus on saving planet earth, this show will equip audiences with the knowledge and confidence to have conversations across generations about how to look after our planet. With the magic of puppetry, live music and innovative projection, the creative team will create a cross-artform feast for the senses which transforms the theatre space into a fantastical snow globe.

Creative Team

  • Original story: Tessa Bide
  • Director: Amy Draper
  • Designer: Katie Sykes
  • Puppet Designer/Maker: Isabel Lyster
  • Sound designer/Composer: Seah Hotson
  • Creative Technologist: Tarim
  • Animator: Chris Harrisson
  • Consultant Teacher: Yvonne Dobson

What if the show was…?

Watch our video to hear from the creative team about their experience developing the show.



Photos by Paul Blakemore

The Anarchist’s Mobile Library – live show

Artwork by Rose Forshall

The Anarchist’s Mobile Library will take you on an incredible adventure that YOU choose, solving problems and meeting characters, all in a retro, pop-up caravan! Where will you choose to journey to? An intergalactic space adventure? A deep sea swim meeting creatures that lurk in the depths? An abandoned witch’s kitchen, with the cauldron bubbling away, just begging to be played with..?

The Anarchist’s Mobile Library exists to empower children to be masters of their own destinies, to be inspired by literature and to change the stories they see unfolding around them.

Audiences (of up to 3 children and 1 adult at a time) will join us on an adventure and leave feeling prepped and primed to change the world!



Covid-safe show!

We have created a covid-safe version of The Anarchist’s Mobile Library. Don’t worry- we still bring along our pop-up van.. and our librarians!

First tested on a brilliant audience in Calne, Wiltshire, our audiences will be asked to write down story ideas and draw pictures on beautifully designed postcards, prompted by the phrase: ‘Once Upon a Time In…’ Our anarchist librarians will be there to spark ideas and encourage participation. We will collect all the ideas up and create a Story Zine for you and your community.

We also have our digital adventure for you to join in with at home when you have finished with your story!


Feedback from programmers, from the initial tour, Autumn 2019:

‘The transformation, from mildly apprehensive children entering a slightly weird, old-fashioned caravan to the imaginations that burst out from the Anarchist’s Mobile Library, was a joy to watch. The children were buzzing with the stories they’d invented and the worlds they’d created in such a small time and space. The care that the creative team have taken to build a world that is inventive and fun, that allows the children to explore and to lead and to be messy with words and ideas, is exemplary and if I had the resources to park this outside every public library, in every high street across the country I would.’

Katy Snelling at Farnham Maltings

‘The perfect accompaniment for Corsham’s StoryTown Festival, The Anarchist’s Mobile Library was a truly exciting way to introduce theatre to a new audience and a part of the community in which we are not so visible or accessible as an organisation. A real treat for all who engaged, entered and let their imagination take them anywhere they wished to go. Tessa Bide has created a delightful and beautiful interactive experience that is likely to leave you hungry for me. What an amazing idea.’

Martin Campbell, Programme Manager at The Pound arts centre

Creative Team

  • Original concept: Tessa Bide
  • Dramaturg: Lorna Rees
  • Performers and co-devisors: Tessa Bide and Jessica Clough-MacRae
  • Additional devising input during R&D: Eline Hallem
  • Design: Luned Gwawr Evans, with help from, and thanks to, Lorna Rees and Ella Barraclough
  • Sound Design: Chris Menes
  • Scenic painter: Ella Barraclough
  • Build: Georgi Shire, with help from, and thanks to, Tomasin Cuthbert Menes, Josh Lucas, and Marta Smyk
  • Produced by: Tessa Bide Productions


Tour dates of our Covid-safe show are to be announced!

To be the first to know when we are back, sign up to the mailing list

We hope to see you soon!

Story Zine from Calne!

Gallery from bOing! and our Covid-safe show in Calne

Further reading…

R&D blog

During the show’s development, Tessa and the team had the opportunity to spend a week delving into the archives at Seven Stories to begin the start of The Anarchist’s Mobile Library. Read about Tessa’s trip to Seven Stories, National Centre for Children’s Books, who are our partner and collaborator for this show.

Why are we making this show?

During rehearsals in August 2019, Tessa wrote an updated blog of sorts, setting out our intentions for the show, and reasons why we made it. Have a read here.

Information for bookers

Due to current covid restrictions, we are currently taking bookings for 2021 for our covid-safe show only.  For booking enquiries, please contact us on


The Selfish Giant

Inspired by the touching children’s story ‘The Selfish Giant’ by Oscar Wilde, Tessa Bide Productions and Soup Soup Theatre have combined forces to explore an unusual friendship, and how even the grumpiest giant’s heart can melt when Spring finally comes…

Grinter is a giant. She lives happily alone in her huge cold house, surrounded by her huge snowy gardens, enclosed by her high, frost-covered walls. She shuts out the world, because long ago, the world shut her out, and so she hides, safe and quiet in her peaceful, icy home. Outside the towering walls of her enormous garden, the world has been changing and there is very little green left. One day, the children – tired of playing on hard roads and grey rooftops – find a chink in the giant’s wall and climb through, changing the course of the children’s and Grinter’s lives forever.

The Selfish Giant is a magical show with powerful storytelling, captivating puppetry,  enchanting music and a sprinkling of magic, that the whole family will love.



We’re thrilled to be back on tour this half term at Tobacco Factory Theatres and Brewhouse Taunton, grab your tickets below!

10:30am & 1pm, 20 – 21 October, Tobacco Factory Theatres
11am & 2pm, 23 – 27 October, Tobacco Factory Theatres
1pm & 3pm, 31 October, Brewhouse Taunton

We will soon be releasing the filmed version of The Selfish Giant to Children’s Theatre Digital for you to stream! More info coming.

Teaser Video

Creative Team

  • Co-Producer/Designer/Devisor/Performer: Tomasin Cuthbert
  • Co-Producer/Devisor/Performer: Tessa Bide
  • Director/Dramaturg: Adam Fuller
  • Composer: Matt Huxley
  • Movement Director: Laura Street
  • Circus Director: Gwen Hales



Production photos by Paul Blakemore.

Educational Pack

If you’re a teacher, or a parent wanting to take the experience further with wraparound educational activities, check out our beautiful Teacher’s Resource Pack for ideas linking the project to literacy, PSHE, science, art and drama! Co-written by Tessa Bide Productions and retired primary school teacher with over 20 years experience Yvonne Dobson.

Book the Show

Looking for a show for your venue? Contact us on admin[at] for more information.


Two friends meet Bob, a blob of light, and their world becomes brighter with him inside of it. With him they play games, make adventures and explore. But one day Bob fades away and the two are left to come to terms with his unexpected disappearance from their lives.

Using ground breaking interactive live projections, light manipulation, movement and sound, Bob will be a 50 minute piece performed by two Japanese movement artists, exploring bereavement and loss in a playful, accessible and truthful way for young people.

Bob underwent an R&D in Autumn 2019 – Feb 2020, in partnership with Bristol Old Vic’s Ferment programme, Grief Encounter South West and Pervasive Media Studio. We are currently seeking partners to support its development to a full-scale production.


Creative Team

  • Director: Amy Draper
  • Projection Design: Nina Dunn
  • Dramaturg: Stewart Melton
  • Performers: Haruka Kuroda, Dai Tabuchi and Arran Glass
  • Produced by Tessa Bide Productions
  • “Orb” image: courtesy,



“We are genuinely excited about BOB. Last year in collaboration with MiMu, Watershed hosted a development Residency for BOB within our creative technology hub, the Pervasive Media Studio. Using MiMu’s glove technology, we bought the projected character of Bob to life. This was the first time the gloves had been used by a puppeteer and we were astounded by the results. BOB’s creative team are a talented, courageous group of people. They are working at the cutting edge, pushing the boundaries of what can happen when art and technology collide in unexpected ways. BOB is a distinctive, seamless, magical piece of work. We are proud to support it through continued residency at the Pervasive Media Studio.” Victoria Tillotson, Talent Development Lead, Watershed R&D blog

“We hosted a work-in-progress of BOB for young audiences as part of our bi-annual Ferment Fortnight festival. The performance was universal, nimble and heartfelt; the children responded with genuine excitement to the puppet of Bob – he seemed real & personified to them, which is a credit to the complex technology at work onstage. It’s a really exciting and unusual work, exploring loss with care & sensitivity.” Ben Atterbury, Ferment Producer, Bristol Old Vic

In August 2019, we partnered with the magnificent Pervasive Media Studios at Watershed, Bristol, for a tech residency to play with who Bob is and how to create him. Victoria Tillotson — Talent Development Lead at Pervasive Media Studios — wrote this blog about the week and our experiments with Mi.Mu gloves and more!



Here are some screenshots taken from the R&D at the Royal Shakespeare Company in 2017. Professional production shots are on their way!


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 will feature stunning animations inspired by the book’s illustrations, two talented performers, puppetry and an original soundscore composed by Matt Huxley (the composer for all of our shows).  Read more about the book here. 

Teaser Video

Creative Team

  • Devised ​by: the ​company
  • Original ​story ​by: ​Nicola ​Davies ​& ​Cathy ​Fisher
  • Performers: Tessa ​Bide ​& ​Eline Hallem
  • R&D Performer: Stephanie De Whalley
  • Director/Dramaturg: Adam ​Fuller
  • Movement ​Director: Laura ​Street
  • Designer: Luned ​Gwawr ​Evans
  • Composer: Matt ​Huxley
  • Lighting and Projection ​Designer: Joe ​Stathers
  • Animations: Karolina Bielskyte, David Rock and Laura Miranda Moreno with input from Sabrina Marengo.
  • Assistant ​Producer: Claire ​Crawford
  • R&D Design ​Assistant: Marta ​Smyk
  • R&D Production Assistant: Alice Palmer



No upcoming dates of Perfect currently, sign up to our mailing list to be the first to find out when we add more!


Production photos by Kirsten McTernan, along with illustrations by Cathy Fisher from the book.

Information for Bookers

Our downloadable venue pack is here. 

For booking enquiries, please contact the team on

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?

Amira 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…

A 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.

This production was researched with refugees and migrants in Athens, Greece, then later developed in partnership with The Trinity CentreMay Park Primary School, Integrate Bristol and Circomedia, funded by Arts Council England.

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Teaser Video


We have no upcoming dates in our diary but you can sign up to the mailing list to be the first to know when we have.

Creative Team

  • Devised ​by: the ​company
  • Performer: Tessa ​Bide ​or Laura Street
  • Director: Joe Wallace
  • Dramaturg: Mike Akers
  • R&D Director/dramaturg: Adam Fuller
  • Co-Movement ​Directors: Laura ​Street & Bryn Thomas
  • Composer: Matt ​Huxley
  • Assistant ​Producer: Claire ​Crawford
  • Designer: Sarah Dicks
  • Lighting ​Designer: Joe ​Stathers
  • Production ​Assistant: Jemima Knight
  • Produced ​by: Tessa ​Bide ​Productions


Relaxed Performance Materials

Over the tour we have several ‘relaxed performances’ which will see the show stripped back and performed in a way that is specifically accessible for children and young people with autism, learning disabilities and sensory and communication disorders AND their families.

To make sure you can enjoy our story to the fullest, we have created a few materials which might help you to understand and access the show before you arrive at the theatre.

Find our Social story here and our Timeline here!


Information for Bookers

Here is the downloadable venue pack for this production. For booking enquiries, please contact Tessa on

A Strange New Space Venue Pack