Premiere of WiLd!

Following on from their acclaimed 2014 production of Monday’s Child which explored Alzheimer’s disease, the much-admired Leeds theatre company tutti frutti are set to premiere WILd!, a new play written by award-winning writer Evan Placey (Girls Like That, Unicorn Theatre), that unravels the story of a boy with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Aimed at children aged 8 years upwards, WiLd!, which is supported by a Wellcome Trust Arts Award, will premiere at The Carriageworks in Leeds on the 30th April before embarking on a UK and Ireland tour until 9 July including various dates as part of the Yorkshire Festival 2016.

WiLd! is a one person show with a live musician that explores the fragility of a misunderstood boy who lives within his wild imagination, in a sensitive, empathetic, but fun and accessible way. The play tells the central protagonist’s story, as he navigates his real and his imagined world which will be underpinned by the emotions, behaviours and perceptions in relation to ADHD. WiLd! will be informed by current biomedical science and will interrogate the use of medication and behavioural intervention.

With the funding from the Wellcome Trust, tutti frutti’s creative team have been working in partnership with Professor David Daley of CANDAL (the Centre for ADHD and Neurodevelopmental Disorders across the Lifespan at the Institute of Mental Health) and his team at University of Nottingham on researching with ADHD patient groups. The CANDAL centre engages in world leading research into the causes, recognition and treatment of neurodevelopmental disorders across the lifespan.

In 2014, tutti frutti worked in collaboration with a neuroscientist and a psychologist from Sussex University and the Alzheimer’s Society for Brendan Murray’s play Monday’s Child, which explored memory and Alzheimer’s. The play was chosen by The Guardian as one of the Top Ten shows to see in 2014 – the only children’s show included on the list.

WiLd! will be directed by tutti frutti’s artistic director Wendy Harris and feature music by Dominic Sales, movement from Jo Bernard and designs by Kate Bunce. The cast will feature Rhys Warrington (Great Expectations, Vaudeville Theatre) and musician Molly Lopresti.

Director Wendy Harris said about the new production:
“WiLd! is one of the most thrilling projects tutti frutti has embarked on for some time. This play will tell a really important, but uplifting, story which is underpinned by research in the area of ADHD in children. We are also delighted to be making this play for children aged 8+, a development from our usual age band of 3-7 years. Following the huge success we had with Monday’s Child, a show based in scientific research about ‘memory’, we can’t wait to get started on this new, brilliant project.”

Playwright Evan Placey who recently won the Writers’ Guild Award for Best Play for Young Audiences for Girls Like That added:
‘I am really excited about finding theatrical and innovative performance-based ways to express the brain of a child with ADHD. Having spent my early years as a writer working with young people with ADHD, I am aware of the stigma and misunderstanding that surrounds these young people; I am eager to create a piece in which the audience see everything through his eyes and through engaging with his creative imagination and the journey of his mind, can begin to understand him.”

tutti frutti are a national touring company creating high quality work for children and their families to enjoy. Based in Leeds, tutti frutti has been delighting children aged 3, and over, for more than 20 years and tour nationally and internationally to schools, venues, arts centres and village halls through the rural touring schemes. Previous tutti frutti and York Theatre Royal co-productions have included The Princess and the Pea, Rapunzel, Monday’s Child and Snow Child. In 2014, the company’s work was showcased at the prestigious 18th ASSITEJ World Congress in Warsaw.

The Wellcome Trust is a global charitable foundation dedicated to improving health by supporting bright minds in science, the humanities and social sciences, and public engagement.

The production is funded by The Arts Council of England, The Wellcome Trust and Leeds City Council. It is also supported by CANDAL, The University of Nottingham, The Golsoncott Foundation, Stanley Thomas Johnson Foundation and Wades Charity.

WiLd! will feature at Yorkshire Festival 2016, which runs from 16 June to 3 July 2016 and features 100 events, which have been selected to be officially part of the Festival, as well as hundreds of fringe events.

WiLd! is suitable for children aged 8+ and their families and will tour nationally from 30 April – 9 July 2016.


Saturday 30 April at 2pm and 7pm at Carriageworks, Leeds

And Wednesday 15 June at 11am & 1.30pm at York Theatre Royal