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Robin hood and Dave Oliver - Rattlebox Theatre
Robin Hood puppet show - Rattlebox Theatre

Photos by James Richardson

Beowulf puppet


Robin Hood puppet show - Rattlebox Theatre


Rattlebox Theatre's puppets always cause a stir wherever they turn up - at fairs, castles, theme parks, historical events or even shopping centres!
Beautifully crafted and skilfully operated, they create a little magic and a lot of laughter wherever they appear.

Extra shows can be added in a day for an extra fee.

Robin Hood puppet show - Rattlebox Theatre

(a Rattlebox/Angelheart theatre co-production- for ages ideally 5 years to adult.)

Performed by David Oliver and James Richardson


The show is a mixture of fast paced acting and skilful puppetry using beautifully hand made puppets and props. We have used old ballads as well as more contemporary sources as inspiration to bring some of the legends of Robin Hood to life!

This fun show is designed to be performed indoors or out (weather permitting!) so it can be performed at fetes and fairs; historic venues etc as well as schools, village halls and museums. The show can be played as one continuous one hour show, or split into 2 shorter performances more suited to outdoor events.

There are  2 main stories each 30 mins long (how Robin Hood met Tuck, Little John and Maid Marion as one story; and the famous Silver Arrow competition story as the second).


If  desired, we can add an extra bonus 10 min piece onto the 1 hour version; of how Robin defeats Guy of Guisborne and tricks the Sheriff (of course!).  We will normally play 3 x 30 mins sets  in a day for fetes etc where shorter performances are preferable.




plus petrol cost

1 vehicle


3 x 30 MIN SHOWS


plus petrol cost

1 vehicle

The performance area can squeeze into a space 4.5 metres wide by 5 metres deep if space is limited. Set up time - minimum of 1 hour. We have outdoor / indoor battery lighting on tripods if required.

The show  can be packed down in approx. 30 mins.



Join England's Greatest Outlaw as he and his Merry Friends take on the dastardly Sheriff of Nottingham! Be swept along in the adventure as dynamic puppetry and colourful acting bring these much - loved tales to life.


With comedy, derring - do and even interactive archery. The Tales of Robin Hood is a quiver - full of fun for both young and old alike.

Photo by James Richardson

Photo by James Richardson

Rastus puppet show - Rattlebox Theatre

Our Swashbuckling hero, Captain Jeremiah Obadiah, has hit hard times... he has no money for grog or for sailing the High Seas! However, a chance encounter with a group of Nuns willing to charter a ship to take them to Lourdes propels him into more adventure than you could shake a cutlass at!


Dave Oliver getting a cannon ball too the face! - Rattlebox Theatre

​Will the notorious Whaler Ezekial Krang foil Jeremiah’s attempts to save a Wobbly Whale with a belly full of treasure? Will Jeremiah ever teach the Nuns to cuss and fire a cannon? Will he ever get Lorraine the Mermaid to stop singing!

Performed by David Oliver and James Richardson

Inspired in part by the cult kids tv programme - “Michael Bentines Potty Time”, this lively show is crammed with   delightfully detailed sets, props, puppets and laughs. This mad-cap tale of pirates, sea monsters, treasure, ship battles (and pirate nuns) will have you  “Ha-Haaring” in no time!

The show lasts 45 mins and can be performed up to twice a day. Suitable for ages 5 years to Adult.

The show was designed as an outdoor show (storms permitting!) but can equally be performed indoors. We have performed it  at a variety of places including a cobbled harbour and a museum with equal success.

We have battery powered tripod mounted lights that can be used in/outdoors if required.

Mermaid puppet - Rattlebox Theatre

"And the Pirate show was brilliant, I don’t know who enjoyed it more; me or the kids!"

Audience feedback at Great  Coxwell Barn FestivaL


It takes 45 mins to set up the show, and 30 mins to take down.


Pasty Pirate harbour .JPG



plus petrol cost

1 car




plus petrol cost

1 car

Photo by Jack Oliver

Photo by Jack Oliver

Beowulf - Puppet Shows


The beautifully detailed  puppets and props are mostly based on early Anglo - Saxon costume, art and artifacts.

Puppet props - Rattlebox Theatre

The show can fit into most classrooms with pupils / audience tending to be sitting on the floor / chairs up close to the performance space. As the puppets are 9 inches high (23cm) We normally suggest an audience limit of a max of 70 people per show. set up time approx. 40 mins. Pack down time approx. 25 mins. (not including Saxon tent if used)

Instruments - Rattlebox Theatre
Dragon puppet - Rattlebox Theatre

We can offer two versions of the show, either a 45 min performance that portrays Beowulf’s struggle with Grendel and his mother; or a slightly longer show (1 Hour) which also includes Beowulfs later battle against a dragon.

Tent set up - Rattlebox Theatre

The performance can be followed by a Question and Answer session (at no extra cost) which we have found are very popular.

The show was primarily designed for schools, but has been also very successfully performed at a variety of venues; including History festivals, museums, historic properties and even someone’s living room! It can be performed indoors or out (weather permitting) with a saxon style tent backdrop option if the show is on fairly level grass.

Due to the nature of the story there are a few scenes of graphic puppet violence and peril-So NOT recommended for children under 7 years. (most over 7 years seem to relish the gory fights however!)

Beowulf puppet on helmet - Rattlebox Theatre

“A majestic feasting Hall-Heorot, sits proudly on a hill. Built on the orders of King Hrothgar of Denmark as a symbol of his power and wealth. By days its gilded roof dazzles; by night its rafters ring with laughter and song. All wonder at and praise its splendour.


Save one…


In the wild mist - wreathed marshes, lurks a monster - GRENDEL. Full of envy and hate; he would tear down Hall Heorot’s doors and devour all those within! It is only the famed warrior BEOWULF who might stand any chance against this creature’s great strength; and reclaim the Hall for Denmark’s king.”

Beowulf was amazing. I caught myself, when it finished, realizing how small the stage was, because I had completely forgotten that it was a puppet show. The medium totally vanished into the story. Brilliant. :) 

-Brett Thorn (Bucks County Museum)

Favourite Bits: Epic storytelling & great atmosphere created by the live music – engrossing

Feedback from

Beverley puppet festival

Favourite Bits: Storytelling atmosphere. Puppets, music, all fabulous, I loved it

Feedback from

Beverley puppet festival

Favourite Bits: all of it! Wonderful range of traditional crafts and skills brought together to retell a great story

Feedback from

Beverley puppet festival

Rattlebox Theatre presents part of the famous Anglo-Saxon epic ‘BEOWULF’ in this small but perfectly formed adaption! This show employs engaging storytelling combined with clever puppetry; using many beautifully made puppets, sets and props.


The performance retains the spirit of the original story, whilst making it accessible to both adults and children alike (ages 6 years and up). The show is designed to be performed several times at an event/venue or to complement my dark age “weapons and warfare” workshop or storytelling performances.


The show is best performed with the audience up close; and can fit in a relatively small space. The puppet set / performing table being approx. 1 metre wide by 1.5 metres high by 1 metre deep. (With room needed for a trestle behind the table) This makes it suitable for some smaller venues as well as larger ones! (Ideal for classrooms too)


This show can be performed outdoors (weather permitting!) and requires no electrical supply; so lends itself perfectly to historical events, historic properties, country fairs etc. I can provide the option of a Saxon tent that has a front opening awning (and is furnished with a variety of fur rugs). This can act as a visually appealing backdrop to the show.

The performance is accompanied with evocative live music played on an impressive array of medieval and traditional instruments (including Harp, bombarde, border pipes, percussion and lyre ) by maestro Paul Whittal.

Beowulf puppet in throne - Rattlebox Theatre

Photo Credits: Roy Smallpage & Jack Oliver



plus petrol cost

1 car




These are my standard rates-but I will sometimes give discounts for multiple bookings. Performances done in very distant parts may require an increased fee (due to several days travel and/or accommodation costs etc) – But I will always try to be fair and find the best rate to help your costs.


Beowulf puppet show- Rattlebox Theatre

Dave Oliver, professional storyteller and puppet master, casts a spell over his audience, drawing in early medieval enthusiasts and those unfamiliar alike. He skillfully uses voice, puppet and prop in a seamless telling of the ancient tale. My daughter, who is as unimpressed with swords and sorcery as it is humanly possible to be, was as awestruck as I by this presentation.


Adding to the atmosphere, musician Paul Whittal provides accompaniment on two different types of bagpipes (Borders and French), at least two horns, harp, drum, singing bowl, cymbals and other instruments.


In all, a gripping retelling of Beowulf in painstakingly created miniature. Recommended for everyone - kids, adults, Beowulf experts and Beowulf ignorant.

Andy Ternay -

Ancient European sword forum

If you would like to download flyers and posters for your events please click here


BEOWULF pattern_beige.png
BEOWULF pattern_beige.png
SHEILD with shadow.png

One of my most popular creations!  Loved by young and old alike.
Rastus the Rat sits in a small (but beautifully formed) medieval style puppet booth and chats to passers - by.  All the interaction is improvised and hilarious results are quickly achieved.  Rastus has performed at fairs,  cabaret clubs, stately homes, zoos and was even the ticket collector for a marquee ball.  He has also been used for healthy eating education in schools!

Ideal for outdoor events and street fairs as the puppet booth is free - standing and needs little space.

I normally perform with Rastus throughout an events'

duration in 15-20 minute stretches.



Ratus - chat to a rat! - Rattlebox Theatre

"My children and I met Rastus the Rat at Vivary Park, Taunton and we loved him! My son hasn't stopped talking about Rastus yet"


"We would just like to say how much we appreciated your hard and skillful work.  It was definitely a very popular attraction"

John Herbert

Stockland Fair

"Thank you for your splendid performances at the Devon County Show.  The puppets and your banter certainly added much to the exhibit"

Linda Turner

Exeter City Council

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