William Todd-Jones pictured with Dorsai Security JJ Walton
(who stands over 6 feet himself)
Photo courtesy of Mike Bellinger
Todd trained as a dancer and actor in the UK, at the Welsh College of Music and Drama and in the USA,
at Bard College, New York.
From the start of his professional career he discovered himself drawn to physical theatre, involving himself in dance
pieces that were usually highly energetic and visceral, using anything he could find to convey the desired effect. This
interest expanded hugely when he spent two years living in New Mexico, working with an established puppet performer.
There he discovered the potential of performing an inanimate prop to a point where it can convey, often in the simplest
and most direct way, meaning and story.
On returning to the UK he took up a position working for the Jim Henson Organisation, both as a builder and a
performer of their puppets and special effect creatures. His time there was very much an apprenticeship, which he used
to hone and expand his technique under the watchful and generous eyes of the Muppet puppeteers.
Alongside his extensive list of performance credits Todd has also been the creature movement co-ordinator for several
TV and Feature Film projects, a role akin to that of Assistant Director.
Within his schedule he has had occasional opportunities to give workshops, through which he has endeavoured to
show to others the technique he uses, in the hope that they might find it useful on a professional level. Beneficiaries of
these include dancers from the Royal Thai Court in Bangkok, students at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts and of Circus Space.
He has had a significant association with the UK/US charity Save the Rhino International for whom he wrote, designed
and directed a huge and highly acclaimed environmental theatre piece that was seen by an audience well in excess of ten thousand.
He draws much inspiration from the native peoples he has met, both in Africa and in the US, who achieve in their story-telling
a conveying of all the truths of human existence with the fewest props and the barest of effects.
Most recently, Todd completed Movement Consultant and CGI character performer work as Grawp, Hagrigs brother, in the upcoming
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. You've seen him but not seen him in principle roles in Tom Thumb,
The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Jack and the Beanstalk, The Tale of the Rat That Wrote, Lost in Space,
The Odyssey, 101 Dalmations, Pinocchio, Fierce Creatures and Judge Dread. He'd also done feature
puppeteer and creature performance in Mary Shelley's Frankenstien, Muppet Treasure Island, The Never Ending Story III,
The Muppet Christmas Carol, Batman, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Little Shop of Horrors, Labyrinth and
Dream Child. He's appeared in numerous television shows, commercials and pop video, as well as theatres and festivals.
In 1998 - 2001, Todd conceived, wrote, produced and directed Spirit of the Rhino Drum and was part of a six-man team who
walked the 300 miles from sea level Mombassa, Kenya to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania wearing a 30 pound rhino costume. He
has also completed three London marathons as a rhino.
Visit William Todd Jones on the web
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