The History of
First formed in 2014 by ex-directors Iain Meadows and Matt Hopper, with investment from CEO Andrew Swaisland, who brought on board Gary Haberfield as a fellow director, Spiteful Puppet gained a foothold in the audio market with their first release – ‘HOOD’. This was writer/director Iain Meadows take on the legend of Robin Hood, with a twist, and starred Lee Ingleby as the titular hero. From there, a BBC Radio 4 Extra broadcast was secured, and the series won a BBC Audio Drama Award and a New York festival Award too.
In 2016, Barnaby Eaton-Jones was officially brought on board to produce and adapt an unproduced ‘Robin of Sherwood’ feature-length script called ‘The Knights of the Apocalypse’ as an audio drama (from the pen of the late writer/creator of the seminal 1980’s television series) and then, in 2017, as a director; bringing with him a deal with ITV Global to produce more, new ‘Robin of Sherwood’ stories.
Winning a New York Festivals Award for ‘The Knights of the Apocalypse’, Spiteful Puppet suddenly shot up in prominence for such a young company in a very competitive field, with audio projects announced and produced continually on Barnaby’s creative suggestion.
The majority won awards (with the coveted Gold from New York Festivals going to a production of ‘Passport To Oblivion’, directed, co-written, and produced by Barnaby).
In 2018, Iain Meadows and Matt Hopper left as directors and Barnaby Eaton-Jones became sole Creative Director. In the following few years, Spiteful Puppet produced bigger and better productions, linking with well-known IP and big companies for co-productions. The majority of their co-productions from 2020 to 2023 have all been with AUK Studio and executively produced by Paul Andrews; which has allowed them to release yet more award-winning audios.
They branched out into theatre too, with the sold-out Edinburgh Festival show of ‘Musik’, starring Frances Barber, and written by Jonathan Harvey, with music from The Pet Shop Boys; which then transferred for a limited run in the West End.
In 2023, and due to Barnaby’s success with freelance productions via Audible, Spiteful Puppet became a co-producer of a 10-episode series called ‘Getting Better’; an audio drama to celebrate and educate, based on the originals of the National Health Service. Barnaby, via Spiteful Puppet, was on board as co-producer, co-director, and one of the ensembles of lead roles.
Spiteful Puppet’s success has always been built by following the same formula; finding an interesting project and assembling a regular and loyal team of creative friends in writing, production, acting and post-production.
Spiteful Puppet was acquired by one of our major co-producers, AUK Studios, in late 2023, and Andrew Swaisland and Gary Haberfield both stepped down as directors but we continue to go forward with Barnaby Eaton-Jones as Creative Director of both Spiteful Puppet and AUK Studios. It’s exciting to think what the future holds and one thing’s for sure… it’s going to be entertaining!