What Happened to You?

Nikki Charlesworth

Family, Puppetry, Theatre

Three puppeteers manoeuvre two puppets to interact with each other.

What Happened to You? follows three raggedy puppets, who like their puppeteers, are just trying to get through the day. Ahead of them lies a mountain of challenges and they are forced to find creative ways to overcome their impassable surroundings.

What Happened to You? is a family production, featuring award-winning puppets. Designer Nikki Charlesworth challenges the fundamental laws of traditional puppetry creating puppets that move as she moves. 

Follow Little Red, Noodles and Bo, three raggedy puppets, trying to get through the day. Ahead of them lies a mountain of challenges. They persevere, finding creative ways to overcome their impassable surroundings, confronting the prejudices disabled children face. This show highlights the importance of access and inclusion and promotes the endless opportunities once barriers are removed. 

What Happened to You? features creative use of Audio Description, embedded into an original score and is BSL translated throughout.

About Nikki Charlesworth

Nikki Charlesworth is a Theatre Designer, Puppeteer/Puppet Maker and recently turned Animator, from Nottingham.

In her professional life Nikki has worked at the forefront of disability-led theatre-making, contributing to new, ground-breaking work in the sector, and advocating for accessible puppetry training opportunities. Nikki has worked for pioneering disability-led companies such as Graeae Theatre Company, and Circus company Extraordinary Bodies and in 2021 was announced as one of the winners of the Evening Standard Future Theatre Fund, in association with TikTok.

Design credits: Self-designed and directed: What Happened to You? 2021 UK Tour and 2022 Canada Tour (Nikki Charlesworth Productions), The Steampunk Circus of Unkindness, 2022 Short Film and 2021 Regional Tour (Square Pegs Theatre Company), Splash! 2022 Short Film Animation and 2019 UK Tour (Extraordinary Bodies) and Maklena 2019 Ukraine Tour and 2018 UK Tour (Night Train Theatre Company).

Read an interview with creator Nikki Charlesworth on integrating access into the performance.

Creative / Production credits:

Director and Designer
Nikki Charlesworth

Nikki Charlesworth
Robyn Olivia
Bryony McCombie Smith
Georgia Jackson
Mia Ward
Hearns Sebuado

Company Stage Managers
Patricia Davenport
Elizah Jackson
Dominic Murray

Design Team
Nikki Charlesworth
Tony Mason
Bryony McCombie Smith

Composer and Sound Designer
Oliver Vibrans

Puppetry Mentor
Seam Myatt

Dramaturgy Mentor
Laura Guthrie

Audio Description Consultant
Chloe Clarke

Audio Describer
Jane Ensell

BSL Consultation and translation
DL Williams
Mia Ward
Hearns Sebuado
BSL Creative Support
Becky Barry

The original 2018 research and development team consisted of:
Nikki Charlesworth, Rachel Leggett and Bryony McCombie Smith

Creative Advisor
Daryl Beeton

Puppetry Advisor
Sean Myatt

Oliver Vibrans

Funding, commissioning and partner credits:

Polka Theatre – PolkaLAB residency recipient.

In Good Company – Artist support fund recipient.

The New Wolsey Theatre Ipswitch – Testing Ground commission recipient.

Cast Theatre, Docaster – Host of scratch performance.


What Happened to You? is supported by Without Walls.