Monster Soup

An illuminated big puppet



Illuminating the microscopic world of the rivers, waterways and oceans through objects, music and big puppets.

The Monster Soup illuminated big puppet parade was a participatory outdoor theatre event that examined the microscopic world of the River Thames in Nine Elms – Wandsworth. Local pupils from St George’s Primary and Griffin Primary schools participated in a workshop series at the Rose Community Centre (SW8 4DL).

Young people designed and created their very own river monster lanterns, which they paraded alongside a giant toothy tadpole puppet called Arthur created by Puppets with GUTS.

Throughout the project the young people investigated the microscopic world of the Thames, a world unseen and a place that we all need to care for. The project encouraged local residents to explore newly regenerated public spaces and places unknown to them in their local area.

The initial inspiration for the project began with a satirical Victorian image called Monster Soup, which highlighted the pollution in London’s drinking water. We were interested in “highlighting the ongoing issue London still has with its air and water pollution” in an engaging and positive way.


Interested in booking this show? Please download our booking pack here.


To read about how we engaged young people in the local community with this project, download our engagement blog here.

Cast & Creative

Artistic Director, Producer, Original Concept: Ivan Thorley

Designer: Pip Herbst

Workshop Facilitators: Vicky Hancock, Ivan Thorley and Charlotte Quartermaine

Puppet Makers: Ivan Thorley, Pip Herbst, Charlotte Quartermaine, Caroline Bowman, Alison Alexander


Supported By

Commissioned and managed by Pump House Gallery, part of the OutHouse programme, delivering off-site activities and workshops across the borough of Wandsworth. Funded by Pump House Gallery, Wandsworth Council and Battersea Power Station Foundation.