Meal One, a new family show based on the children’s book
by Ivor Cutler and Helen Oxenbury, touring February 2022

Helbert and his mother like doing a lot of things together but their experiment with a plum stone gets out of hand!

A boy sleeps in his bed. The house around him creaks. An owl hoots. The sky brightens and the boy stirs. He suddenly sits up all surprised and calls out:    

“Who put a plum in my mouth?”
“Me, me, me!” shouts Mum.
And that is how it begins.

Helbert and his Mum prepare for the day by planting a plum stone in the bedroom floor unleashing a series of extraordinary adventures. Adapted from a children’s book by Ivor Cutler, Meal One is a magical family show filled with music, songs, dance, breathtaking projections and augmented reality surprises.  

Based on the book, Meal One, ©1971 The Estate of Ivor Cutler, with illustrations by Helen Oxenbury.

Tour Dates

Saturday 5 February 10am, 12.30pm, 3pm Hull Truck Theatre Book tickets
Tuesday 8 February 1.30pm, 4.30pm Leicester Curve (as part of Spark Festival) Book tickets
Wednesday 9 February 10.30am, 4.30pm Leicester Curve (as part of Spark Festival) Book tickets
Wednesday 16 February 10am, 12.30pm, 3pm The Albany, Deptford Book tickets
Thursday 17 February 10am, 12.30pm, 3pm The Albany Deptford Book tickets
Thursday 24 February 10am, 12.30pm, 3pm New Wolsey, Ipswich Book tickets
Saturday 26 February 10am, 12.30pm, 3pm Bradford Alhambra Studio Book tickets
Thursday 14 April 10.30am, 1pm, 3.30pm Southbank Centre Book tickets
Friday 15 April 10.30am, 1pm, 3.30pm Southbank Centre Book tickets


Cast & Creative Team
Mum:  Zara Mallinson
Young Helbert:  Isaac Sugden
Old Helbert:  Sandeep Gurrapadi

Adapted and directed by:  Alan Dix
Music:  Felix Cross, MBE
Set Design & Costumes:  Naomi Parker
Digital Design:  Fabric Lenny
Music Director:  Dan McGlade
Choreography:  Hannah and Drew Winnie-Hawkins
Lighting Design: Simon Bedwell

Free Learning Resources
We’ve put together lots of activities, videos and pictures, all about Helbert and the world of Meal One, including activities to do at home or for teachers to use at school.  You can look at them online, or print off parts of each activity to try.  Have a look.

Meal One is produced by 509 Arts in association with Hull Truck Theatre, supported by Mind the Gap and Bradford 2025.  Funded by Arts Council England.