Alys Kihl (Artistic Director)


Alys was brought up in Aldeburgh where she studied the piano with Imogen Holst. She continued her music studies at Dartington Arts Centre and The Guildhall School of Music and Drama. In 1976 she became a primary school teacher. During the course of her teaching she developed a passion for myths and fairy tales. Having staged many productions in school, she left to freelance as a music workshop leader with Children’s Music Workshop. It was after attending Tim Supple’s production of Grimm Tales, at the Young Vic in 1994 that she decided to form Wonderful Beast. She gathered a group of artists around her and in 1997 produced The Birth of Pleasure (the story of Cupid and Psyche) at The Rosemary Branch, Islington, directed by Penny Cherns, written by Jehane Markham. Since then she has never stopped producing and directing productions, storytelling events, R&D workshops, and outreach.  She launched Storm of Stories, Wonderful Beast’s first festival of storytelling in 2012.


Alyson Tipping (Project Manager)


Alyson supports Wonderful Beast with PR and Marketing as well as organising some of our tours. Aly is a freelance production co-ordinator working with arts organisations in Suffolk.  In 2013 she graduated from UCS with a first class honours degree in English and took a marketing role for the then brand new FlipSide Festival. She continues to work with FlipSide and oversees much of the festival coordination, marketing and website admin. Aly also provides marketing and publicity for Full Circle Editions, a publishing house founded by Liz Calder.


In November 2013 Aly joined the Wonderful Beast team to provide marketing and promotion for Storm of Stories 2014, and continues to work for the  company. She lives in Ipswich with her husband and two children.


Louisa Thorp (Project Manager)


Louisa is responsible for the Administration and Beastly budgets together with tour organisation. Louisa began her career working as a member of the front of house staff at the Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich before moving into publishing at Longman Law Tax and Finance. She continued working for them in a freelance capacity, alongside Information for Lawyers and The Country Trust.


After having children, she worked for Eastfeast from its inception in 2005 alongside Alys Kihl, which subsequently led to her appointment as administrator for Wonderful Beast . She also continues to work for Eastfeast and the Suffolk Craft Society, plus other freelance work.






Simon Callow

Caryl Churchill

Sir Ian Holm

Gemma Jones

Miranda Raison
Marina Warner

Penelope Wilton


Board of Directors


Lucy Rowan Robinson(Chair)

Ann Blaber

Fernanda Hertford

Jonathan Franklin (Honourable Secretary)



Wonderful Beast is the Suffolk based theatre company, which brings myths, legends, folk tales and fairy tales for all ages. It was co-founded by artistic director, Alys Kihl, and Penny Cherns in 1997 together with Ann Blaber, Roger Lloyd Pack, Sylvia Millar and Adrian Mitchell who formed a hands-on advisory artistic committee. The company relocated from London to Aldeburgh in 2005.