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Yellow is the Colour of Sunshine in the Press

In 2019 we toured a new show called Yellow is the Colour of Sunshine which explored sign language, emotions and friendship. The show went to schools, theatres and festivals, and here is a few reviews of this colourful production.

Leeds Theatre Company Launch New Kids Show

South Leeds Life

‘Yellow is the Colour of Sunshine’ is the latest family-friendly show from Leeds theatre company Tutti Frutti, that my daughter Emily (4) and I saw today at the Carriageworks Theatre. We were the official South Leeds Life press team, and treated accordingly – being ushered around to meet the actors and directors, and so on!

The simple and heart-warming show – written mainly for children aged 3-11 – tells the story of two children (Hani and Yoshi), their meeting, friendship, and falling out, and finally their reconciliation. Above all else, the show explores the emotions of the characters through this journey – but as you’d expect, for a play aspiring to be highly accessible, in very visual ways.

Indeed, there is only one speaking part – that of Hani (played by Phoebe Stapleton). Yoshi (played by Connor Bryson) communicates through British Sign Language, and the Magpie (played by Holly Irvine) through dance. Furthermore, the three actors – whilst themselves all adults – manage to convey a childlike energy, expressed in this very captivating and physical form of theatre. The changing emotions of the characters are boldly portrayed through colour changes in the lighting and expressive music; and the production makes smart use of simple props.

It’s a dynamic and unusual show. Emily said she enjoyed it, she certainly remained engaged throughout, and I think it intrigued her – especially the character who only communicated with BSL.

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Yellow is the Colour of Sunshine – Carriageowkrs Theatre, Leeds

The Reviews Hub

Leeds-based company tutti frutti always manages to combine a playful style with serious intent in its widely-toured productions for young children – in this case, from as young as three years old. It’s surprising to find that, in a colourful, apparently simple production full of music and dance, a Scientific Advisor figures prominently in the credits, but David Cottrell is a Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and his role is to advise on the development of children’s emotional literacy.

The play is essentially about the ability to feel and understand the emotions of friendship. Playing happily in the sun is great, but friendship must also survive the squabbles that arise through selfishness and the times when the sun goes in and the storms start. Also, friendship is about inclusivity: in Yellow is the Colour of Sunshine one character (Hani) communicates mainly through speech, one character (Yoshi) through mime and sign language, while the third member of the cast uses dance and movement to influence and deepen the children’s friendship.

Hani is playing happily with her friends, the magpies, when Yoshi appears as if by magic. They communicate with each other although he cannot speak and soon they are best friends playing together. An argument over a kite (he teases her with not letting her play with it) breaks up their friendship, just as dark clouds break up the sunny day. Of course, with the assistance of the magpies, Hani and Yoshi learn what friendship is and the sun comes out.

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Leeds Theatre Company’s New Play uses Sign Language to get Message Across to Kids

Yorkshire Evening Post

The signs will be all good for a Leeds theatre company when its latest production hits the stage for the first time tomorrow.

Penned by award-winning playwright Brendan Murray, it is aimed at children aged three or above and tells the story of two friends, Hani and Yoshi, as they learn how to communicate what is in their hearts. And, to make sure the production reaches out to as wide an audience as possible, it uses sign language as well as spoken word, movement and Japanese-inspired design to get its message across.

Tutti Frutti’s artistic director, Wendy Harris, said: “New writing is one of the vital aspects of our work as a theatre company for young people – we commission and collaborate with leading children’s playwrights to create high-quality original new plays.

“For Yellow is the Colour of Sunshine, we wanted to create a piece for theatre’s youngest audiences and their families and carers that explores emotions and the importance of identifying and understanding feelings. As with all our work, we’re doing this in a very positive, fun and creative way to make a memorable shared experience.

“We’ve been on an exciting journey with our creative team which involves bringing Brendan’s superbly playful script to life with striking Japanese design and wonderful original music by Christella Litris. This includes working with a deaf performer in addition to a dancer and spoken word performer to really open up communication through a production that speaks in many languages to create a vibrant and magical show for children and their adults.”

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