Weekend Arts: New Audio Play Set To Inspire Young Imaginations And Break The Mould Of Children’s Theatre
Leeds-based children’s theatre company Tutti Frutti has launched ‘Sweet Dreams’, its first ever audio play - written by one of the UK’s leading young people’s playwrights, and themed around the wonders and benefits of sleep.
Working with research partners The Sleep Charity and Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, this new play is underpinned by key research about sleep behaviours in children and families.
Sweet Dreams was originally intended for the stage, but the company’s initial plans had to be put on hold last year and then adapted in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Rather than this version being a ‘make do’, Tutti Frutti has instead created an impressive range of accessible material, working with a high calibre creative team. Tutti Frutti are thrilled to work with creative partners, Naked Productions, and award-winning radio producer Polly Thomas and her team. The end product is an innovative multi-platform digital offer comprising of an audio play, three podcasts, and an interactive game. Each element is specifically designed to engage children aged 3+, their families, and teachers, whilst also tackling an important subject matter.
The play follows the interstellar adventures of Ivy and her toy rabbit, Bun Bun. Bedtime comes around and they try to find a place to sleep that is ‘just right’, but when they find themselves alone on the moon, sleeping is not so easy. A dream-like tale unfolds that will capture young imaginations, as we join this funny and charming double act on their quest to find their perfect sleep place under the stars.
Written by Mike Kenny, the 30 minute audio play features the voices of multi-talented actors Bay Bryan and Hannah Victoria, and includes sublime music and a soundtrack of beautiful songs by composer, Leeds-based Christella Litras.
To accompany the play and add further depth to the subject matter, three podcasts have also been created - one for parents, one for children and one for teachers - featuring the voice of ex Blue Peter presenter Zoe Salmon, who is an ambassador for The Sleep Charity. Zoe presents a range of sleep experts and special guests. In addition to the podcasts, a digital game has been developed which gathers important data on the users’ sleep behaviours as it is played, further contributing to the research that underpins the project.
Artistic Director, Wendy Harris says the team are delighted to finally reveal all: “It’s been an incredibly difficult year, but we have been so excited about this play from the start. The way it’s been re-thought and reshaped is fantastic, and we are excited to now share the end result. It’s everything we’d hoped for - children have had so much visual digital content this year we wanted to create an audio piece to really inspire their imaginations and visualisation skills. It’s a creative, enchanting and relatable piece, with great interactive elements. With 40% of adults and children suffering with sleep issues we’re also proud to have worked with our exceptional partners to highlight a subject that affects so many.”
Sweet Dreams is live from 3rd June to 31st July 2021. The audio play, podcasts and interactive game are all accessible for free online at https://tutti-frutti.org.uk/show/welcome-to-sweet-dreams
The Sweet Dreams project is funded by the Wellcome Trust and Garfield Weston Foundation.