In orbit around children

"Moonstruck Astronaut is a theatre company that stages plays for and with children and their communities that delight in unusual ideas. Our mission is to create performances that encounter life from a child’s open-minded perspective of wonder in order to foster intergenerational and intercultural friendship."

- Hannah de Quincey
Founder and Artistic Director

The Man in the Moon

The Man in the Moon by Jack Healy, stage play by Jack Healy and Enda Walsh, the first project of Moonstruck Astronaut theatre company, is an ingenious, sensitive, touching piece about the process of bereavement as seen through the eyes of a ten-year old boy who happens to be a balloon. It had never been staged before and has been made into a successful puppet play in collaboration with the children of Deptford and funded by the Arts Council and Lewisham Council.

Photographs of performances from the Albany, February 2009 | taken by Jennie Albone

The first run of performances coincided with the official launch of Moonstruck Astronaut on the 14th of February at the Albany Theatre, and continued until the 21st of February. As part of the development process, the puppeteers and creative team worked alongside pupils at a Primary School in Deptford during rehearsals. The children's responses have had a direct input into the production and gave the students a rare and special experience of inclusion in professional theatre.

Team for the Man in the Moon

The Man in the Moon Team

Ida Marie Tjalve


Touring with The Mouse Queen I have perfomed at The Little Angel Theatre, at Unicorn Theatre, at Hampstead Theatre in London and at The New Victory Theatre in New York. I have co-designed the puppets, costumes and the set with Tinka Slavicek for No Nonsense-Theatre's production of Romeo and Juliet. Together with Tinka Slavicek, I am also co-founder of the company FLOTSAM & JETSAM aka LOBSTER & JACKSON - the company is currently touring the award-winning show, "The Key In The Sea".

Christina Stouraiti


I have studied Preschool Education and Playing Through Theatre in Greece and completed a MA in Applied Theatre (Drama in Education and in the Community) in Central School of Speech and Drama. I always had a special interest in puppetry, which is the reason that I am involved in this poetic project.

Grethe Jensen


I am an actress and puppeteer, trained at A.L.R.A. London. My acting credits include parts in: Peter Rabbit and his Friends, Unicorn Theatre, Oliver Twist and Midsummer Night’s Dream with White Horse Theatre, Germany, The Snow Queen. I have also worked with the physical theatre company Angel Exit and Quicksilver Theatre for Children. My credits as puppeteer include work at London School of Fashion, Little Angel Theatre, I’m Not Lost Co. and various outdoor shows.

Louisa Quinn


I am currently in my third year at Central School of Speech and Drama studying Puppetry. My performance credits include; Faustus at the Victoria And Albert Museum, A Kent tour of Beggars Opera and Midsummer nights Dream with Changeling theatre company, Strings and Yarns, performed as part of  Praque Quadrennial. I have also worked for Little Angel Puppet Theatre and have recently really enjoyed being involved with Oily Cart’s production, ‘Pool Piece’. I have a love for childrens theatre and storytelling which is why I was drawn to the Man in the Moon project.

Catherine McKinney

Executive Producer

Catherine is Finance Manager for Shunt, a performance and theatre collective based in the vaults under London Bridge Station. She has previously worked for the National Student Drama Festival, Arts Council England, East and the Norfolk & Norwich Festival.

Jennie Albone

Education Manager

Jennie is a secondary English and Drama teacher at a Buckinghamshire grammar school. She holds an English BA from Leeds University, a PGCE from Reading University and further visual arts training at The University of the Arts London. In addition to her professional experience of directing and devising theatre with young people, she has also written and led workshops for young people at the Reading RISC centre, and worked in the voluntary sector at Toynbee Hall.

Nadine Ishani


I am a freelance arts administrator and marketer and part time youth worker.  As well as working part time on several projects, I am currently writing my dissertation for my MA in Arts Management at Greenwich.  I have worked with a range of arts companies in the past including Improbable, The Electric Theatre, Guildford Borough Council Leisure Development, London Bubble, the Puppet Centre Trust, TippingPoint andd CRiSAP among others.  I also hold a degree in Drama from Hull.

Miki Shaw


Miki Shaw is a freelance computer animator and graphic artist with 6 years commercial experience in graphics, animation, computer games development and research. She holds a Computer Science BA from Cambridge University, and an MSc in Computer Animation from Bournemouth University. At Sony Computer Entertainment Europe she was one of the creators of the BAFTA award-winning SingStar series. She also performs as a VJ, creating and mixing live visuals for musical/theatrical events.

Claire Strickland

Puppetry Designer and Maker

Claire is a freelance puppet and mask maker who trained at Bretton Hall in the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, University of the Arts, London. She has participated in puppetry workshops with Peter O’Rourke and John Roberts. Claire has made puppets for the Little Angel Theatre, Right Horse Theatre (Germany), Flat Pack Productions, the UNIMA ‘Million Puppet Project’, Knifedge Limited and the Mighty Boosh (through Michael Fowkes). Claire has also been workshop leader for ‘Saturday Puppet Club’, a children’s group at the Little Angel Theatre.


Past Performance Details

The Man in the Moon

Public performance at The Little Angel Theatre, Islington as part of the Central School of Speech and Drama's International Student Puppet Festival 2009.

The Man in the Moon

Public performances at the Albany Studio, Deptford (SE8 4AG) from 14th to the 21st February 2009.

Puppetry Workshops

In conjunction with the performances of The Man in the Moon, we are also running free puppetry workshops on the 14th, 18th and 21st February at 3.45pm at the Albany Studio. Booking for places on the worskhops is via the Albany box office.