Andy is a master puppet builder, designer and engineer. He has been working in the Theatre industry for over 20 years as a prop maker, set designer and builder, puppet designer, maker and puppeteer. Born and raised in the UK, Andy worked as a freelancer for many well established companies such as the Little Angel Theatre, Half Moon Children’s Theatre, Kazzum and Green Ginger.
Andy later moved on to work for the esteemed National Theatre in London, where he spent almost two years rebuilding and carefully maintaining puppets for the west end hit War Horse at the New London Theatre. It was War Horse that would ultimately lead him to his career and life in South Africa.
In 2011 Andy immigrated to SA to work full time as one of the chief puppet builders for Handspring Puppet Company, where he hand crafted and re-engineered the Tony Award winning War Horse puppets for three years. In 2014 he co-founded and became the artistic director of SHRiNKray Puppets, having designed and built puppets for Giant Films, Jungle Theatre Company, Handspring Trust and a 2 by 3 metre bengal tiger puppet for Princeton University in the United States.
Andy would later become one of the key creative engineering minds on The Firebird by Janni Younge Productions, astounding audiences with the beautiful, giant secretary bird and beast puppets.
After studying Drama and English at the renowned UCT, Jess immediately worked her way into the S.A. professional theatre scene. She began at the Baxter Theatre Centre in 2008, where she made a name for herself working on various productions, such as The Tempest, with the Royal Shakespeare Company, and Coming Home, by Athol Fugard.
In October 2009 she banged on the doors of Handspring Puppet Company, where she took her place as an apprentice puppet maker, and fell in love with the art of puppet building. By January 2011 Jess had become a senior puppet builder for Handspring, and at the age of 24 became the production and scheduling manager for the continuous stream of horse puppets taking the world by storm.
Jess would later go on to work with more South African greats, touring the world with both William Kentrige's UBU & the Truth Commission, and John Kani's, Missing.
Since then, her creative focus has returned to home, driving SHRiNKray forward by collaborating on local and international projects, with the likes of eMzantsi Carnival, Jungle Theatre Company, Giant Films, Handspring Trust and Princeton University.
Zanmari Norman was born in the Northern Cape, SA. Zanmari is a fabric worker, puppet builder, all-round crafter and self-proclaimed maker of stuff with a somewhat nomadic background of over 10 years in various creative fields.
After studying Graphic Design at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology Zanmari lived and worked in London for two years.
In 2012 she joined the War Horse team at Handspring Puppet Company where she passionately started building her career in the puppet building industry. Zanmari’s persevering mindset of constantly exploring and learning a new craft has resulted in a combination of skills resembling a rather curious case of a human Swiss army knife.
She is currently working as a freelancer and gaining hands on experience in sculpting, mould making and casting.