Cat & Hutch Theatre Company helps children discover a love of reading by putting on performances based on popular children’s books.
Katrina Spreyer (the Cat) works with her friend Rebecca Hutchins (the Hutch) to create interactive shows complete with puppets and original songs.
They recently put on their production of the Velveteen Rabbit at this month’s HF ArtsFest.
They tell us more about their work and how they inspire children to love reading.
What do you do?
We’re a children's theatre company dedicated to bringing children's books to life through various storytelling methods. From theatre to workshops, all keep children at the heart of the story.
How long have you worked there? What has changed over that time?
We began in 2014 and since then we have grown as a company. We started off as solely a theatre company and are now delivering weekly workshops and storytelling sessions. We've also widened our audience delivering storytelling and craft events at farmers’ markets across London.
How do you think you’ve made a difference to people’s lives?
We've had feedback from parents saying that children have asked for the books of the plays that we've performed and also for toys from the shows. For example after seeing The Velveteen Rabbit, a family purchased lots of stuffed rabbits as the children hoped that they would come to life!
We've also been told that our storytelling sessions help really shy young children to come out of their shells.
One of the parents said: "Lily absolutely loved it and she came out saying ‘that was awesome’ which is high praise from a very shy girl!”
What advice do you give the people you work with? And what’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever heard?
Our advice to those we work with is never stop reading - our company's motto is ‘open a book to open a world’ - the more you read, the more you discover. And don't be afraid to play!
The best advice we've been given is - just ask, worst case scenario is they say no!
How are you funded?
We were lucky to get Specsavers sponsorship for our first show. Since then we’re paid to run shows and workshops at different events.
What are your plans for the future?
We hope to publish our book in the near future.
We also have a new show that will debut at The Clapham Fringe festival this September.
Can people get involved to help you?
How do people get in touch?
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