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War Horse is officially launched in Liverpool

It isn’t often you get a behind the scenes peek at shows but on Thursday 2nd February 2017 Joey, the breathtaking life-size equine puppet from War Horse cantered down to Liverpool for  a special early morning appearance at the Liver Building followed by an on-stage puppetry demonstration at its upcoming venue the Liverpool Empire Theatre.

The event was a wonderful opportunity to see Joey, the eight-stone puppet, constructed from cane, leather and tyvec up close and also included a talk about the history of the show from War Horse’s assistant puppetry director, Matthew Forbes with details on how each of the three actors controlling Joey bring this spectacular piece of puppetry to life.

War Horse seen by over 7 million people worldwide since its premiere at the National Theatre in 2007, is the powerful story of a young boy called Albert and his beloved horse, Joey, who has been requisitioned to fight for the British in World War I. Caught in enemy crossfire, Joey ends up serving on both sides during the war before landing in No Man’s Land, while Albert, not old enough to enlist, embarks on a treacherous mission to find his horse and bring him home.  A remarkable tale of courage, loyalty and friendship, War Horse features ground-breaking puppetry work by South Africa’s Handspring Puppet Company, which brings breathing and galloping horses to life on stage.

Kash Bennett, the producer of War Horse said:  ‘We are absolutely delighted to be bringing War Horse to the Liverpool Empire Theatre. We hope that today, with Joey’s appearance in the city, we can bring the people of Merseyside a taste of the theatrical magic and artistry that Liverpool audiences can look forward to with this very special show.’

Michael Morpurgo added:  ‘After a few months rest, out at pasture, Joey, the War Horse and his great team from the National Theatre, will be touring the UK again, from 2017 through to 2018 and the centenary of the end of the First World War, then 2019. The NT will be taking their show all over the country, to towns and cities, many of them places War Horse has not been seen before.  I am so pleased this is happening; that so many more people will have the chance to enjoy this unique theatrical event. Steady boy, steady Joey. Trot on!’

The tour of War Horse coincides with the Centenary commemorations of the end of the First World War.   Liverpool’s St Georges Hall, situated right opposite the Empire Theatre on Lime Street played a significant part in the First World War.  On 31 August 1914, a month after the War broke out, the plateau outside this iconic Liverpool landmark  was packed with thousands of men queuing to sign up to the military.  By 10am, the first 1,000 men had been recruited, and by September 1914, more than 30,000 enlisted at St George’s Hall.  Thousands again gathered at St George’s at the end of the War, clambering on the lampposts in celebration.

War Horse is produced by the National Theatre –

Fancy a sneak peek? Liverpool news source the Liverpool Echo took some fantastic video which can be seen here (all credit to the Liverpool Echo)


Liverpool Empire Theatre

15 November – 2 December 2017

To book visit the Liverpool Empire Box Office, call 0844 871 3017* or visit*

Posted in Preview

The Narnia Experience Returns To Liverpool’s St George’s Hall Next Month

Following its sell-out run in 2013, The Narnia Experience returns to St George’s Hall next month; the critically acclaimed interactive walk-through experience is back from 8 – 25 February and tickets are on sale now.

Brought to life once again by Crosby-based community theatre charity In Another Place, the company also behind 2016’s hugely successful production, The Alice Experience.

Visitors are invited to step through the enchanted wardrobe where they will discover a wintery forest scene and whisked to the magical land of Narnia. Take on the role of either Lucy or Edmund and follow the adventure from their perspective in this classic children’s tale by C.S. Lewis.

The Great Hall will be beautifully transformed as visitors go on a journey through the White Forest and across the land of Narnia in this large-scale, immersive and interactive trail. Get set to meet all the favourite characters along the way including Mr Tumnus, Mrs Beaver and The White Witch.

The Narnia Experience is an ideal day out for the whole family, from children 3+ to adults alike, and is perfect to enjoy during the February half-term holidays.

Set to be a huge production, In Another Place have gathered a team of around 500 volunteers to produce the event who have been drawn from community groups and churches across Liverpool, many individuals are also getting involved.

This event is expected to sell-out fast, so be sure to book your tickets early and don’t miss out visiting Narnia!

The Narnia Experience returns to St George’s Hall from 8 – 25 February and is open daily from 9:30am – 7:30pm with admittance every 15 minutes.

St Georges Hall General Manager Alan Smith said: “We are delighted to welcome back the team at In Another Place, their previous productions of Narnia and Alice Experience were incredibly well received by the public. The creativity and vision in their set designs and the characters they bring to life are always astounding. I would definitely recommend booking fast as I imagine this to be another sell-out!”

Annie Spiers, Artistic Director said: “This is not just walking through the amazing scenery, but meeting the characters as they bring the story to life in this walk-through performance. This is an experience all ages will love”.

There will be four Autism friendly performances on Tue 21st February between 6:15pm – 7pm specifically designed to welcome those who will benefit from a more relaxed performance environment. A BSL performance is also available at 7:30pm on Saturday 18 February.

The Narnia Experience

St George’s Hall, North Entrance, William Brown Street, Liverpool

Wednesday 8 – Saturday 25 February

Times: Daily from 9:30am – 7:30pm (at 15 minute intervals)

Tickets Prices:

Mon & Tue: Child £6/ Adult £8

Wed & Thu: Child £7/ Adult £10

Fri & Sat: Child £10/ Adult: £13

Fri 10th: Child £6/ Adult £8


Purchase in person at Echo Arena Liverpool, Kings Dock, Liverpool, online at or on 0844 800 0410.

Posted in Preview



WICKED, the West End and Broadway musical phenomenon that tells the incredible untold story of the Witches of Oz, is delighted to confirm that its spectacular, multi record-breaking and critically acclaimed touring production will return to the Liverpool Empire in 2018. One of the most successful productions in the venue’s history, WICKED was previously seen by over 68,000 people – equivalent to 1 in 7 people in Liverpool – during its celebrated engagement in September/October 2014.

WICKED returns for four weeks only from Wednesday 7 to Saturday 31 March 2018. Tickets go on sale from next week:

ATG Theatre Card Members priority on-sale: Wednesday 25th January

Groups of 10+ on-sale: Monday 30th Janaury

General on-sale: Wednesday 1st February

Executive Producer Michael McCabe said: “We were overwhelmed by the incredible response from audiences and critics alike when we first brought Wicked to Liverpool in 2014, and it is extraordinary to think that over 68,000 people came and saw us. The whole team at the Liverpool Empire showed such tremendous enthusiasm and support, and we’re all really delighted to return to this legendary venue.”

The Liverpool Empire’s General Manager, Diane Belding said: “Wicked is one of the most popular musicals there is and we are honoured to be welcoming the production back to the Empire stage. During its run here in 2014, seeing thousands of smiling faces leaving the theatre after every performance was truly magical. I’m sure Liverpool will fall under its spell once again when the production returns to the city next year.”

Acclaimed as “one of the greatest musicals of our time” (Daily Mail), “a magical mystery tour through the fantasyland of Oz” (London Evening Standard) and “one of the West End’s true modern classics” (Metro), WICKED tells the incredible untold story of an unlikely but profound friendship between two sorcery students and their extraordinary adventures in Oz, which will ultimately see them fulfil their destinies as Glinda The Good and the Wicked Witch of the West. Based on the acclaimed, best-selling novel by Gregory Maguire that ingeniously re-imagines the stories and characters originally created by L. Frank Baum in ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’, WICKED has become a global phenomenon featuring astounding technical wizardry, stunning costumes and show-stopping songs by three-time Academy Award winner Stephen Schwartz.

This spectacular production of WICKED, acclaimed by the Northern Echo as “the ultimate Broadway experience for theatre audiences all over the UK”, played a fifteen-city tour of the UK & Ireland from September 2013 – July 2015, winning five-star rave reviews at every venue. It resumed touring in July 2016 to embark on a major international tour including engagements in Singapore, Hong Kong, Manila, Shanghai and Beijing, before returning to the UK & Ireland in 2018.

WICKED is already the 17th longest running show in West End theatre history and recently celebrated a decade of performances at London’s Apollo Victoria Theatre, where it continues an open-ended run. Around the world, WICKED has now been seen by over 50 million people in 15 countries, and won over 100 major awards.

WICKED has music and lyrics by multi Grammy and Academy Award-winner Stephen Schwartz (Godspell and Disney’s Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Enchanted) and is based on the acclaimed novel ‘Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West’ by Gregory Maguire and adapted for the stage by Winnie Holzman. Musical staging is by Tony Award-winner Wayne Cilento and the production is directed by two-time Tony Award-winner Joe Mantello.

WICKED is produced around the world by Marc Platt, Universal Stage Productions, The Araca Group, Jon B. Platt and David Stone. Executive Producer (UK/International Tour) Michael McCabe.

Casting for the 2018 UK & Ireland Tour is to be announced.

Performance times:

Mon – Sat evenings 7.30pm, Wed & Sat matinees 2.30pm. Extra matinees on Thur 8th & Thur 29th March

Tickets from £12

Empire Theatre Box Office ¦ 0844 871 3017 ¦

*(Fees may apply to online/phone bookings. Calls cost 7p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge)

WICKED is suitable for a general audience. As a guide to parents, guardians and teachers, it is recommended for ages 7+. All persons entering the theatre, regardless of age, must have a ticket. Children under 3 years of age will not be admitted.

Official website:

Twitter: @WickedUK

Facebook: /WickedUK  |  Instagram: @WickedUK

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Orb Events is delighted to announce a brand-new festival for Spring 2017 – the New Brighton Seaside Festival!

The fantastic three-day family festival will take place over the Spring Bank Holiday (27-29 May). It will take over a huge space between Fort Perch Rock and the Floral Pavilion Theatre on the Marine Promenade in New Brighton.

As well as offering an exciting programme of fun seaside-themed entertainment, the event is set to showcase the best of homegrown seasonal fayre featuring a host of regional producers and introducing a raft of new spring menus from local chefs, restaurants and food businesses.

The first large scale seaside festival of its kind in the area, the weekender is the brainchild of Liverpool event management company Orb Events, the team behind some of the city’s largest festivals including the award-winning Liverpool Loves,Liverpool Pride, and Farm Feast.

The organisers aim to capture the traditional seaside charm of New Brighton while offering an invigorating programme for the whole region to get involved in.

The festival will provide a memorable day out at the seaside – with a varied programme of fun activities each day that families can attend throughout the weekend encouraging festival goers to stay for the whole Bank Holiday.

Foodies can take their pick from a plethora of food traders, take a stroll over to the gin garden and artisan market, get involved with the cookery demos or head to the undercover seating area to sample some craft beer or dabble in a cocktail class or two.

All the while, they will be serenaded by live music from the main stage, from buoyant sea shanty choruses to mesmerising acoustic performances, with plenty of pop-up musical entertainment taking place throughout the site to transport visitors into a coastal utopia.

For the young at heart, a full children’s activity programme will be taking place each day including Punch and Judy style puppet shows, funfair, an on-site crafter van, planting workshops and bush craft classes to boot.

The Festival begins at 10am each day from Saturday, May 27 to Monday, May 29. With a varied and interactive programme across three days, the weekend is guaranteed to put a spring in the step of family visitors just in time for the Bank Holiday break.

Organiser Debbie Boyd from Orb Events commented: “Following on from such a successful 2016 summer stint, we wanted to create a dynamic family feel festival that celebrates the hidden charm, culture and heritage of New Brighton.

“We’ve received high demand for a Springtime event and with that in mind we’re delighted to be holding a three-day seaside extravaganza against the fantastic backdrop of the iconic Lighthouse and the grandeur of Fort Perch Rock.”

“We’re excited to be embracing a modern vision for the area and bringing an eclectic programme to the public. Expect everything from storytelling to shucking competitions, lots of live music, mermaids and even a pirate puppy parade!

Tickets go on sale this Friday, January 13 via Ticketquarter and are priced £5 for adults and £3 for children.

Weekend ticket packages are available for those visiting for more than one day and children under 3 go free. Take advantage of the Early Bird Weekend Family Tickets for just £50.

The full programme of activities will be announced soon. A park and ride service will be available. For more information visit

Follow us on Facebook/NBseasidefestival and Twitter @NBSeasideFest


Online at or telephone 0844 8000 410

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Youngsters Wanted To Star in Nativity! The Musical

Nativity! The Musical are on the lookout for young actors to star in their forthcoming world premiere production of NATIVITY! THE MUSICAL, which opens at The REP later this year, before touring around the country.

They are looking for children who are confident singers, dancers and performers to audition for lead roles in NATIVITY! THE MUSICAL. This exciting new show, written and directed by Debbie Isitt, premieres at The REP on 20 October and then tours to theatres in Southend, Sheffield, Manchester, Plymouth, London and Leeds where it finishes on 6 January 2018.

Debbie Isitt, writer and director of Nativity! said:

“The joyful and funny performances by the children in the Nativity! films were a huge part of their success and we’re hoping to recreate that for Nativity! The Musical. This is a great opportunity for young performers and I can’t wait to see and meet the talent that is out there.”

To audition for a lead part in NATIVITY! THE MUSICAL children need to be:

  • Aged between 9-11 by 1 September 2017
  • Approximately no taller than 135cm
  • We are looking for children with a playing age of 6-10 years old
  • Living in the West Midlands
  • They should be naturally confident, outgoing and keen performers and available for all the rehearsal and performance dates below.

Rehearsals in Birmingham:
Monday 11 September 2017 – Saturday 16 September 2017
Monday 18 September 2017 – Saturday 23 September 2017
Monday 25 September 2017 – Saturday 30 September 2017
Monday 2 October 2017 – Saturday 7 October 2017
Monday 9 October 2017 – 14 October 2017
Monday 16 October 2017 – 21 October 2017

Performance dates:
Birmingham Repertory Theatre 20 October 2017 – 12 November 2017
Southend Cliffs Pavilion 15 November 2017 – 19 November 2017
Sheffield Lyceum 22 November 2017 – 26 November 2017
Manchester Palace Theatre 29 November 2017 – 3 December 2017
Plymouth Theatre Royal 6 December 2017 – 10 December 2017
Hammersmith Apollo 13 December 2017 – 17 December 2017
Leeds Grand Theatre 20 December 2017 – 6 January 2018

Details of how to apply are as follows:

  • Upload a 1 minute YouTube clip of your child showcasing his/her talents. That can be singing, dancing, rapping or breakdancing  – whatever you think best shows their performing talent and personality.
  • Don’t forget to get your child to introduce themselves, and tell their name, age and where they are from at the start of video.
  • When you’ve uploaded the clip, complete the online application form and include a link to the video here
  • The closing date for you to get your clips and audition forms in is Friday 20 January 2017.
  • It is recommended that you make your audition video private and share with us a password to access it. Details on how to do this can be found here

Shortlisted children will be invited to attend an audition at The REP one day during week commencing 20 February

Further regional auditions will be announced at a later date so do check back.

(Image from )

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27 JUNE – 1 JULY 2017




The Liverpool Empire Theatre is delighted to announce that New Adventures are bringing the World Premiere tour of Matthew Bourne’s production of THE RED SHOES to the venue from 27 June – 1 July 2017. Tickets go on general sale on Friday 13 January at 10am, and are on presale to ATG Theatre Card members from Wednesday 11 January at 10am.

A beloved fairy-tale and Academy Award-winning movie, THE RED SHOES has seduced audiences and inspired generations of dancers with its tale of obsession, possession and one girl’s dream to be the greatest dancer in the world. Victoria Page lives to dance but her ambitions become a battleground between the two men who inspire her passion.

Matthew Bourne’s magical new adaptation of the legendary Powell and Pressburger film reunites him with his regular collaborators and New Adventures Associate Artists and the team that brought you the world wide hit, Sleeping Beauty; Lez Brotherston (set and costumes), Paule Constable (lighting) and Paul Groothuis (sound).

This World Premiere is set to a new score arranged by New Adventures Associate Artist, Terry Davies using the mesmerizing music of golden-age Hollywood composer, Bernard Herrmann (most famous for his collaborations with Alfred Hitchcock, Orson Welles andMartin Scorsese), whose work ranges from the witty and playfully robust to the achingly romantic and bittersweet.

An intoxicating drama where life imitates art with fateful consequences; THE RED SHOES will dazzle your senses and break your heart.

“Victoria Page”, the girl who dreams of being a great dancer, immortalised on screen by Moira Shearer, is played by New Adventures star, Ashley Shaw, most recently seen across the UK and internationally as “Aurora” in Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty. Rising star and fellow “Aurora”, Cordelia Braithwaite, also plays the role, along with Sleeping Beauty favourite Katrina Lyndon in her principal role debut (at certain performances).

Sam Archer who created the title role of Edward Scissorhands in 2005 and who has starred in Cinderella, The Car Man and Play Without Words plays the iconic role of Svengali-like Impresario “Boris Lermontov”. One of New Adventures’ finest leading men, Chris Trenfield, will also play Lermentov, as well as musical genius, “Julian Craster”; the man with whom Victoria Page falls in love. Sharing the role of Julian is one of New Adventures most popular dancers,Dominic North, who was this year nominated for his second National Dance Award, along with rising star Andrew Monaghan who has already debuted leading roles in Swan Lake, The Car Man and Sleeping Beauty.

Completing the principal cast are the leading dancers of the Lermentov Company. Prima Ballerina, “Irina Boronskaja” is played by Michela Meazza, who has returned to New Adventures where she previously danced and created many leading roles (including “Lady H” in Dorian Gray, “Joyce” in Edward Scissorhandsand “The Stepmother” in Cinderella). She is joined by Company favourites Anjali Mehra, most recently seen as both “The Queen” and “The Girlfriend” inSwan Lake and Nicole Kabera, who played “Queen Eleanor” in Sleeping Beauty.

“Ivan Boleslawsky” the role made famous by Robert Helpmann is played by one of New Adventures finest young dancers, Liam Mower (the original West EndBilly Elliot but now taking on his seventh principal role with New Adventures). Also playing Ivan is popular company dancer, Danny Reubens, who scored a great personal success recently as “Jack” in Lord Of The Flies.

Company choreographer and ‘character dancer’ “Grischa Ljubov”, is created by veteran company dancer, Glenn Graham, who as well as playing “The Swan” in Swan Lake has recently been seen as “King Benedict” in Sleeping Beauty. Also playing the role of Grischa will be Leon Moran recently seen in Sleeping Beauty, The Car Man and as “Jim” in Edward Scissorhands.

Completing the New Adventures cast as the leading dancers and creative team behind the Ballet Lermentov are Steph Billers, Will Bozier, Jack Jones, Daisy May Kemp, Phil King, Dominic Lamb, Kate Lyons, Joe Walkling and Katie Webb. Joshua Harriette (Ballet Black, Michael Clark Company) andSeren Williams (Ballet Central graduate) have made their debuts with New Adventures in this production.

THE RED SHOES is supported using public funds by Arts Council England.


Performance Information

Matthew Bourne’s production of The Red Shoes

Liverpool Empire Theatre Tuesday 27 June – Saturday 1 July

Tue – Sat evenings 7.30pm. Thu & Sat matinees 2.30pm

ATG Theatre Card on sale: 11 January 10am General on sale: 13 January 10am

ATG Tickets 0844 871 3017**

Tickets from £12 in person at the venue Box Office, £13.90 online/phone*

*Transaction fees applies to online/phone bookings. Calls cost 7p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge

Posted in Preview


One day Monty found a book ‘Inventions Very Rare’. Create yourself a monster friend but only if you dare!

Bring your little monsters to the Epstein Theatre for an afternoon of magic and mayhem on Tuesday, 21stFebruary when Big Wooden Horse present… Monstersaurus!

This brand-new show from the creators of Aliens Love Underpants is monstrously good! Follow the young inventor Monty as he creates a whole world of whacky inventions and incredible monsters, but now he has made them all, how is he going to get rid of them?!

This energetic show full of thrills and spills, magic and mayhem will delight the whole family – with original music and plenty of audience participation!

Theatre manager, Rebekah Pichilingi, said: “Our little Epsteinees will love this show which is colourful, fun and full of crazy creatures – it’s the perfect way to entertain your little monsters!”

The show runs for 50 minutes and is suitable for children aged three and over. So book your tickets now for this monstrously amazing family show!



Date: Tuesday, February 21st 2017

Time: 11am & 2pm

Tickets: £13.50, family ticket £43.

To book tickets please call 0844 888 4411* or go online at * or in person at The Epstein Theatre Box Office from 2pm – 6pm Monday – Thursday and 12pm-6pm FridaySaturday.

*Subject to booking fee. All prices include a £1 per ticket venue restoration levy

For more details check out and join our mailing list. Follow us on Facebook and twitter @EpsteinTheatre.

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Children’s Touring Partnership is delighted to announce the full cast for the first UK Tour of Running Wild by Michael Morpurgo in an adaptation by Samuel Adamson, beginning at Chichester Festival Theatre on 10 February 2017. 

The lead role of Lilly will be shared by three young actresses, Jemima Bennett, India Brown and Annika Whiston. Dad/Red Bandana will be played by Kazeem Toisin Amore, Grandma by Liz Crowther, Mahout/Kaya by Stephen Hoo. Dr Geraldine by Corinna Powlesland, Mr Anthony by Jack Sandle and Mum will be played by Balvinder Sopal.

The puppeteers will be Darcy Collins (Frank, the baby orangutan), Romina Hytten (orangutan Mani Head), Fred Davis (Mani Body), Elisa de Grey (elephant Oona Trunk), James Charlton (Oona Head), Michael Peters (Oona Heart), and Wela Mbusi (Oona Hind), with Gareth Aled and Scarlet Wilderink as alternate puppeteers.

Michael Morpurgo’s novel, based on a true story, is brought to life in this award-winning production, which has been described by critics as ‘inspiring’, ‘evocative, ‘imaginative’ and ‘life-affirming’.  Originally produced by Regent’s Park Theatre and Chichester Festival Theatre, this epic production, complete with spectacular life-size puppets, tells an emotional and moving story of love, loss and loyalty and of living for the moment.

Running Wild is the story is of a girl named Lilly, who, whilst on holiday with her mother in Indonesia, takes an elephant ride.  During the ride, Oona, the elephant, suddenly becomes anxious and runs from the beach deep into the jungle.  With Lilly on her back, they escape moments before the tsunami hits the island.  Miles from civilisation, at first there’s wonder, discovery and tree-top adventures with the orangutans, but, as thoughts turn to her mother left behind on the beach, and wild tigers prowl, and hunger hits, Lilly must now learn to survive the rainforest.  And then the hunters come…

Michael Morpurgo, the former children’s laureate and author of War Horse, was inspired by the real-life story of Amber Owen, who was on holiday in Phuket with her mother and stepfather in 2004, when she went on an elephant ride.  While riding Ning Nong along the beach, the eight-year-old noticed the elephant was attempting to pull away from the receding sea water.  “He ran away and, as the water came in, I was safely on his back.  He saved my life.”  When he read Amber’s story in the newspaper, Michael Morpurgo said it was the one bit of hope amid the destruction of the Boxing Day tsunami which hit South East Asia.  The production will work to support the Born Free Foundation’s global elephant conservation projects.

Originated by Chichester Festival Youth Theatre, when it won a prestigious UK Theatre Award, before receiving its London premiere at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, Running Wild is co-directed by CFT’s Education Director Dale Rooks and Artistic Director of Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre Timothy Sheader, with set and costume design by Paul Wills, puppetry design and direction by Finn Caldwell and Toby Olié for Gyre & Gimble, both previous Associate Puppetry Directors on War Horse, original songs and composition by Rod Paton, additional music by Nick Powell and Louise Anna Duggan, sound score by Nick Powell, lighting design by James Whiteside, sound design by Nick Sagar and movement direction by Georgina Lamb.  Casting director for the UK Tour is Polly Jerrold, with original casting for Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre by Jessica Ronane CDG.

The UK Tour of Running Wild has received Arts Council funding.

For more information


Facebook: RunningWildLive

Twitter: @runningwildlive


10-17 February 2017 Chichester Festival Theatre 01234 781312

22 – 25 February 2017 Belgrade Theatre, Coventry 024 7655 3055

7 – 11 March 2017 Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield 0114 249 6000

14 – 18 March 2017 Wycombe Swan 01494 512 000

22 – 25 March 2017 Hackney Empire, London 020 8985 2424

4 – 8 April Grand Theatre, Blackpool 01253 290190

11 – 15 April West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds 0113 213 7700

18 – 22 April 2017 The Lowry, Salford 0843 208 6000

25 – 29 April 2017 Theatre Royal, Norwich 01603 630000

2 – 6 May 2017 Kings Theatre, Edinburgh 0131 529 6000

9 – 13 May 2017 Newcastle Theatre Royal 0844 811 2121

16 – 20 May 2017 Theatre Royal Plymouth 01752 267 222

23 – 27 May 2017 Royal & Derngate, Northampton  01604 624811

31 May – 3 June 2017  The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury                01227 787787

6 – 10 June 2017 Wolverhampton Grand Theatre 01902 429 212

Running time: 110 mins including interval

Age guidance: 6+

Posted in Uncategorized

The wonderful world of The Very Hungry Caterpillar munches its way to The Lowry this February


Four stories from the world of Eric Carle
Wed 22 – Sat 25 February

One of the most iconic characters in children’s literature will be arriving in Salford next month, when The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show plays at The Lowry from Wed 22 to Sat 25 February, prior to a West End run.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show will feature a menagerie of 75 enchanting puppets during a magical 60-minute show that faithfully adapts four of Eric Carle’s best loved books for the stage: The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse, Mister Seahorse, The Very Lonely Firefly and, of course, The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

Eric Carle’s books have captivated generations of readers with their iconic hand-painted illustrations and distinctively simple stories, introducing millions of children to a bigger, brighter world, and to their first experience of reading itself. His best-known work, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, has nibbled its way into the hearts of millions of children all over the world. It has been translated into 62 languages and sold over 41 million copies, remaining one of the top ten bestselling children’s books of all time. Since it was first published in 1969, Eric Carle has illustrated more than seventy books, most of which he also wrote, and more than 132 million copies of his books have sold around the world.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show is adapted for the stage by director Jonathan Rockefeller, whose production sees four master puppeteers weave their way through Eric Carle’s stories, bringing to life 75 magical puppets that faithfully recreate the wonderfully colourful world of Carle’s illustrations.

Jonathan Rockefeller said: “Eric Carle has created a deceptively simple, yet sophisticated introduction to reading through the magic of his iconic collage illustrations and memorable stories. I still have my original copy of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and to this day can’t help but be enthralled by the stylish and captivating art in Eric’s work.

“For many in the audience, this show will undoubtedly be their very first time at the theatre, so we have been very conscientious to ensure that we have been absolutely faithful to their favourite characters. Our goal is to take the audience on a truly memorable journey, bringing these stories to life through the magic of puppetry, movement and stagecraft. We have a menagerie of larger-than-life puppets, bursting with vibrant colour – it’s astonishing to compare the original illustrations to the puppets and how exact they are.

“When our puppets appear on stage the atmosphere is positively electric – parents and grandparents are swept up in nostalgia, and you can hear peels of laughter and squeals of delight as joy fills the theatre. We can’t wait to bring The Very Hungry Caterpillar to London!”

Eric Carle added: “I am delighted my friends in the UK will soon be able to share the same enjoyment I felt when seeing my characters come to life in the beautiful and enchanting Broadway production of The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show.”

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show first premiered in Australia in 2015 before opening in New York at the Acorn Theatre in January 2016. It is currently nominated for a Drama Desk Award for Unique Theatrical Experience, and returns next month for a second run due to popular demand. The New York production broke box office records and attracted celebrities with families including Chelsea Clinton, Emily Blunt, Neil Patrick Harris and Diane Sawyer.

Listings Info
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show
The Lowry, Salford
Wed 22– Sat 25 February 2017
11am, 2pm & 5pm
Tickets: £16.50 (Including booking fees)
Family Ticket £50
Box office: 0843 208 6000

Posted in Uncategorized

2016 Declared a Roaring Success for Chester Zoo as a Record 1.9 Million Visitors Pass Through its Gates!

Almost 1.9 million visitors flocked to Chester Zoo in 2016, an all-time record for any UK zoo.

Zoo bosses and conservationists have issued a public thank you to everyone who has visited the Cheshire attraction. Income generated will support vital conservation work protecting threatened species from extinction.

From initiatives to help frogs in Madagascar and song birds in Indonesia to conservation projects for elephants in India, funds raised from the record-breaking year are a huge boost to Chester Zoo’s Act For Wildlife conservation programmes.

The zoo recorded 1,896,401 visits in 2016 – 12% up on 2015 which was already the highest ever in the attraction’s 85-year history.

Dr Mark Pilgrim, chief executive officer at the zoo, said: “A huge thank you goes out to everyone who walked through our gates in 2016.

“We rely on our visitors to help deliver 80 vital conservation projects to protect threatened species – and the local communities that live alongside them – all around the world.  “That work includes a commitment to scientific conservation research; sending our keepers abroad to offer hands on welfare and technical advice in the wild and equipping rangers and field workers with the tools they need to protect endangered animals.  “We couldn’t do all this without the brilliant, growing support of our visitors.”

The figures come after the zoo – which is home to more than 20,000 animals and over 500 different species – was named the best zoo in the UK and within the top ten globally by travel website TripAdvisor.

Meanwhile, a report last year by the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA) placed Chester Zoo as the UK’s most visited paid for visitor attraction outside London, while an Economic Impact report published in December outlined that the attraction boosts the North West of England’s economy by almost £50 million per year.

The zoo’s research during the summer of 2016 showed an increase in visitors from the local area, the wider UK and international tourists. It also highlighted unprecedented satisfaction ratings, with 99% of visitors surveyed suggesting they would recommend Chester Zoo to friends and family.

Starting in January 2017, Chester Zoo will the launch a new phase of improvements to further its status as one of the world’s best zoos, in line with the “always building” ethos of founder George Mottershead. Dr Mark Pilgrim, added: “Opening this summer, we will be taking a playful turn with a brand new Madagascan Play habitat for our family visitors, creating lots of fun and adventure for people to enjoy across the zoo.”

To keep in touch with happenings at the zoo check out their website