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GO WILD WITH THE KIDS THIS CHRISTMAS AT THE BLACKPOOL GRAND THEATRE

Let your little ones explore the great big outdoors from the safety of their theatre seats this Christmas! Blackpool’s Grand Theatre has some cracking children’s shows that let them get right back to nature this year, including Michael Morpurgo’s vibrantly creative production of survival in the rainforest in Running Wild and Dick King-Smith’s enchanting farmyard favourite Babe, The Sheep Pig.

Michael Morpurgo’s Running Wild is based on an incredible true story and is brought to lush life on stage with extraordinary heart, vivacious colour and exceptional creativity. For Lilly, going to Indonesia isn’t just another holiday with mum. It’s a new start, and the chance to ride an elephant called Oona. But then the tsunami hit. Charging deep into the jungle, Oona escapes the danger of the beach with her young rider desperately clinging on. Miles from civilisation, at first there’s wonder, discovery and tree-top adventures amongst the orang-utans. But, as thoughts turn to mum left behind on the beach, wild tigers prowl, hunger hits, and Lilly must now learn to survive the rainforest. Then come the hunters… Children’s Touring Partnership presents Running Wild direct from Regent’s Park Theatre’s sensational summer season, which wowed audiences of all ages and critics alike. With outstanding puppetry design and direction by Finn Caldwell and Toby Olié (both previous Associate Puppetry Directors on War Horse), this epic and spectacular production at Blackpool’s Grand Theatre from Tuesday 4 April to Saturday 8 April tells an emotional and moving story of love, loss, loyalty and of living for the moment.

Trot down to the Grand to meet the lovable Babe, The Sheep Pig from Thursday 6 July to Sunday 9 July in a truly heart-warming tale of friendship, adventure and bravery. Dick King-Smith’s best-selling book is brought beautifully to life with stunning puppetry and original music as The Little Pig with Big Dreams arrives at Hogget’s Farm and is taken in by the trusty sheep-dog Fly. But Babe soon discovers a talent for herding! With the help of his adopted Mum, the polite little piglet soon wins over the most suspicious of sheep. But can a small pig make it in a dog’s world, and when his farmyard friends are in trouble can Babe save the day? Adapted by Olivier Award winner David Wood (Goodnight Mister Tom, James and the Giant Peach, The BFG), follow the incredible story of one piglet’s rise to become the world famous sheep-pig. That’ll do pig…

And there’s lots more al fresco family fun to be had from your cosy seat at Blackpool’s Grand Theatre this year!

Somewhere, hidden amongst the thorny brambles is a little kingdom where everyone is very, very small… Take a trip to Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom on Wednesday 16 and Thursday 16 February for a beautiful story of elves, princesses and childhood innocence that will delight all the family. In this exciting new musical adventure from the BAFTA award-winning children’s TV show, Princess Holly and her best friend Ben Elf have fun and games helping Gaston The Ladybird clean up his messy cave; they go on a trip to The Big World with tooth-fairy Nanny Plum; and still have time to plan a surprise for King Elf’s birthday party, complete with an unplanned jelly flood! Packed full of games, songs and laughter, this is an enchanting and magical visit to the Little Kingdom, live on stage for the very first time.

The Royal Shakespeare Company’s edited and fully interactive version of The Tempest makes an ideal introduction to the works of The Bard from Thursday 2 March to Saturday 4 March  On a crazy island swirling with sounds, exiled Duke Prospero uses magic to create a home within the wilderness. As his beloved daughter Miranda falls in love with a shipwrecked stranger from their homeland, she rebels against his power. Prospero must risk forgiving those who betrayed him, or lose her forever. Fun, fantasy and sorcery collide in this gripping story of how love and reconciliation can conquer fear and control. This new production from the RSC uses Shakespeare’s original language and is an ideal first experience of Shakespeare for anyone aged 8 and above.

Bring your ‘tiddlers’ along to join CBeebies’ Mr Bloom and the Veggies in their first ever live tour, on Sunday 12 March. Mr Bloom and his Veggies are getting the Nursery ready for a very special occasion – a member of the Royal family is paying them visit! Can you lend a hand and help them get the Allotment ready in time? They certainly hope so! Featuring all of the much loved elements of the TV show, Mr Bloom (Ben Faulks) will be joined by all his gardening friends – Margaret, Joan, Colin, Raymond and Sebastian, the lovable Wee MacGregors, and not forgetting Mr Bloom’s trusty machine The Compostarium. Come and sing along to all your favourite songs: This Is My Allotment, Meet The Veggies, The Compo Song and Night Night Veggies. Using song, play and interaction Mr Bloom’s Nursery is a fun and inspiring show with strong educational values which will entertain parents and tiddlers alike!

With sell-out performances and hugely successful CBeebies adaptations, including Ugly Duckling and Tortoise & the Hare, Northern Ballet’s Short Ballets for Small People are not to be missed. Now the magic continues with a brand-new retelling of Goldilocks & the Three Bears on Thursday 30 March. Goldilocks is a mischievous little girl with hair as bright as gold. Always on the look-out for an adventure, one day her curiosity leads her to a house full of many surprises. With a family of friendly bears, a beautiful blue bird and bowls of delicious porridge, this ballet is just right! And is the perfect opportunity for little ones to enjoy live ballet, music and theatre for the first time. This child-friendly performance lasts approximately 40 minutes.

Come with Alice on a magical adventure as she tumbles into Wonderland! Guided by the White Rabbit, Alice meets some astonishing characters, including the Mad Hatter, the Queen of Hearts, a studious caterpillar and those mischievous twins, Tweedledum and Tweedledee. Basing his ballet on Lewis Carroll’s much-loved children’s books Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking GlassBallet Theatre UK’s Artistic Director Christopher Moore has created a captivating piece, brimming with wit, humour and charm. With its whimsical flights of the imagination, eclectic music and joyful dance; Alice in Wonderland is delightful entertainment for all ages on Sunday 14 May.

A wonderful new musical adaptation of E. Nesbit’s classic story The Railway Children steams into the Grand from Thursday 15 June to Saturday 17 June. Bobbie, Peter and Phyllis move with their mother from London to The Three Chimneys – a house near the railway in Yorkshire, after their father, who works at the Foreign Office, is imprisoned after being falsely accused of spying. They befriend an Old Gentleman who regularly takes the 9:15 train near their home and take care of a Russian exile, Mr Szczepansky, who is looking for his family and Jim, the grandson of the Old Gentleman, who suffers a broken leg in a tunnel. This new production captures all the excitement and emotion of Edith Nesbit’s subtle critique of the English class system and aims to bring the delights of this literary classic to yet another generation. Don’t miss this stop on the tour!

And don’t forget to bring the whole tribe to this year’s fantastic family pantomime Aladdin from Friday 9 December to Sunday 8 January! Christmas just wouldn’t be the same without it! All the family will love this classic Arabian fantasy full of hit songs, hilarious dance routines and another rollicking good script. This fabulous, feel-good tale of love and courage is sprinkled with lots of seasonal sparkle and is the perfect way to experience the traditional magic of Christmas. Will Aladdin and the princess ever find true love? Will the Princess tell her father of Abanazar’s dastardly dark plot? And, more importantly, will Widow Twanky ever get her washing done? Aladdin stars CBBC star Barney Harwood (Blue Peter); TV soap regular Mark Moraghan (Holby City, Coronation Street); BBC Radio Lancashire and Grand panto legend Steve Royle; Radio Wave’s Hayley Kay; celebrated scriptwriter Philip Meeks (Emmerdale, Heartbeat, Doctors); TV actor and comedy poet Ronnie Leek and comedy magician Mark James. 

The Grand’s got Christmas wrapped up for kids! Pop show tickets in their stockings this festive season and let them experience the joy of live theatre. Merry Christmas!

For further information on all the spectacular shows available and to book tickets, visit www.blackpoolgrand.co.uk or call the Grand Theatre box office on 01253 290190.

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