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about Oliver


OLIVER JAMES HYMANS is an award-winning London-based puppet artist, theatre maker and arts education specialist.  He trained on the MA Scenography course at Central Saint Martins in 2006 and has since worked on a variety of theatre, opera, dance, film, circus and music video projects as a director, designer, performer/puppeteer. From designing an outdoor theatre production in Kerala, India to performing in window galleries, and immersive theatre productions, Oliver is interested in all elements of the theatre making process. 

Oliver is passionate about puppetry! His work has been presented in theatres and beyond, including Emily Rising and The Wishing Tree at the Little Angel Theatre (2016-2021) where he is also an Associate Artist; at Tate Modern for the first ever Uniqlo Tate Late (2016), The National Gallery for their Chinese New Year celebrations (2015, 2017), the internationally renowned Circo Para Todos, the National School of Circus for disadvantaged youth in in Colombia (2012) and most recently in the UNESCO world heritage site, The Painted Hall in Greenwich for Goblin Theatre's A Christmas Carol (2021). His puppetry designs have twice won awards at the Hackney Carnival with the Arcola Theatre, with whom Oliver has also directed two outdoor giant puppet operas in East London. In 2021 Oliver was awarded funding from the Arts Council England and the Queen Elizabeth Trust to develop as a specialist marionette artist, bringing the art form into the 21st century. 

Oliver is a visiting lecturer in Theatre Design and Scenography at Rose Buford College of Theatre and Performance. Between 2013 and 2016 Oliver was the resident community director for the Little Angel Theatre, directing their Youth and Adult companies and now leads on the adult learning courses at the world-famous puppet theatre. Oliver has also lead projects for the Camden Roundhouse, Museum of London, Almeida Theatre, Blind Summit Theatrefamed for producing the giant puppets at the London 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony.  In 2014, Oliver was the director of puppetry on the new music video for The Correspondents


Alongside making theatre, Oliver is an arts education specialist. He gained Qualified Teacher Status with Teach First, a challenging leadership development programme which places participants into disadvantaged inner-city school after only 6 weeks of training. Oliver is keen to share his passion for theatre and has since led dozens of theatre and arts education projects with the organisational listed below, reaching out to hundreds of young people each year.

"Oliver Hymans' production is visually dazzling...funny and beautiful...poetic and precise"
The Guardian on Emily Rising, 2016
"Dazzling technical flourishes"
The Stage on Emily Rising, 2016

“Particular mention must go to Oliver Hymans' puppet design…Reindeer Bancu is a magical addition to the show, with brilliantly realistic movement and wonderful personality...The appearance of Bancu alone is worth the ticket.”

Broadway World on The Snow Queen, 2019


“The undoubted star of the show is spindly reindeer puppet Bancu, designed by award-winning puppetry artist Oliver Hymans and invested with an endearingly awkward personality by its three-strong team of operators.”

The Stage on The Snow Queen, 2019

"Excellent ensemble puppetry...filled with life."                  Total Theatre Magazine
on The Jabberwocky, 2015
"Beautiful scenographic images"
The Guardian on Jew(ish), 2013

Oliver has worked with...

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