The Detective Dog for Libraries!

Join us as we bring to life Julia Donaldson and Sara Ogilvie’s well-loved story, The Detective Dog, the perfect treat for families this summer. 

Whether it’s finding a lost shoe or discovering who did a poo on the new gravel path, Nell’s ever-sniffing nose is always hard at work. So when the books at her owner Peter’s school have disappeared one morning, Detective Dog Nell is ready to sniff out the culprit!  

Featuring captivating puppetry, surprising smells and toe-tapping live music, this unique and engaging theatrical experience celebrates libraries, books and the magic of reading. Suitable for ages 3+


Keep you eyes peeled for updates on which libraries we’re touring to this Summer, announcement coming soon!

Creative Team

Written by Julia Donaldson and Illustrated by Sara Ogilvie
Adapted and Produced by Tessa Bide Productions
Directed by Peta Maurice
Designed by Katie Sykes
Composed by Jack Drewry
Puppet Design by Jess Jones
Performed by Tessa Bide and Mary Johnson


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!

The “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.

On Tour in 2023

11am, Saturday 27 May – Fulham Baptist Church – Pay What You Decide 

Get in touch if you’d like to programme the show at your venue, we are available throughout 2023.

Teaser Video

Creative Team

  • Devised and Written by: Tessa Bide
  • Performer: Tessa Bide (Pigtails Productions version 2017: Stephanie De Whalley)
  • Moon Narration: Adam Fuller
  • Designer and set builder: Marta Gemma
  • Puppet Designers and makers: Sarah Dicks & Marta Gemma
  • Composer: Matt Huxley
  • Sound Design: Gwen Scott
  • Artwork: Lydia Davies & Emily Faulkner



The Detective Dog

Our accessible and imaginative adaptation of Julia Donaldson’s award winning book, The Detective Dog, features puppetry, song and magical scent technology, bringing the story alive on stage for audiences of all ages. 

Whether it’s finding a lost shoe or discovering who did a poo on the new gravel path, Nell’s ever-sniffing nose is always hard at work. So when the books at her owner Peter’s school have disappeared one morning, Detective Dog Nell is ready to sniff out the culprit!  (Suitable for ages 3-7) 


This production sees us exploring new ways of working to create innovative and accessible theatre. The show is accessible to D/deaf children and their families by using clever dynamic captions and incorporated British Sign Language. We’re working with some brilliant Deaf artists to make sure that the show reflects the needs of the D/deaf community. 


2024 touring dates coming soon!


Creative Team

Written by Julia Donaldson and Illustrated by Sara Ogilvie
Adapted and Produced by Tessa Bide Productions
Directed by Peta Maurice
Designed by Katie Sykes & Ruby Brown
Composed by Jack Drewry
BSL Consultancy by Jonny Cotsen
Video Design by Ben Glover
Puppet Design by Jess Jones
R&D Performers: Adam Bassett, Tessa Bide & Anna Rathbone

Where and When?

We’ll be touring the show from Christmas 2023. It’s perfectly suited to studio to mid-scale theatres and we also have a flexible, stripped down design of the show which can pop-up in libraries too. 

Interested in booking The Detective Dog for Christmas 2023 or Spring 2024? Get in touch with us via email.

If you’re an audience member, be sure to sign up to our mailing list to find out about when we’ll be on tour with the show!

Library Tour

We’re also taking bookings for our specially made library version of the show, touring in Summer 2023. Get in touch to find out more. 


Production Images by Paul Blakemore from the R&D in Summer 2022.

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 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.

Watch Online

You can now watch the show via Children’s Theatre Digital, a brand new streaming site made for you to watch family theatre from your home.

Visit the website to watch The Selfish Giant!

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.

The Grand Women Project

A black and white photo of a white man and white woman, both wearing shorts and t-shirts, sitting down. The woman is looking at the camera, but the man is looking into the distance.

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

The Grand Women Project is an intergenerational community project with the aim of uniting communities and creating connection after over a year of restrictions in place due to Covid-19. 

A community-led engagement project, The Grand Women Project celebrates and champions 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. This project is in development, we hope to secure funding and to start work on it in 2024.


What happens next?

We are in the process of securing funding. 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

1 – 31 January 2022

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


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