Tutti Frutti believes it is vitally important for children to have cultural experiences that will stimulate their imaginations and allow them to engage in the wonder of stories through theatre.  Their mission is to delight children with meaningful, imaginative,visual, story-based theatre.

The comtutti frutti and YTR Snow Child 3 low res photo by Simon Marshall - compressedpany promotes a global understanding of the importance of children as theatre audiences and through their work helps children make sense of the world through the safe, shared experience our theatre provides.

As Artistic Director Wendy Harris says: –

We bring together specialist children’s theatre practitioners who have an instinctive capacity to be playful and can use this to create fantastic, distinctive and carefully crafted theatre for children. Our work is newly commissioned or is adapted stories or books that are relevant and meaningful, incorporating choreography and often live music.”

Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2016, tutti frutti productions create meaningful and magical theatre for young children and their families.  They pursue the highest standards of excellence in children’s theatre, working in partnership with a wide range of highly skilled artists and early year’s practitioners who are at the forefront of making theatre for children in the UK.

Tutti frutti is an NPO organisation of Arts Council England and a registered charity and has built up a strong brand with a high quality product and excellent reputation.

The productions perform in a host of different venues regionally, nationally and internationally, giving performances to over 37,000 children a year. The tours include small and mid scale theatre venues, schools, rural and community settings with the commitment to reach as many children as possible, especially those who struggle to access the arts. Tutti frutti work with a range of partners and in particular York Theatre Royal (YTR).  In partnership with YTR tutti frutti produces the biannual; Little Feet Children’s Theatre Festival and has initiated First Words, a project that nurtures new playwrights by working in partnership  with leading regional venues

Wendy and the team is interested in working with the Creative Labs: DARE Edition as they: –

“believe collaboration with new partners creates new possibilities for us to test out ideas for exploring work for our young audiences.”

The company’s past collaborations with neuroscientists from Sussex University and researchers from Nottingham University have enabled tutti frutti to chart new territories in its work.

“As a Leeds based company we would be thrilled to have the opportunity to creatively explore with academics in our city.  We rarely have the luxury to R&D ideas without the pressure to produce a piece of work, or to meet with thinkers from broader disciplines than the arts. This project therefore provides us with a unique opportunity to play, discover and converse.”

We are very open to any exploration and want to be taken out of our comfort zone.

A couple of areas might be;

  • The bio medics around children playing football – we are interested in blending sports science and art in a play about a boy passionate about football.
  • We are always interested in the impact of our work and how children find meaning in our theatre (we currently have a Childhood Studies MA student from Leeds University basing her dissertation on WILD!).
  • We’re also interested in children stories and how we translate them to theatre and children’s wellbeing.

tutti frutti YTR Monday's Child 12 - Photo by Brian Slater - compressedIn 2014 tutti frutti created Mondays Child working with a neuroscientist and Psychologist (specialists in memory) from Sussex University. It was listed in the Guardian top ten shows to see. They are currently creating, Wild!, about a boy with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD),working with The Centre for ADHD and Neurodevelopment Disorders across the Lifespan (CANDAL) based at Nottingham University, this tours in 2016.  And they are contributing to a book ‘Visual methods with Children and Young People’ edited by Dylan Yamada-Rice from Sheffield University. The company coproduces with partner York Theatre Royal and with venues nationally, and has initiated ‘First Word’s, collaborating with venues to nurture writers for children theatre.

Here are some recent national and international touring productions:

Snow Child by Emma Reeves

Touring nationally and internationally from October 2015 – March 2016

For everyone over 3. Set in a wintery landscape, where the snow foxes, wolves and bears hide among the trees, we tell you a magical story about family, love and the power of dreams. Watching the village children play in the snow, a lonely couple yearn for a child of their own. They build a small figure from the ice and snow, and wish very, very hard… until the strength of their longing brings the magical snow child to life before their eyes!

Wild! by Evan Placey

Touring from  April 2016

Writers Guild award winning writer Evan Placey has teamed up with tutti frutti and CANDAL at Nottingham University to create a fantastic new play with one actor and one live musician that unravels the story of a wayward, fragile and misunderstood boy who lives on his wits and untamed imagination.

For everyone over 8 years

Retour of Rapunzel by Mike  Kenny

For children aged 3+ and their families

Following our successful visit to the 18th Assitej World Congress in Warsaw, Poland in May 2014 and then KidsFest Hong Kong in June, Rapunzel is on national tour spring 2015.

Rapunzel; a story about a girl who is taken away from what she knows and protected from all the things that she loves. Placed high-up in a tower above the world and faced with the challenge of growing-up, she is found alone, dreaming….

Monday’s Child by Brendan Murray

For children aged 3-7 years and their families

Monday’s Child tells a simple poetic story of the unique bond between a grandmother and a little girl.  We share the delights and surprises of the respective stages of their lives: discoveries, memories, imaginings…

All our projects can be viewed on our home page or in past projects on  www.tutti-frutti.org.uk (the website is currently under design with the new site being launched in 2016.)