We are WinterWalker and we make physical theatre for children and families. Our shows combine dance, music, theatre and comedy, and we make them for everyone to enjoy together- young and old. The company is led by Co-Artistic Directors Kitty Winter and Wayne Walker-Allen.
Our key principle as a company is that we take silly seriously. What that means in practice is that while our work is playful, accessible and funny, the process that goes into making it is rigorous and thoughtful.
We believe in quality and high production values; if we are in the privileged position of providing someone with their first experience of live performance, it should be the best we can make it. Children are not just the audiences of tomorrow, they are the audiences of right now, and we believe they have as much right as any adult audience to excellent theatre and performance. We promise, like the boy scouts, to do our best.
We work with amazing performers, designers and venues to deliver this promise to our young audiences, so we also strive to be an excellent company to work with and work for. As a company led by freelance creatives, we know how important it is for artists and other professionals we work with to feel valued, to be treated with respect, and to be paid fairly.
Director/Choreographer Kitty and Composer Wayne first worked together in 2007, when Kitty responded to a call-out from CTC (now Theatre Hullabaloo) for ‘a project nobody will let you try’. They did let us try, and what we made was FIVE, a multi sensory dance theatre extravaganza, created for the five-year-olds of Darlington. FIVE toured for four years, including twice to Canada, and it became clear to us that ours was a good partnership.
As a freelance creative team, Wayne and Kitty worked together on several more Theatre Hullabaloo productions, lots of family theatre for Nottingham Playhouse, and some theatre-in-education shows for Box Clever.
Then in 2013 we produced our first project as WinterWalker; an anarchic outdoor family show about the legendary Beast Of Belper, the small Derbyshire town where we’re now based. We’ve since made two new productions, Three Keepers and The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, which toured across the country, playing to thousands of children and families. In 2019 we revived our very first show FIVE, reimagined and redeveloped with over a decade more experience and knowledge.
Kitty Winter is a director, movement director and choreographer. She trained in contemporary dance and choreography at Trinity Laban, and on the acclaimed Movement MA at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.
She works across a wide range of theatrical scales and contexts, from tiny two-handers in village halls to the West End. As a movement director she specialises in new writing, while as a director and choreographer her main focus is work for children and families, often involving live music.
As a movement director, Kitty works regularly with Pentabus, who create outstanding new writing for rural touring. Credits include Crossings, Here I Belong, Wolves are Coming for You and As the Crow Flies. Also within the rural touring sector, she has worked with New Perspectives on Harvest and their award-winning 2018 production The Fishermen. She has also created movement for new writing for Tamasha, Kali Theatre, Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds and Theatre Hullabaloo.
Her movement work for Nottingham Playhouse includes the acclaimed production of The Kite Runner, which went on to do two UK tours and two seasons in the West End, at The Wyndhams and The Playhouse. Also for Nottingham Playhouse, Kitty has movement directed Tom’s Midnight Garden, Rapunzel, Jack and several other family productions.
Kitty has choreographed all of Derby Theatre’s hugely popular Christmas productions; Hansel and Gretel, Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, Cinderella and A Christmas Carol, and movement directed The Rise and Fall of Little Voice.
Kitty’s directing credits outside her work for WinterWalker include Whose Shoes for Nottingham Playhouse, The Blue Moon for Wriggle Dance Theatre, Feet First for Box Clever and Spinning Yarns for Theatre Hullabaloo.
Kitty lectures for Goldsmiths and Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance and delivers workshops and training in physical theatre, character movement, and movement and acting for animators.
Wayne Walker-Allen is a musician, composer and sound designer. He plays percussion, accordion and stringed things - guitars, mandolins and basses - alongside a plethora of other instruments and bits of junk from around the world.
Wayne has been working as a Musician and Composer since 1998. He creates and performes music and sound for theatre and contemporary dance, especially theatre for young audiences.
He works from his small studio that overlooks his mountainous garden.
Wayne's composing and performing credits include, Theatre Hullabaloo (FIVE, The Night Pirates, Spirits Of The Sea, The Enchanted Forest, Dreamtime), Nottingham Playhouse (Jack, Under The Story Tree, Whoes Shoes, Rapunzel), Darren Ellis Dance (Meeting Mr Boom, No More Ghosts, Romeo Error), Travelling Light (The Ugly Duckling), Moving Visions Dance Company, Melita Spahic Dance (Fields Of Detail) and Dance United (Ubuntu).