About us

Pif-Paf is an genre-bending theatre company creating top notch performance and sculpture and taking it to the places it doesn’t normally reach. Our work is presented outdoors and in non-traditional spaces and we are keenly involved in the development of the perception and possibilities of outdoor theatre. We are based in Sheffield working around the UK and beyond delivering small and mid-scale touring shows and commissions all with a unique visual, high-quality and accessible style.

The company is based around the collaboration of joint artistic directors Pete Gunson and Eleanor Hooper supported by Marianne Bolton as company administrator and an amazing crew of freelance performers, makers and musicians.

Pete Gunson, joint artistic director, producer, engineer
Pete formed Pif-Paf in 2003 in Manchester inspired by an engineering background and the companies he had worked for (Spacecadets and I.O.U) and work that was popping up all over the city in the early 2000’s as part of Streets Ahead. He has aimed to make visually arresting, joyous shows that open the doors to aspects of our lives that we take for granted, yet have potential for effecting great change.

After graduating in ’98 from Manchester University with an MEng in Civil Engineering (with French) the next few years were spent between fine furniture making, public art, sustainability campaigning and participatory arts as well as living and traveling around the nooks and crannies of Europe and West and North Africa.
Pete never leaves home without a leatherman and a note book.

Eleanor Hooper, Joint artistic director, lead artist
Eleanor Hooper trained as a fine artist for 5 years specialising in portraiture, mask making and performance art, writing a dissertation in the Origins of performance and contemporary street theatre practice. She trained in acrobatics and physical theatre with Greentop Circus, Marcello dos Ramos, Antonio Fava in Reggio Emilia Italy, Song of The Goat and in 2014/15 completed LISPA’s physical theatre training. Eleanor worked in an acrobatic duo for five years performing and teaching in across Europe.

Since 2008 she has been co-artistic director with Pete directing, writing, making and performing in all of our work.

THE TEAM:

  • Marianne Bolton – company administrator – since 2012 Marianne has managed bookings, performers, finance, promotion and supported everywhere else that’s needed, including packing hundreds of envelopes of Wild Flower seeds for the Bee Cart show.
  • Naomi Rothwell – Performer – Borage (Bee Cart), Pearl (The Flycycle & Submercycle) Artist (Action Painting) – normally busy with her company Lunabug
  • Lawrence Speck – Performer – Bombus (Bee Cart) and Captain Calypso/Bigshot (The Flycycle & Submercycle) – runs his own projects here
  • Nixi Cole – Performer – Borage (The Bee Cart) and Pearl (Flycycle and Submercycle)
  • Kathleen Yore – Captain Calypso (The Submercycle) & Borage (Bee Cart)
  • Pete Finnegan – Performer – Captain Bigshot – (Flycycle)
  • Jake England Johns – Performer – Captain Calypso (Submercycle)
  • Jonny Dixon – Performer – Borage (Bee Cart), Captain Bigshot (Flycycle) and The Artist (Action Painting)
  • Stewart Gibb-Lodge – Valerian/Captain Calypso (The Flycycle & Submercycle) and Artist (Action Painting)
  • Will Lenton – musician Musician for Planetary Something To Hold, HANUMAN and TRUNK 2010 on Saxophones, guitar and keys. Will is also touring the world with Mr Wilson’s Backliners, a New Orleans street band playing club classics, it sounds good, it is good.
  • Daniel Weaver – Musician
    Daniel has been part of Pif-Paf since before it was Pif-Paf, with endless sound gadgets from subtle to monstrous he transports us to sonic heaven. His vast experience with companies from Ra-Ra zoo to Desperate Men to IOU and currently Echo Echo helps keep us on the straight and narrowish.
  • Ralph Skrimshire – sculptor/technician
    Carpenter, technician, tree surgeon. Ralph has taken part in all of the recent builds, and touring work with HONEY as well as site specific shows. Now full time at Handspring in Sheffield.
  • Tim Mileusenic – maker – Tim runs his company Darwin Construction
  • Ed Cartledge – Film Maker, SortOf Films
    Ed has created all of our recent videos (the ones that look professional, the other ones Pete has knocked up on imovie)
  • Porl Medlock – photographer Porl has taken many of the images that fill this site since 2008

Thanks for support to Jamima Latimer at Space Cadets, Lisa Gort, Chris Squire at Impossible Theatre, I.O.U, MIA, John Egan, Emily Dennison, Tim Warren, Louise Oliver and Richard Sobey.