21st Birthday

Welcome to our 21st birthday celebration.

To celebrate our 21st birthday we have invited a variety of people who know of our work to send in their comments, reflections, thoughts of the company over its lifetime. We have also invited school children to tell us what their aspirations are when they grow up. What do they want to be when they are an adult and why?

Below are some of the lovely responses that people have been sending us during our birthday year to date. Please keep visiting as we keep updating.

Memories are made of this…

HAPPY 21st BIRTHDAY tutti frutti!!  Now you might officially be termed an adult but I hope you never grow up!  Working with you has been inspiring and reminded me about the importance of imagination, celebration and, most importantly, play!  Here's to staying young for the next 21 years.
Suzanne Bell, New Writing Associate Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester 

Happy Birthday, tutti frutti! Much love to you all. 
Antony Dunn and everyone at Yorkshire Dance!

So : I'd like to recall for you the joy of Under The Parasol and the great sense of pride about the project, and the pleasure of working with Stewart and his calm professional approach to work. How great it was for the children to see a big, gentle man sharing himself with them. Apart from the M62 it will remain one of my favourite jobs ever.
Gilly Baskeyfield, Workshop Leader

“Tutti Frutti are an amazing company who tell captivating tales in a magical, witty, inventive and beautiful way. The Arts Council wants to make sure that every child has the opportunity to get involved in the arts – to experience feeling part of something special, to have their imagination well and truly captured by creativity. Organisations like Tutti Frutti help us to get more great artistic experiences to more young minds than ever. It’s true that a great story never leaves you – and Tutti Frutti’s work will live on in the imagination of their audiences for years. Happy Birthday! Best wishes – and have a very Happy 21st!"
Cluny Macpherson, Regional Director, Arts Council England

I hope you have a wonderful time and many congratulations on reaching 21 years of fabulous theatre making.​ I loved and still cherish my time with Tutti Frutti playing Goldilocks in 2005. In fact the work I did with the company and Niladri who directed and Dom who did the music, has stayed with me and inspired me to start my own theatre company three years ago. But many thanks to your company because without my experience with you, I don't think I'd have been able to start my own company.
Rebecca Little, Co Artistic Director – Little Pixie Productions

‘If there is a thing which inspires me it is the art produced by and for young people. Art belongs to everyone. tutti frutti is such a valuable part of that. It started small, and it's so nice to see it come to maturity.’
Mike Kenny, Writer
Happy 21st Birthday tutti frutti! I’ve followed you for years and have booked loads of your shows at venues I’ve worked at including Gainsborough, Grantham, Stamford & Lincoln. tutti frutti shows are always characterised by ingenuity and inspirational creativity and always leave you feeling warm and happy to be alive. Watching young audiences watching tutti frutti performances is always a particular pleasure and I look forward to the next 21 years of brilliant inspirational theatre for the very young.
Simon Hollingworth, Director, Lincoln Drill Hall

My Place was a fascinating and inspiring project that I was lucky enough to work with Tutti Frutti on as Designer. The piece became an Interactive Installation which evolved from a series of workshops with one class- I particularly enjoyed the den making!
Alison Heffernan, Designer

Memories of Silly Billy 2008 and working with tutti frutti: My shoe flying off into the audience. A salsa loving, deaf  and visually impaired cheeky Guatemalan grandma.  The physical demands of the show –  and smiling through the sweat!  Working with a 'family' and good friends, being taken care of and looked after as a performer should.  Challenged by intense and wonderful choreography and music (shoes and hats taking on a whole life of their own). Being immersed into a world of imagination, colour, dance and joy.  Worry dolls adorning the place and my world for 3 months.

And finally my favourite moment in the show – the magical transitions that took place 'underwater'. Picture the scene  Stewart, Elliot and I – 3 pairs of hands transformed into an elegant and shimmering shoal of fish, elegantly gliding through the water moving and turning in total synchronicity….. until the fish dispelled, our hands became hands again and we in turn became explorers diving into the depths of the sea – opening the treasure chest, the flowery and bright coloured 'shower cap-jellyfish' shooting out of the trunk and floating past us, finally landing on our heads and transforming us into a trio of glorious synchronised swimmers!! Cue – BIG SMILE, music and an explosion of joy!!! Fireworks of happiness in my heart and the audiences! This is what dream jobs are made of – fun, creativity, imagination and love… and always lots of laughter!!
Daphne Kouma, Performer, Silly Billy

Dear tutti frutti
When I grow up (if it ever happens), I would like to be a theatre. It would be nice, if people come inside me, laugh and have a lot of fun. When they switch off the lights and go home, there will be a wonderful humming inside of me the whole night.
All the best!
Jutta Bauer, illustrator: When We Lived in Uncle’s Hat 

Working with tutti frutti was one of the most rewarding, frustrating, exciting parts of my time as Director of LBT. With the company based there it seemed natural for us to work together, but there were times when it didn't exactly feel like a natural partnership – we all learned a lot! Like – what a venue wants from a Christmas show may not match up to what a small-scale company wants to produce – especially when led by the one-and-only Niladri. We had debates, discussions and disagreements but fundamentally what we all wanted was to create beautiful theatre that delighted audiences of all ages and in that, I believe we succeeded.
Rose Cuthbertson, former Director of Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield

What a fantastic achievement, though I can't believe it's that long, I remember when it started…  Congratulations to Wendy and all the team for their amazing vision and wonderful work, and all the joy they have brought to so many children and families over the years.  Ellen xx
Ellen Bianchini

What do you want to be when you grow up?

In celebration of tutti frutti coming of age we recently visited Oakwood Primary School.  They shared with us their aspirations and dreams for the future.  To see their pictures and videos, please see our Images and Media section.

Please email your memories, aspirations and dreams to tutti frutti at: hello@tutti-frutti.org.uk.


Rapunzel by Jacky Fleming2012 is a busy year for tutti frutti.  We have just completed a national touring of Hare & Tortoise by Brendan Murray and are currently planning our Autumn tour of Rapunzel by Mike Kenny.  In addition, together with York Theatre Royal,  we produced the Little Feet Festival of Children’s Theatre.  Have a look around the rest of our website for more information.

21 blogs for 21 years!

Throughout the year we are inviting guest bloggers to share their musings about tutti frutti, children’s theatre and our artist’s aspirations from the last 21 years. From famous writers, to actors to designers… check out our blog from Damian CrudenStewart Thomas and Finegan Kruckemeyer. We would love to hear from you too!!