Focus: Kitchen Zoo Theatre | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Who are you?
Individually we are Bob Nicholson and Hannah Goudie-Hunter. Together we are Kitchen Zoo, a theatre company based in Newcastle who make theatre for children and their grown-ups. 

What is it you do?
We make performances and theatre experiences for young audiences. We want everyone’s first and early experiences of theatre to be exciting, fun and welcoming so we focus on creating playful events that include lots of music, puppetry and chances to join in. 

How long have you been doing it?
We formed Kitchen Zoo back in 2017. We had both been working as theatre makers separately but formed the company together when we realised we shared the same ideas and ethos.

What inspires you?
Naturally, we’re inspired by theatre or creative experiences that we had as children with our parents or grandparents. Our first show was The Owl and The Pussycat which we both had read to us as children. But when we’re making a show lots of inspiration from all over the place goes in to the pot, artwork and images, music and films – anything from big family films like Star Wars to Wallace and Gromit to Paddington or older things like Ealing comedies, Fred and Ginger films or Buster Keaton. We want to keep children and adults alike interested so they can truly share the experience, so we never narrow our inspirational horizons.

Tell us about your work.
Kitchen Zoo’s shows are usually based on traditional or folk tales. We present stories that most children will know in new ways.  Once we’ve made a show, we then perform it in a regional theatre before taking it on tour across the UK. We also create interactive Story Sessions inspired by subjects like space, climate change and deep sea exploration.

This July we’re really excited to be at the Newcastle Fringe with our show The Tortoise and the Hare, before we tour it throughout the UK this summer.  The Tortoise and the Hare is a celebration of determination and perseverance with a lot of silliness thrown in. We’re both in the show – Bob as the enthusiastic hare and Hannah as the slow and steady tortoise.  We’re joined by musician Tim Dalling who plays a fantastic live soundtrack he has created for the show. There’s lots of puppetry and the chances for the audience to join in and cheer for their winner.  

We want everyone to feel welcome at our performances so every show is relaxed, meaning we don’t mind if our audience needs to move around or make a noise. We want you to be comfortable!

What have you got coming up in the future?
Although it’s only the summer we’re busy planning for Christmas.

For the second year running we’re producing three Christmas shows!  You can catch our production of The Three Bears at Northern Stage, Hey Diddle Diddle (a nursery rhyme cabaret) at Queen’s Hall Hexham and WOLF! (based on the Boy Who Cried Wolf) at Theatre By The Lake in Keswick. 

Where can people find out more about you?
Our website is a great place to find out more about our work.  Head on over to We’re also active on social media – so find us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter

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