Lady Strong’s Bonfire is a Bristol based theatre company, co-founded by Tomasin Cuthbert, Liz Hart and Tessa Bide. We make powerful and joyous theatre for predominantly adult audiences with passion, integrity and a team of talented hand-picked collaborators. Combining forces and years of experience, Lady Strong’s Bonfire is producing poetic visual theatre full of puppetry and mask, stunning design and wild physicality.
Tomasin Cuthbert is a painter and theatre designer and is behind much of the artwork found on our gallery page. Tomasin is also Artistic Director of Soap Soup Theatre who pool together established and emerging artists to create high quality puppet and visual theatre. The shows are enjoyed by audiences of any age and are currently performed at regional studio theatres such as The Plymouth Drum, The Nuffield, The Bolton Octagon and The Exeter Bikeshed as well as primary schools and live art festivals. Tomasin also designs and makes for such companies as Ramshacklicious, Stuff and Nonsense and White Horse Theatre (Germany).
Tessa Bide has been a theatremaker and performer for the past 5 years. Her passions lie in writing original storylines and combining them with puppetry, dance and live music. As well as her role in Lady Strong’s Bonfire, Tessa also freelances for other companies and makes her own work. To date, Tessa has made three Arts Council England-funded productions for family audiences: The Tap Dancing Mermaid, Arnold’s Big Adventure and The Melody Makers. Tessa’s work has been called “the perfect example of a show where the adults are just as enthralled as the kids.” (A Younger Theatre), ‘simply magical…another perfect production’ (Manchester’s Finest) and ‘just everything a children’s theatre experience should be’ (Childplays). Tessa continues to make and tour her own work, including an exciting new physical solo show called ‘A Strange New Space’. See more on her website.
Liz Hart has her roots in visual and physical theatre and trained at Wimbledon School of Art and at Circomedia in Bristol. Her theatre company Bric a Brac Productions tours lively indoor and outdoor family shows in the UK and abroad. Liz specialises in mask work and runs courses in making and performance at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, Circomedia and from her studio in Bristol, where she also makes masks and puppets on commission.