History

Delivering high quality children’s theatre

tutti frutti was founded in 1991 as a dance company called Axis Dance by Stephen Long at the Northern School of Dance in Leeds. When Stephen passed away Niladri took over as Artistic Director and continued the very physical style of the work and changed the name to tutti frutti. Over the years we have delivered high quality touring productions and built an excellent reputation for inventive, creative productions for children aged 3-7 and their families.

In 2000 we became resident company at the Lawrence Batley Theatre in Huddersfield rehearsing and performing at the theatre and latterly producing the middle scale family Christmas shows with the likes of the Snow Queen, Aladdin and Cinderella.

With the departure of Niladri in 2005, Wendy Harris took over the helm as Artistic Director and we relocated to Hillcrest Primary School in Chapeltown Leeds where we resided for 5 years and created the delightful My Place installation with and for the children and parents of the school. With the arrival of Wendy came the commencement of a long term co-producing partnership with York Theatre Royal, something that continues today. The first co-production was The Girl Who Lost Her Smile, quickly followed by Mike Kenny’s Jack and many more followed.  In 2011 we moved to Shine in Harehills, Leeds where we currently reside. Over the last decade we have developed our work regionally, nationally and internationally and built important relationships with venues like Sheffield Theatres, Stratford Circus, the Gulbenkian in Canterbury, the Lowry and Arts Centre Washington.

In 2013 we started making in roads into the international stage by working with international tour producers DepArts. We have now toured several times to Hong Kong and Singapore and also performed at the Assitej World Congress in 2014 in Warsaw and attended important international showcases and festivals like Visioni di Futuro, Visioni di Teatro in Bologna, Assitej in Adelaide and Malmo and Copenhagen, and IPAY in Philadephia and Montreal.

We currently perform to around 25,000 children giving over 250 performances per year.

“tutti frutti shows are always characterised by ingenuity and inspirational creativity and always leave you feeling warm and happy to be alive.” Simon Hollingworth, Director, Lincoln Drill Hall

“The best show I’ve ever seen…in my whole life.” Aisha, age 10