English director, designer and performer of puppetry Toby Olié made his Royal Ballet debut in 2011 on the puppet concept and design for Christopher Wheeldon’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and returned in 2012 for the revival of Will Tuckett’s The Wind in the Willows in the Royal Opera House’s first West End transfer.
Olié grew up in Northumberland and trained in puppetry at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, where he was the only student in his year to study the discipline. He was the hind puppeteer of Joey in the original production of War Horse (National Theatre) before moving to Joey’s head for the subsequent West End transfer. On leaving the show as a performer in 2011 he was made the associate puppetry director, and in 2014 he co-founded Gyre & Gimble, a theatre company specialising in puppetry.
Recent credits include Pinocchio, Peter Pan, The Elephantom and The Light Princess (National Theatre), Don Quixote and Venus and Adonis (RSC) Disney’s new staging of The Little Mermaid (in Holland, Moscow and Tokyo), Will Tuckett’s The Secret Garden (Sarasota Ballet), Running Wild (Chichester Festival Theatre and Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), The Grinning Man (Bristol Old Vic), Little Shop of Horrors (Manchester Royal Exchange), Goodnight Mister Tom (UK tour and West End) and A Christmas Carol, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Firework-Maker’s Daughter and Peter Pan (Chichester Festival Theatre).
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Our quick guide to Will Tuckett's much-loved family dance theatre show, inspired by Kenneth Grahame's classic novel.
Sonya Cullingford, Anna Martine, Clemmie Sveaas and Connor Dowling in The Wind in the Willows, Royal Opera House
Luke Heydon, Clemmie Sveaas, Anna Martine, Sonya Cullingford and Connor Dowling in The Wind in the Willows, the Royal Opera House
Sara Lamb and artists of The Royal Ballet in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, The Royal Ballet
Artists of The Royal Ballet in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland