ABOUT US

Bat-Burrillo is:

Chris Gesthuysen & John Harrop: Puppeteers, Actors & EFL Specialists

Chris is from London. She spent several years touring festivals in England with Wild Bat Theatre, a travelling puppet troupe co-founded with fellow puppeteers Lucy Childs and Annie Hall.  Later they crossed the channel in converted buses, did street theatre and busked their way around Europe.  After that, Chris became an English teacher & teacher-trainer, and came to Seville in 1996, bringing her puppets with her.  She co-founded Bat-i-Burrillo in 1997 with Nina Lauder, and together they spent a couple of fun years doing shows around Seville schools, bars & parties.  Then Nina left to concentrate on writing EFL materials, Chris travelled the world as an English examiner, and the puppets had a well-deserved rest, until …

John arrived!  Also a qualified English teacher, teacher-trainer & examiner, John’s from Liverpool, but lived and worked mainly in Brighton & Sardinia.  He came to Seville in 2001, jumped straight into doing clowning with actor/clown/trainer Juan Motilla, and as part of ‘No Pasa Ná Teatro’ put on several shows with his fellow clowns.  He joined Bat-i-Burrillo the same year as a natural puppeteer, and since then has made his mark doing one-man puppet shows out of a suitcase all over Andalusia.  A self-taught mentalist, John also performs intriguing shows for teenagers & adults.  Chris & John are now working on producing English-teaching puppet videos.

Bat-i-Burrillo puppeteers preparing for a show
Marge, our Public Relations puppet!

Marge: Public Relations & Schools Liaison Officer

Marge came to Seville about 5 years ago, crammed into a container with fellow puppet refugees.  She’s a flamboyant fashion icon and a highly competent typist, despite having (as I now notice) only three fingers on each hand.  We don’t know where we’d be without her!
 

Bat-i-Burrillo: the early years

After knocking up a puppet booth with giant meccano (source of many an injury!), puppeteers Chris and Nina performed in schools & at local events all over Seville. 
A favourite activity was taking the puppets on walkabout before or after the shows.  Baby Rufina is probably still talked about in the Alameda for the fright she gave people who hadn’t realised she was a puppet!
Here are some pics from those days.
Chris and Nina with the early Bat-i-Burrillo banner
Puppet on walkabout holding hands with a toddler