creative and evolving storytelling theatre applying physical performance and people power






The MakeShift Ensemble explores physical ensemble performance in all its forms as a tool for engaging, affecting and passing on the story. In an age of uncertainty and change it sneakily aims to incite small acts of revolution through live theatre ; connecting with audiences young and old to deliver messages alongside a large dollop of enjoyment. Our magical, thought provoking stories for children (and their grown ups..) have earned us national recognition....and those across the pond are listening too...

The MakeShift Ensemble started out life in 2005 as MakeShift Theatre developing physical exploration of folk tales from around the globe; employing mask, puppetry and object manipulation to bring the stories to life.

The core members of The Makeshift Ensemble are Jacqueline Avery and Laurence Aldridge


Jacqueline is a writer, director, choreographer, teacher, mask maker, puppet maker, Mother. Coming from a contemporary dance background Jacqueline's practice continually evolves through the use of physical performance and creative collaborations, most recently developing a focus on traditional forms of storytelling through physical ensemble, spoken word and puppetry. Since becoming creative director of MakeShift she has developed, produced and performed original work for all ages in association with The Everyman Theatre Cheltenham, Eden Project Cornwall and Norwich Puppet Theatre

For Makeshift Jacqueline has written and performed in Fox and Rabbit's Idiot's guide to the Owl and the Pussycat, Sofa, The Children in the Moon., I am Turtle (current tour) and is currently writing the stage adaptation of a New York Times prize winning children's book to be announced soon.

For  Ascend Physical Theatre: Directed and Performed in Edinburgh Fringe First winning show 100 and wrote and directed Tinderbox.

For Conspiracy Theatre: Adapted and directed Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas

Jacqueline is Associate Director with Dorset/ Bristol based company Frenetic Fox Productions - Currently in development with new play Sub

Laurence Aldridge trained at Bretton Hall College for the Arts.
From graduating in 2001 he performed across a wide range of productions including shows at Theatre Royal Stratford East, The Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham and The Theatre Chipping Norton. He has also toured extensively across the U.K. from full scale Shakespeare productions to rural tours of new writing.
Since starting to play the guitar in 2006, Laurence has become a song-writer, performing with his political folk/punk outfit Jack of All since 2014.
More recently, Laurence has combined the two with appearances as an actor/musician in Richard III for Changeling Theatre, The Wind in the Willows for The Brewhouse, Taunton and in 2016, he was commissioned to write a new version of the music for Brecht's Mother Courage and her Children for Contexture Theatre, and was appointed Musical Director for the production.
For MakeShift, Laurence has written music for Fox and Rabbit's Idiots' Guide to The Owl and The Pussycat, Sofa, The Children in the moon and I am Turtle.
Since 2012, Laurence has become increasingly interested in exploring new ways of telling stories and is delighted to be part of The MakeShift Ensemble - exploring purposeful storytelling in multiple forms, combining experiences and learning from accomplished practitioners


  "From day one Jacqueline was a joy to work with; she makes rehearsals incredibly fun, challenging you as an actor but always keeping you in a safe environment. I loved being directed by her and performing opposite her and would eagerly do so again. I've been directed by many wonderful people; but few have I enjoyed and respected in equal measure in and out of the rehearsal room, and get to call my friend on top of that. Any actor would be lucky to have Jacqueline as their director, I know I was. " Ellis J. Wells. Actor '100'   

  "An incredible ensemble director. Jacqueline created an imaginative rehearsal process which allowed us to play and be completely spontaneous at all times. The process developed me physically, vocally and mentally. Jacqueline works in an incredibly physically demanding way that enables the actor to discover the most effective way to use their own physicality. By the end of the process my movements felt closer to a dancer, which is the complete opposite to how I would usually move. The Makeshift Ensemble produces high quality accessible theatre that everyone can enjoy. It has been an absolute joy to work with Jacqueline and I cannot recommend her highly enough" John Hatziemmanuel, Actor 'Tinderbox'