HandMade Theatre

Unique, sustainable, engaging work with people at its heart.

Our Team

About Us

Our Team

Company Founders

Suzy Gunn, CEO

Suzy trained in Contemporary theatre and has been involved in the creative industries for almost 20 years. She is passionate about creating contemporary art accessible for everyone. Her arts management experience for Reckless Sleepers and Retina Dance Company means that she is meticulous and thorough when it comes to organising.

She has performed in various guises over the years in children’s theatre and experimental theatre and uses storytelling and play therapy to work with children and adults of all ages, inspiring confidence.

Having worked for a women’s refuge in 2019 began using play therapy to work with women and children who have experienced trauma, seeing the power of play and the difference it can make in children’s lives is what inspires her to create new projects.

Amy Nicholson, Creative Director

Amy trained as a Theatre Designer at Nottingham Trent University and has an MA in Theatre design from Wimbledon School of Art. She has worked on a broad range of professional design projects including sets, costumes, puppets, props, masks and make-up for both theatre and film. 

Alongside this industry-based practise Amy has worked in education delivering a broad range of music, drama and art based workshops. Amy is an associate lecturer at Nottingham Trent University, a qualified Art & Design teacher,  and has experience delivering musical interaction therapy.  

Amy specialises in puppetry both as a maker and performer. She has made a wide range of professional touring puppets both for HandMade Theatre and as commissions. She regularly delivers puppet making workshops for children and young people. 

Associate Artists

 Benjamin McElroy: Musician & Performer:

Ben is a composer, lyricist and performer who graduated from New College Nottingham in 2008 with a degree in Sonic Arts. Ben has performed in a number of bands as well as travelling Europe and the UK as a street entertainer. Ben also works as a private instrumental teacher and is interested in music as therapy having work at various special needs schools.

Lil Davis: Musician & Performer:

Lil grew up in Israel and trained at Cygnet Training Theatre, Exeter. Recent work includes 'The Biggest Tarantino Fan in The World' (Arcola Theatre), 'Thought to Flesh' (Vault Festival).

Tom Byrne: Musician & Performer

Thomas Byrne is an actor, musician, and puppeteer based in Manchester. For the past 7 years he has worked as a freelancer, specialising in work that caters to young people and family audiences. He has worked with companies such as Horse and Bamboo, Whalley Range All Stars, Plungeboom, Handmade Theatre, and Wild Rumpus as well as continuing to make his own work both as an independent and within Scallywags Theatre Company CIC (2014-2021), who create entertaining and engaging interactive theatre pieces for young people of all ages and abilities.

Thomas is particularly passionate about taking theatre out of traditional performance spaces and bringing work directly into communities as he believes this can create a more exciting and engaging experience that participants can feel more of a sense of ownership and connection to… He also has a very curly moustache and likes eating rich tea biscuits whilst reading a good book.

Ben Thomas: Set builder & Co Designer

Ben trained as a furniture maker and designer.  He is a social Entrepreneur at Start Creative, Salford where he ran the community workshop for many years.  He is passionate about nature, wood and traditional skills.  He designs and builds bespoke wooden structures for festivals, events and community settings. He has played a key part in developing the Handmade Theatre style and sustainable ethos.

Becky Matter: Musician & Performer

Becky trained as an actor in the early nineties and has worked as an actor/storyteller ever since. Becky works extensively within schools as a performance storyteller and storytelling workshop provider. Becky tells traditional tales like “Goldilocks and the Three Bears”, adaptations of Greek Myths like “Theseus and the Minotaur” and underwater stories like “Felicity the Brave Seahorse”; she loves using props and costume to bring stories to life.

About Us

About Us

HandMade Theatre use live performances and creative therapy approaches to bring experiences of wonder and joy to children and communities.

We perform at festivals, theatres and community spaces in the Midlands and beyond.

We deliver bespoke projects and creative workshops for people who need more support, joy and confidence in their lives.

We are a charity and rely on donations to help fund our work

Every project is unique and engage audiences in usual ways. Our work is:


We believe that play and creativity are vital components of everyone’s life, and everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy them.

We are passionate about new writing and devise all our shows through a collaborative process of 'play'.

We use sustainable, handcrafted resources and highly skilled artists to tell stories that capture the imaginations of people of all ages and circumstances.

‘We had fun and the set, props and sense of the performers’ enthusiasm for their subject were wonderful.’ ***** 5 stars. Mumsnet 2016. Flying The Nest at The Theatre Royal, Nottingham.

HandMade Theatre is a company registered in England and Wales. Company number:10016205, Registered Charity number:1169406