Meal One

Meal One, a family show based on the children’s book by Ivor Cutler and Helen Oxenbury.

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?”  Meal One illustrated by Lucy Bingham
“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.

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.

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. 


Meal One Tour Venues

Hull Truck Theatre
Leicester Curve (as part of Spark Festival)
Leicester Curve (as part of Spark Festival)
The Albany, Deptford
The Albany Deptford
New Wolsey, Ipswich
Bradford Alhambra Studio
Southbank Centre
Southbank Centre