We are a small but committed core team.
After living in Italy for 7½ years and then working in the business sector in London, I graduated as a mature student with a BA (Hons) degree in Arts Management from De Montfort University, Leicester.
I have been in the arts ever since and have worked for Arts Council England, Oldham Theatre Workshop, New Perspectives Theatre Company and the Lawrence Batley Theatre in Huddersfield. I have been with tutti frutti for 12 years now and during that time have had two children of my own which has made my experience here all the more interesting and relevant. I am passionate about children’s theatre and still marvel that the day job can be such fun!
Admin & Operations Manager
I joined the team in February 2015 and I provide administration for the company as well as logistical and operational management of our tours, projects and general business activity. I am also a film programmer for Hyde Park Picture House and curate my own retrospective film events.
I am a proud scouse South African who lives in Leeds and outside of work I tap, play bass, football and socialise my way around the city!
Arts Engagement Co-ordinator
I am passionate about art and enjoy engaging communities and families in innovative and creative fun activities. Being a keen practitioner of Yoga and meditation, brings a sense of balance in my life.
I am well-travelled, which has enabled me to develop an inclusive approach, while having a rich appreciation and understanding of diverse cultures and traditions. After having lived and worked in Mumbai, Taipei, Beijing, Helsinki, Minneapolis and London, I have finally settled in Leeds and love to call it home.
Artistic Director, Chair of PYA England
I have held the position of Artistic Director at tutti frutti since 2005 and have directed all but one production in partnership with York Theatre Royal, touring nationally and internationally and co-producing the Little Feet Festival of Children’s Theatre and the First Words writers’ development programme
Before working with tutti frutti I was Artistic Director of Red Ladder Theatre Company, and previous to this; Merseyside Young People’s Theatre Company in Liverpool. Over the years as a freelance director work has included; Everyman Theatre Liverpool, Crucible Theatre Sheffield, Hope Street Ltd, Oxford Stage Company, Unity Theatre Liverpool, European Stage Company, Theatre Royal Stratford East, and Contact Theatre Manchester. I currently live in Leeds with my partner Mark and two sons Louie and Eliot.
tutti frutti’s board of Trustees comprises of six professionals with an interest in the arts. These include a teacher, dance development director, two producers and two barristers. The Trustees meet four times a year, see all of our work and advocate on our behalf.
If you have an interest in being a Trustee for tutti frutti and have skills in business, finance, IT, education or in the arts sector and you feel you can make a contribution to our governance, success and growth, then please do not hesitate to contact us for more information: : firstname.lastname@example.org
Vice ChairAbbi was born in York and now lives in rural North Yorkshire. Having done a degree in Art and Design and an MA in Contemporary Arts practice, Abbi joined the Marketing team at York Theatre Royal as a fresh faced graduate.
Having spent over ten years in Arts Marketing, seven of which as Head of Communications for York Theatre Royal, and also spent some time in the world of Higher Education as Deputy Director of Marketing at York St John University, Abbi has recently taken up the post of Head of Marketing at Castle Howard.
Outside of work Abbi is a mum to a kamikaze three year old, helps to run her family’s wedding and events business, is an avid baker and trail runner to help offset the cake intake. Having enjoyed tutti frutti's work as a mum and theatre marketer, Abbi is delighted to have joined the board of trustees.
After studying Library and Information Science at Loughborough University, I started my career as a Librarian with Cumbria County Council’s School Library Service before moving to Manchester where I worked as a Community Librarian in the North of the City. I returned to working as a specialist children’s librarian with Stockport Council, eventually becoming Head of Library Services to Children and Young People. I moved to Oldham Council as the senior Library and Information Manager where I was responsible for a whole service review and transformation project.This included the introduction of a number of new initiatives, including the development of the library’s cultural programme, Live @ the Library. I joined Leeds City Council as Chief Librarian in June 2017 and am currently working on a variety of projects including the merger of libraries with Customer Services to create a network of Community Hubs across the City and the introduction of a new Storybus service for children aged 0- 5 years and their families.
ChairI am one of the newest members of the team, having been tempted into joining by a friend and colleague who is also a trustee. A proud Scotsman, I moved to Leeds following a promotion in a previous job, with the intention of staying for a year. That was in 1998. I still live in Leeds, where I practise as a barrister. I am married with a 10-year-old daughter and enjoy various sporting activities including football, cycling and the odd shambling attempt at marathon running. I also enjoy trips to the theatre and watching stand-up comedy, as well as eating out and socialising generally and spending time with my family.
Matt has been a professional Theatre Director, Writer and Tutor for 10 years. Matt was the long-standing Co-Artistic Director of Upstage Centre Youth Theatre and Assistant Director for Grand Opera House York's Stage Experience. For 5 years Matt was the Artistic Director of Once Seen Theatre Company (a company formed of actors with learning difficulties) and Theatre Tutor for Converge (an education programme for mental health service users).
Currently Matt is a Youth Theatre Practitioner for York Theatre Royal, an acting member of Playback Theatre York, Visiting Lecturer in Theatre at York St John University, and the Founder and Artistic Director of his own company, Next Door But One. Most recently, Matt took up the role of Charter Programme Manager for Parents and Carers in Performing Arts.
Matt has been a big fan of TFP for many years (he still sings the motif from The Snow Queen!), so he is very excited to be part of the board and the future journey of TFP.
Nick is the Associate Producer at Theatr Clwyd in north Wales where he produces Theatr Clwyd's in-house productions and programmes a varied season of visiting work. Nick's recent and upcoming work as producer includes: Milky Peaks by Seiriol Davies, a co-production with Áine Flanagan Productions and The Contingency Plan by Steve Waters, a co-production with the Donmar Warehouse. Nick has a particular interest in family work, programming Theatr Clwyd's annual Family Arts Festival as well as a regular season of work for families (which is why Nick is delighted to be a trustee of tutti frutti!)
Nick is a founder and was Executive Producer of Junction 8 Theatre, a company based in his hometown of Chorley, Lancashire, which he ran with his sister and director Liz Stevenson. J8T produced Under the Market Roof in 2017, a site-specific new play performed on Chorley Market and Lancastrians, a verbatim piece based on interviews with 500 people from across the county which toured six towns in Lancashire in 2019.
Nick is a former Associate Producer of the long-running JB SHORTS in Manchester and has worked on freelance projects for Lancaster Arts at Lancaster University and Nottingham Lakeside Arts. Nick was also the Arts Administration Intern at Nottingham Lakeside Arts, during which time he was the Coordinator for the East Midlands Children's Theatre and Dance Network. Whilst at university Nick was a Producer for and President of the award-winning The Nottingham New Theatre.
Stewart Thomas trained as a professional dancer at the Northern School of contemporary Dance, and gained a BA (Hons) degree in Performing arts. He has since appeared with African / Caribbean, contemporary and salsa dance companies and toured nationally and internationally. He also co-founded Ace Dance Company which is now in its 25th year. He later went on to work in children’s theatre where he joined Tutti Frutti in 1999 and performed in no less than 16 productions.
Now he works in a primary school as creative arts and dance coordinator. Helping young children experience the arts be it in a dance class or a trip to the theatre or getting involved in anything to do with performing and appreciating the arts. It feels quite a privilege being on Tutti Frutti’s board having been a seasoned performer for so many years.
Stewart is originally from Leicester but spent most of his life in Leeds.