Core Team 

Our team come together under the banner of PuppetSoup and work across  our specialisms to create work that is truly collaborative.

PuppetSoup’s team trained at some of the world’s leading universities and drama schools and we want to pass on our skills and knowledge through workshops and shows.

Below are some of the talented people who collaborate under the banner of PuppetSoup.

Fagner Gastaldon – Founder, Puppeteer, Director

Fagner Gastaldon is a multi award winning puppeteer originally from Brazil but settled in the Wales in the UK. Fagner has been involved in puppetry for around twenty years. His passion for puppetry developed as a child in Brazil where puppetry is a commonplace art form considered to be for both adults and children alike.

Fagner co-founded ‘PuppetSoup’ in order to create unique and beautiful puppetry that inspires audiences. He specialises in crafting puppets and performing contemporary puppet theatre, Teatro Lambe ( “Theatre for one”) as well as being an accomplished mask performer.  Fagner is the puppetry director and the primary workshop leader of PuppetSoup. He has created, devised and built all of PuppetSoup’s main work including the 5***** show ‘Land of the Dragon – Gwlad y Ddraig’, ‘The Memory Keeper’ for the RSPB, ‘Fix Freddie’ for the NHS, ‘Cat Town’ for Gwent Police, ‘Jack’ a refugee story based on Jack and the Beanstalk and ‘Arthur the Bear King’ and ‘The Cauldron of Ceridwen’ both English/ Welsh bilingual shows for the Arts Council of Wales.

With a strong commitment to teaching puppetry to as wide a variety of people as possible he has taught, worked and collaborated with groups and theatres including The Unicorn Children’s Theatre in London, Black Dog Theatre Group – a group that work with adults who struggle with their mental health, the Irish Traveller community in London and Wales and with hundreds of schools, colleges, and individuals from a broad demographic within the UK and beyond.

Fagner trained at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London, gaining an Honours in Puppetry and has also undertaken courses at Little Angel Theatre and through workshops with master puppeteers including John Roberts and Christopher Leith.  He has puppeteered and collaborated with numerous companies and organisations within the UK and overseas and in addition to running PuppetSoup, he has also set up ‘PuppetryCourses.com’ to offer short courses and training to both adults and children who have an interest in the craft of puppetry.

Cass Gastaldon – Founder, Performer, Director

A co-founder of PuppetSoup, Cass is from Wales and has been involved in making puppets and puppetry for many years. She is a multi award winning performer who has had a life long passion for theatre, performance and making dolls and puppets.

Cass trained at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London gaining an Honours Degree in puppetry and has a particular interest in using puppetry for social and community benefit.

Cass is an accomplished puppeteer and is highly experienced at devising new theatre pieces.  She is involved in the creation of all of PuppetSoup’s work and performs in most of PuppetSoup’s shows.  Cass is especially interested an animal puppets and table top puppetry.

She is an experienced teacher and workshop facilitator in addition to having performed with a wide variety of puppet and object related medium.

Current Collaborators

Christine Smith – Tour Manager, Wales

Christine is a Wales based Arts coordinator specialising in touring schedules within Wales.  She has extensive experience in Arts Education and also worked for the Police for many years before going into Arts provision and events.

Naomi Doyle – Actress (English and Welsh speaking)

Naomi is an experience bilingual actress who has worked and performed with PuppetSoup for over five years. A talented creative with vast experience in Theatre in Education, Naomi has performed with PuppetSoup in Land of the Dragon and Arthur the Bear King.

Richard Semmens

Richard has worked extensively in IT and has won awards for his work within computing. Richard felt that his skills were highly transferable and whilst still working for a leading tech company in the day, Richard now pursues theatre production as his passion.  Richard has produced Land of the Dragon, Cauldron of Ceridwen and is working on Arthur – The Bear King.

Ana Maio – Designer, Artist

Ana is a supremely talented artist, designer and illustrator who PuppetSoup are lucky enough to work with on a regular basis. Her illustrations can be seen on the PuppetSoup websites including welshtales.com and fixfreddie.com.  Ana trained at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama after having a successes in youth theatre and scenic art in her native Portugal.  Ana designed Fix Freddie! and Land of the Dragon with PuppetSoup as well as having been a supportive artist and designer on other PuppetSoup productions and puppets.

Norvydas Genys – Lighting Designer

Norvydas has worked within lighting design and production in both the events industry and within theatre.  Norvydas is originally from Lithuania and has toured Europe providing lighting for a variety of events.  Norv has furthered his training at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama London and is  qualified in all aspects of technical production.

Chris Lyon – Touring Technical Manager and Lighting Designer

Chris was introduced to theatre tech while studying Mathematics at the University of Bath, and has been in love with it ever since. Despite an aspiration to become an accountant he has become a freelance technician and has enjoyed supporting theatre and live music events with his friends from university.

Daniel Balfour – Sound Designer

Our special thanks go out to our past collaborators and colleagues :

Dr Cariad Astles – Director, Head of Puppetry at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama

Dr Francesca Cleugh – Consultant Paediatrician at St Mary’s London – Lead collaborator on ‘Fix Freddie’.

Darren East – Puppeteer, Director

Rachel Warr – Dramaturg and Director

Guilherme Peixoto – Master Puppeteer, director

Monica Longo – Director, producer, puppeteer

Paulo Nazareno – Puppeteer and puppet maker

Natalie Wilson – Scenic Artist (created the outer casing of the large opening tree featured in Land of the Dragon)

Dr Gwilym Morus – Acclaimed musician and expert in Welsh mythology (collaborted on Land of the Dragon) – Please visit his websites at www.mwncinel.com and www.welshmythology.com

Professor Roger Kneebone

Ted Beresford

Sam Conor Smith  – Sound Design (Land of the Dragon)

Heledd Gwynn – Performer (Land of the Dragon)

Alida Bratinger Costume Designer (Fix Freddie)

Annalisa Spezzacatene – Costume Designer (Land of the Dragon)