Superhoodies- R&D

An urban big puppet beatbox spectacle- 2016 to current


#superhoodies is a new urban big puppet beatbox spectacle that creates a positive platform for young people to engage in the creation of street culture as a ‘force for good in the world’. See our recent engagement video that we created with our first crew of young and talented #superhoodies in Wandsworth.

The latest R&D exploration was conducted between October and Decemeber 2016. Through Puppets with Guts afterschool Kids Create Club that celebrates the creativity and talents of young people 8yrs to 11yrs old- who live on three housing estates in the Queenstown ward- Wandsworth. Working in collaboration with participants the engagement project developed individual superhero powers, designed bespoke hoodies and taught beatbox and break dance skills. This work collimated in a short performance where the Superhoodie group worked together to defeat a giant (prototype) Supervillian hoodie puppet.

The future vision for the project is to create a family of high-quality big hoodie puppets, who beatbox, break dance and are luminously lit through dynamic internal LED lighting. The combination of big puppetry and beatboxing is a key relationship we wish to explore to create a spectacular big puppet beatbox spectacle. Developing the relationship between big puppet and street culture is key to our reaching new audiences and celebrating talent in overlooked communities.

Superhoodies R&D has been funded by Wandsworth Council, Enable Leisure & Culture and Battersea Power Station Foundation. Thanks to St George’s Primary and Griffin Primary schools, Carey Gardens Coop and The ROSE Community Centre.

Artistic Director- Ivan Thorley

Pro Beatboxer- Andrew London

Workshop Facilitation- Charlotte Quartermaine

Puppet Makers- Alison Alexander and Naomi Oppenheim

Image Design- Caroline Bowman

Video- Zia Trench

We are seeking future commissions and partnerships with venues, festivals and arts organisations who are working with beatbox and breakdance communities, to get on board to develop and present this new multi- artform work. We are interested in developing part of the work with professional artists and through engagement workshops with young people.

Please get in touch if you are interested.




Previous Performances


– Young People- 8 years to 11 years

Taster Workshops- Griffin, Heathbrook and St George’s Primary schools

We visited three primary schools- St Georges, Griffin and Heathbrook to deliver our 30min Superhoodie taster workshops to year 4 to 6 classes. The workshop began with our intrepid secret agent Marina Kempford (Charlotte Quartermaine) who was sent from SWIFT (Superhero’s Worldwide Introducing Freedom Together) agency to recruit new superhero trainees. “Are you ready to become a superhero?” We then overviewed what superpowers exist in the world and what it means to be a superhero. In groups- the Superhoodie trainees began to develop their superpowers to use on a rogue Superheros who have turned into villians. After sharing their superpowers with other groups- a strange sound was heard- “what might that be?” Suddenly a rogue villain- Captain Beatbox (Andrew London) appeared- using his super beatboxing powers in an attempt to rule the world- the trainee superhoodies had to use their combined powers to stop him! “Is he dead?” Up springs Captain Beatbox and tells the trainee Superhoodies this was a test to see if they could in fact begin training. “Who wants to learn some beatboxing?” The trainees then formed a large group to learn the boots and cat’s basics.

Student Feedback:

“it was awesome”

“captain beatbox was scary”

“my superpowers are teleportation and mind control”

“that was cool”


Workshop 1 ROSE- 9th November 2016

The session began with sign in and developing a “them da rules” board that the trainees signed up to. After a physical warm up- the new trainees began to develop their beatbox skills with learning of time signature through a physical stepping pattern and developing their sounds. Individuals then got on the open mic and presented their beats to the group. We then moved onto drafting the first part of a Superhoodie logo through naming their superhero, their super power and what their design might look like with some surprising results.

Student Feedback:

“I’m coming back next week”

“Are we really going to make our own hoodies”



Week 2 ROSE- 16th November 2016

The second week of workshops began with a quick recap of “them da rules” and some name games- followed by a Superhoodie Obstacle Course when trainees raced against the clock to complete it. We then moved on to developing further their designs with PI- a street art clothing designer who demonstrated how a three-layered stencil technique works. With that in mind- the trainees set to work on their own designs, creating a background, the shape of a place they would want to protect most and a picture of their superpower done physically. After some wild interpretations- we had our templates to make the individual designs. The trainees also completed a mood tree at the start and end of the session.

Student Feedback:

“You guys are working so hard to do something cool for us”



“that’s so cool”


Week 3 ROSE- 23rd November 2016

We started this session by letting off steam and having a dance, with children being free to beatbox and sing on the microphone when we entered the space. We have some talented students!

Our engaging warm up game had participants wanting to play again. Superhoodie obstacle course! Participants individually completed the course, which involved crawling through the tunnel of doom, jumping through the black hole hoop, rebuilding a small town and saving it from its kryptonite. We had participants timing each other for the best score whilst others gave commentary on the race. Brilliant fun!

We then went through our beat box skills. We are starting to get a range of sounds under our belts! We created a group power sound and we learnt a two-part group beat box beat. Excellent to see that our timing has improved!

Today was our first break dance session! It was great to see the participants engaged in the exercises and even being confident enough to ask for harder dance moves! They defiantly rose to the challenge and gave it their all. A brilliant start.

Student Feedback:

‘Can we do the obstacle course again? I want a better time!’

‘I find it really funny when I beat box. I spit everywhere!’

‘I’m really looking forward to making my hoodie!’


Week 4 ROSE- 30th November 2016

This week was all stations go as we painted our hoodies with street artist and painter Inky Flows.  In groups of three we learnt the process of using an air brush and then painted our stencil designs onto our hoodies. The chance to see a professional painter free hand the finishing touches defiantly created a buzz in the room! Excellent to see our designs come to life with vibrant paints. It had the children wanting to put their hoodies on straight away!

We then refreshed our beat boxing skills and breakdancing routine. With the chance to learn more complicated versions, it was great to see the participants rise to the challenge! Our skills are defiantly improving!  The S.W.I.F.T agency is sure to approve!

Student Feedback:

‘I loved painting my hoodie.’

‘Yes, that was my favourite part!’

‘Can I do more painting on my hoodie?’

‘Pi (the painting teacher) is really cool!’

‘I want to wear my hoodie now!’


Week 5 ROSE- 7th Dec 2016

This week was all systems go as we completed our last workshop before next week’s outdoor performance to families and friends.

But first we had our welcoming game. This week we held our own gymnastic competition! Everybody who wanted to take part took 5 minutes to make up their routine and then we started the show! We had our three judges, a presenter and of course some talented beat boxers to create the backing track for each performance. Spirits were high as we cheered everybody performing their routine. There were some high scores and it was a close win by one point but Diannah won this week’s contest. Congratulations!

After a round of applause for the gymnastic completion we did a short warm up circle and then we cracked on with rehearsals in preparation for next week’s show. Focus was high as we went through our break dance and beat box routines, performing as one large group with some even doing solo work! We practiced our individual character entrances and poses and it was brilliant to see confidence blooming and skills improving. It’s clear people have been practicing their routines at home. I think it’s starting to come together!

We managed to run through the whole show and this included meeting our nemesis hoodie puppet for the first time! We might have been scared at first but we put up our hoods and used our powers in beat box and break dance to defeat the puppet. Our powers are clearly working and we scared the puppet away. Hooray!

One more week to go to practice our beat box and break dance skills before the show. So, let’s keep training! Next week’s performance will happen at The Rose Centre.

Student Feedback:

‘I loved doing the gymnastic competition.’

‘Me too!’

‘I liked the dancing and gymnastic competition.’

‘My favourite part was running away from the scary dog.’


Week 6 ROSE- 15th December 2016

This week was show week so after a short game and warm up we got straight to business rehearsing the show! It was great to see everything coming to life! We went through our break dancing and beat box, took a deep breath then we were ready!

We took the performance outside and with the buzz of The Rose Christmas party in the air we took our places and started the show. ‘In a town, not far away, in fact so close, its where we’re standing now new superheroes were being formed. Trained in the arts of beat box and break dance we give you The Superhoods!’ We then did a showing of our Superhoodie skills that the agency had taught over the term. It was great to see everyone give it their all for the beat box and break dance routines with some even performing solos! Then it was the climax of the show with the entrance of the giant evil puppet. Through the darkness, we could see his electrical body light up as he menacingly approached The Rose. We might have been scared at first but then we put up our hoods and used our powers of beat box and beak dance to defeat the puppet and save The Rose.  I am pleased to say we were successful! And with cheers, we took a bow and ended the show.

We were pleased to then announce about next terms project ‘Water Monsters’. This will start 18th January and we hope to continue to have everybody involve. Everyone was then free to enjoy the rest of The Rose Christmas party. Where we could visit Santa, listen to the choir and take part in the raffle.

Kids Create were all very pleased to be a part of it!


Student Feedback:

‘Love kids create because I can see friends’

‘Being a super hero is so cool’

‘That being a swift agent you had to have teamwork’

‘all people can be Superhoodies’

‘I’m amazing at dancing’

‘how cool this is’