Team Biographies

Richard Medrington, compulsive playwright, performer and storyteller found his calling as a puppeteer in 1983. His one-man shows include The Spider of Spindle Wood, The Interrogation, The Adventures of Ivan the Slug and AA Milne’s Winnie the Pooh, which toured the UK for five years to packed houses, culminating in a sell-out run at the Royal National Theatre in London. He moved to Edinburgh in 1992 and is a veteran of 16 Edinburgh Festival Fringes. He founded Puppet State Theatre Company in 2003 and his collaboration with Rick, Ailie and Elspeth began soon after that.

Rick Conte studied journalism at the University of Georgia and moved to Edinburgh, Scotland on a whim in 1989. He has worked with The National Theatre of Scotland, Wee Stories, The Edinburgh Puppet Company and Catherine Wheels. Using one of his puppet creations Lord Dennis Tippleworthy, Rick has addressed the European Conference on Alcohol Policy in Helsinki, Leiden and Warsaw. He learned almost everything he knows about theatre and performance at Edinburgh’s Bongo Club Cabaret 1998-2002. He and Richard have been touring with The Man Who Planted Trees since May 2006. He plans to continue until everyone has seen it.

Ailie Cohen went to Moscow to study acting, busked and starved her way round Europe with a street theatre troupe, then discovered she could combine visual art and theatre by becoming a puppeteer. Ailie also learned almost everything she knows at the Bongo Club Cabaret. She has worked with The National Theatre of Scotland, Grid Iron, TAG, The Citizens, Puppet Lab,Vanishing Point, Leicester Haymarket Theatre, and her own shows include Rumpelstiltskin at the Fairytale Laundry, Jazz Mouse, The New Not New and Cloud Man which featured in the prestigous ‘Made in Scotland’ showcase at the Edinburgh Fringe in August, 2011.

Elspeth Murray was not allowed to touch electrical appliances at home until she was six. She has been making up for her deprived childhood by operating sound and light equipment with many brightly-colored buttons in countless theatres, village venues and school halls with The Man Who Planted Trees. When not pressing buttons in theatres, she is company manager, which involves pressing buttons on screens and keyboards. She would be thrilled if you pressed the ‘Like’ button on Puppet State Theatre Company’s facebook page.