Dear Friends of Pied Piper,
30 years ago this year, with the support of family and friends, and my own two children, I set up The Pied Piper Theatre Company in Surrey. I'd had a generous grant from Surrey County Council to train as both an actor and a teacher and it felt ideal to use my skills to form a children's theatre company, based in the Surrey and surrounding areas.
Since those early days, we've toured throughout the UK, had several West End seasons at The Fortune Theatre, off Drury Lane, and experienced a month's residency in a large theatre in Singapore. We've presented new plays for every age range from three to twenty one, and for fourteen of our thirty years, directed youth and education at The Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, in Guildford, where we co-produced. Since 1984, hundreds of thousands of children and young people have seen a Pied Piper play, and we often meet parents and teachers who remember us from when they were children!
The biggest difference, between when Pied Piper started out, and now, is the number of people working with us. At first, I did everything, writing and directing the plays and the music and then designing the set. We now have a wonderful team of people both on the creative side and in the management of Pied Piper. Designers, composers, puppetry and movement directors, education and technology experts and many more colleagues work incredibly hard creating our plays and tours, so although I'm growing older, the vibrancy and enthusiasm for Pied Piper is still very young!
Over the last thirty years, you may have seen a clown who lost his smile, helped a badger and tortoise save a magpie, watched an owl learn to not be afraid of the dark, had lunch with a lighthouse keeper, or seen a LEGO spaceman fly off to the stars. Perhaps now, you have children of your own and they can enjoy their first adventure with us too. We hope so.
I'd like to say a personal thank you for your support, for coming out to theatres in the snow, joining in with our songs, sitting on school floors with your legs crossed, and for recommending our shows.
Thanks and here's to the next 30 years!