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London Theatre News Today: Tuesday 8 June

First Published 8 June 2021, Last Updated 9 June 2021

Cast announced for What The Ladybird Heard

The much-loved stage adaptation of What the Ladybird Heard, from bestselling children’s author Julia Donaldson and award-winning illustrator Lydia Monks, will continue to entertain families around the country this Autumn with newly announced tour dates, from 16 September – 4 December.

The tour will kick off at Birmingham Hippodrome following the highly anticipated West End season at The Palace Theatre this summer, welcoming family-friendly live entertainment back to theatres.

Bringing the farmyard to life will be Nikita Johal (Spring Awakening, Hope Mill), Roddy Lynch (A Christmas Carol, Theatre Royal Bath), James Mateo-Salt (The Pirate Queen, London Coliseum), Matthew McPherson (The Jolly Christmas Postman, Oxford Playhouse), and Abigail Middleton (Pig, Royal Court Theatre Liverpool). Showcasing live instrumental music, original songs, puppetry and rhymes galore this exciting adaptation is a treat for the whole family.

Author Julia Donaldson comments, “It’s fantastic to see one of my most-loved children’s books, What the Ladybird Heard, returning to the stage, both in the West End and around the UK! After such a hard year it’s important that we can provide creative escapism for young children, and this stage show will do just that. I can’t wait to get back to the theatre and see it myself. I believe audiences are in for a treat!”

Illustrator and Show Design Consultant Lydia Monks adds, “It’s always a thrill to see my illustrations burst into life on stage and I’m very excited to be involved in this project. Theatre is an important tool for children’s creative development, and I believe this show is the perfect outlet. I look forward to transporting everyone to the farm for a fun family adventure!”

A colourful countryside adventure brought to life on stage, What the Ladybird Heard is a fantastic introduction to theatre for the little ones. Packed with plenty of audience participation and full of laughs this retelling of the classic children’s book is the tale of one quiet Ladybird on her quest to save the day!

Book your tickets to see What The Ladybird Heard with your family today.


Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s The Smeds And The Smoos to premiere at the Rose Theatre this autumn

Award-winning theatre company Tall Stories is delighted to announce a major UK tour of the first ever live stage production of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s brilliant picture book The Smeds And The Smoos this autumn.

Recently awarded the prestigious British Book Award – Children’s Book of the Year (Illustrated and Nonfiction), this joyous story of two star-crossed aliens on a far-off planet is being developed and previewed at Tall Stories’ new studio space at Central Library, Islington before receiving its world premiere at the Rose Theatre in Kingston-upon-Thames, from 27 – 31 October 2021.

The autumn tour will continue regionally, with a Christmas run at Leicester Curve (30 Nov – 9 Jan 2022). The tour continues from January 2022, with all touring dates to be announced soon.

Julia Donaldson said: “It’s a whole twenty years since Tall Stories brought ‘The Gruffalo’ to the stage, and it’s been brilliant that since then they’ve also successfully adapted ‘The Gruffalo’s Child’, ‘Room on the Broom’ and ‘The Snail and the Whale’. So I’m thrilled that the company is now developing ‘The Smeds and the Smoos’, with its cast of aliens and its Romeoand-Juliet-type plot (except that my story has a happy ending). I can’t wait to see the show, and I bet everyone’s going to love it!”

Axel Scheffler said: “I’m excited that Tall Stories will be bringing ‘The Smeds and the Smoos’ to the stage this year. Bill and Janet’s alien adventure feels very timely, as it’s a tale about unity and we have all felt isolated over the last year. Tall Stories have the challenge of creating lots of different alien species on stage – and I can’t wait to see how they bring the book to life.’

Alongside many other shows, Tall Stories has previously adapted four bestselling Donaldson/Scheffler books to great acclaim: The Gruffalo, Room On The Broom, The Gruffalo’s Child and The Snail And The Whale.


Mousetrap Theatre Projects presents a brand new musical show ‘A Starry Night In’ this month

For the ultimate theatrical celebration this summer, spend ‘A Starry Night In’ with the likes of Dame Harriet Walter, Adrian Lester, and Rosalie Craig!

Directed by Phyllida Lloyd (Mamma Mia!, The Iron Lady), this star-studded online cabaret has been produced especially for Mousetrap Theatre Projects – you won’t see this line-up anywhere else!

Join Mousetrap at 7.30pm any night until Saturday 12 June for an unforgettable extravaganza of musical talent, featuring British acting legends and exciting up-and-coming artists. Check out the line up below:

  • Adrian Lester – Multi-award winning actor who recently starred in the National Theatre’s lockdown performance of Romeo & Juliet.
  • Harriet Walter – Spell-bound audiences in the Donmar’s Shakespeare Trilogy, directed by Phyllida Lloyd.
  • Clive Rowe – Musical theatre legend, Olivier Award winner, and recently starred as Fezziwig in A Christmas Carol at The Old Vic.
  • Rosalie Craig – Made history as the first actress to play Bobbie in the West End’s ground-breaking production of Company.
  • Peter Polycarpou – Veteran of stage and screen and nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his role in OSLO.
  • Aisha Jawando – Star of Tina – The Tina Turner Musical
  • Jade Anouka & Grace Savage – A stunning spoken word and beatbox duo, Jade also starred in the BBC’s His Dark Materials and Graceis a singer-songwriter whose single “Temper Temper” was recently upload of the week on BBC Music Introducing…

You’ll also hear inspiring stories from Mousetrap Theatre Projects, the charity dedicated to giving disadvantaged and vulnerable children access to the magic of theatre.

Streaming online until 12 June, be sure to grab your tickets here.


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