The Flying Bath (photo by Ellie Kurtz)
The Flying Bath (photo by Ellie Kurtz)

Little Angel Theatre Announces Spring/ Summer Season 2023

Little Angel Theatre today announce the upcoming Spring / Summer season, including:

  • Welcome to the splash zone! The Flying Bath features a gang of quirky bath toys on an adventure of a lifetime in this retelling of Julia Donaldson and David Robert’s fun-loving tale.  From 11 February – 23 April 2023 at Little Angel Studios.
  • Brand-new production The Instrumentals, a co-production with Goblin Theatre, Blouse and Skirt Theatre Company and Mercury Theatre, aims to fill the soul with love, laughter and music, with stories taking inspiration from the African-Caribbean diaspora.  From 10 February – 16 April at Little Angel Theatre.
  • The Wolves in the Walls, a co-production with Bristol Old Vic and York Theatre Royal, adapted by Toby Olié from Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean’s spine-tingling tale about standing up for what you believe in returns for ages 6+. From 12 May – 23 July 2023 at Little Angel Theatre.
  • A starry-eyed owl stays up all night in Wow! Said the Owl, a Little Angel Theatre production based on the beloved children’s book written by Tim Hopgood. Children will have the chance to experience the vibrant cycles of night and day in this colourful tale. From 19 May – 30 July 2023 at Little Angel Studios.
  • As part of London International Mime Festival, visiting company String Theatre will perform A Water Journey, a wordless play which explores themes of displacement, exile, and the importance of solidarity and friendship in caring for our Earth. From 3 – 5 February 2023 at Little Angel Theatre.
  • And across the country Little Angel’s hit production I Want My Hat Back Trilogy goes on its first UK tour while other productions on the road in 2023 include The Singing Mermaid, The Instrumentals, King of Nothing, If Not Here… Where?  and The Smartest Giant in Town (currently running in the West End).

Little Angel Theatre Artistic Director Samantha Lane and Executive Director Peta Swindall introduce the new season:

‘Our Spring 2023 season is jam-packed with new work, fantastic visiting companies and another chance to enjoy some much-loved Little Angel classics.  A highlight for the new year will be ‘The Instrumentals’ which premieres in February.  This joyful production is bursting with love, laughter and soulful music to inspire young audiences.   

We’re also delighted Toby Olié’s brilliant adaptation of Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean’s fantasy ‘The Wolves in the Walls’ is returning for a full run in May after the production was cut short when theatres closed because of Covid in March 2020. 

Our work is once again reaching far beyond our Islington home to children all across the country with ‘I Want My Hat Back Trilogy’, ‘The Singing Mermaid’, ‘King of Nothing’, ‘The Smartest Giant in Town’, ‘The Instrumentals’ and ‘If Not Here… Where? all out on tour.

Closer to home, we want to make sure everyone in our community can enjoy our work and in 2023 we aim to provide over 1,000 free tickets to families on state benefits to enjoy a free, fun day out filled with the magic of live puppetry.  We will also be giving away 4,500 tickets to pupils at our local schools (including our eight partner schools) as part of our ‘#PuppetsForAll scheme.’

LITTLE ANGEL SPRING/SUMMER SEASON:

THE FLYING BATH
A Little Angel Theatre production
11 February– 23 April 2023
Little Angel Studios
Running time: approximately 45 minutes (no interval)
Aimed at ages 2 – 5 years

Julia Donaldson and David Roberts’ playful and adventurous story splashes into life in this adaptation featuring catchy songs, quirky bath toys and everyday heroes.

When everyone has left the house in the morning, the bath toys spring into action and head off on exciting adventures in their magical flying bath! From giving a muddy piglet a shower to putting out a fire for a frightened baboon, they have water at the ready for any emergency – as long as they’re home for the children’s bath time at the end of the day.

Credits:
Adapted and directed by Samantha Lane
Set, puppets and costumes designed by Emma Tompkins
Music by Dominic Sales
Lighting designed by Sherry Coenen
Puppets made by Naomi Oppenheim
Assistant puppet maker Daisy Pearson
Performed by Kat Burke Johns and Mark Esias
Stage Managed by Tor Porter.

This play is based on the original book The Flying Bath © Julia Donaldson and David Roberts 2014, published by Macmillan Children’s Books.

World Premiere
THE INSTRUMENTALS
A Little Angel Theatre, Goblin Theatre, Blouse and Skirt Theatre Company and Mercury Theatre co-production
10 February – 16 April 2022
Little Angel Theatre Running time: 55 minutes (no interval)
Aimed at ages 4 – 8 years

Bursting to life with brilliant puppetry and bold music, The Instrumentals is full of love and laughter, about the memories we hold and how we celebrate life.

When Belle is feeling down she slips into her grandfather’s basement and discovers his old dusty instruments. But far from being junk, The Instrumentals are pure funk, and they teach Belle to ‘get down’ in a whole new way.

This is a show for all children with characters, story & inspiration from the African-Caribbean diaspora. It’s full of uplifting original music with soulful sounds and seventies grooves. Combined with innovative puppetry and comedy, this fun musical journey will have audiences dancing in the aisles!

Credits:
Writer/Director: Mia Jerome
Composer: Cal-I Jonel 
Set and Puppet Designer/Direction: Oliver Hymans
Sound Designer: Féz (@soundslikefez)
Lighting Designer: Joshie Harriette
Stage managed by Holly Glenn
Performed by Maya Manuel and Elliot Liburd

THE WOLVES IN THE WALLS
A Little Angel Theatre, Bristol Old Vic and York Theatre Royal co-production
A puppet-infested production adapted by Toby Olié
From the original graphic novel by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Dave McKean
12 May – 23 July 2023
Little Angel Theatre
Running time: 1 hour
Aimed at ages: For everyone over 6

Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean’s spooky and hilarious tale comes to thrilling theatrical life in this puppet-infested production directed and designed by Toby Olié (War Horse, The Elephantom, Running Wild and National Theatre’s Pinocchio).

When Lucy hears noises from behind the walls, she tries to warn her family that there are wolves lurking inside their house. But her family don’t listen. Then one day, the wolves come out, evicting Lucy and her family to live at the bottom of the garden.  But it’s not all over. Lucy gathers her courage, as her battle against the wolves is only just beginning. 

Suitable for brave children over six and scared adults.

Credits:
Directed and Designed by Toby Olié
Music composed by Adam Pleeth
Lyrics by Carl Grose
Associate Designer and Puppet Supervision by Daisy Beattie
Lighting design by Matt Daw

WOW! SAID THE OWL
A Little Angel Theatre production
Based on the book written and illustrated by Tim Hopgood
19 May – 30 July 2023
Little Angel Theatre
Running time: approximately 50 minutes
Aimed at ages: 2-5 years

WOW! Said the Owl, the acclaimed children’s book by award-winning author, Tim Hopgood, is brought to life through a blend of beautiful storytelling, puppetry and music. Directed by Joy Haynes, this show will delight and excite very young audiences.

From the warm, pink glow of dawn through to a day filled with the bright colours of green leaves, blue sky, white clouds and, finally, a stunning rainbow – ‘WOW!’ But despite the beauty of the daytime world, the little owl decides that the night-time stars are the most beautiful of all.

Explore the wonderful world of colours with a curious little owl, who is determined to stay awake and see what daylight brings.  Watch the trailer:

Credits:
Based on the book by Tim Hopgood
Adapted and directed by Joy Haynes
Set and costumes designed by Fiammetta Horvat
Puppets designed and made by Keith Frederick
Music and lyrics by Dominic Sales
Creative Producer: Miranda Pitcher
Performed by Lizzie Wort

This production of WOW! Said the Owl is based on the book WOW! Said the Owl © 2009 Tim Hopgood, published by Macmillan Children’s Books, a division of Macmillan Publishers International Ltd.

VISITING COMPANIES

A WATER JOURNEY
A String Theatre production
3 – 5 February 2023 (Q&A on Sat 4th Feb 3 pm)
Little Angel Theatre
Running Time: 40 minutes
Aimed at ages: for everyone over 5

Performed with newly-created, long-string wood-carved marionettes and silhouette animation, this wordless play explores themes of displacement, exile, and the importance of solidarity and friendship in caring for our Earth and her living creatures.

In a remote and tranquil land, an unusual community of adventurous animals and one wise old man live in harmony with nature. But suddenly one day, a flood overwhelms them.  In this crisis caused by climate change, the group undertakes a dangerous journey in a desperate quest for refuge and survival.

A Water Journey is part of London International Mime Festival and features an atmospheric, original sound score of exotic sound effects and rare percussive instruments.

Credits:
Director: Stan Middleton
Outside eye: Sue Dacre, Amy Rowe
Performance: Borbála Mező, Soledad Zárate
Animation: Gary Cherrington
Light design: Marcin Miloszewski
Sound score: Jimmy Sheals
Scenography: Stan Middleton
Props: Sue Dacre, Amy Rowe, Jess Shead
Photo by ©Tiddly Films

THE NOSY LITTLE TROLL
A Garlic Theatre production
21 – 23 April 2023
Little Angel Theatre
Aimed at ages: 3-8

Deep in the heart of the Norwegian Forest live the trolls – big trolls, tiny trolls and a Nosy Little Troll who has an amazingly sensitive nose…

One day there is a mumbling and a rumbling from the trolls. What is that stinky smell wafting through the trees? The Nosy Little Troll sets off  to follow her nose on a quest to solve the mysterious pong. Will she be brave enough to cross the scary old stone bridge and succeed in sniffing out the culprit?

A funny Scandinavian story starring a tasty brown cheese song, a lost goat and a bushy old troll with green fingers to delight young audiences.  Garlic Theatre hold their young audience spellbound with wonderfully crafted troll puppets, live music and lots of joining in.

Credits:
Devised and designed by the Company
Performer Iklooshar Malara
Direction Steve Tiplady
Puppetry direction Mark Pitman and Liz Walker                                                                            
Music Iklooshar Malara

LITTLE ANGEL ON THE ROAD

LITTLE ANGEL SUITCASE SHOWS

Little Angel Theatre have created a series of shows that emerge from a suitcase to be performed anywhere.

In February 2020, just before the pandemic, they took If Not Here… Where? to children’s hospitals around the country, bringing this beautiful interactive show to some of the most isolated children. During the pandemic the show was reimagined to a digital format so it could continue to reach those that had become even more isolated during the lockdowns.  Another tour of the show is planned for early 2023.

Little Angel have now started planning a new ‘suitcase show’ for refugee families.  They are working with local refugee centres and in partnership with HOME in Manchester, to develop and deliver a welcoming, accessible, musically focused show, to bring some joy and break down barriers for children and families coming into the country in often traumatic circumstances. 

This Christmas Little Angel will also be taking a ‘suitcase show’ into HMP Wandsworth for a family day, supporting engagement between prisoners and their families, a critical factor in outcomes following release.


I WANT MY HAT BACK TRILOGY
A Little Angel Theatre production with Ian Nicholson and Sam Wilde 
Touring from 4 February – 15 April
Aimed at ages: 3-6

Following their hit digital series on Little Angel Theatre’s YouTube channel, and a sold out run at their venue, lockdown sensations Ian Nicholson and Sam Wilde are back, showcasing their trademark cardboard design across the UK on the first ever tour of I Want My Hat Back Trilogy! Jon Klassen’s beloved books, I Want My Hat Back, This is Not My Hat and We Found A Hat, have found a new life of their own LIVE on stage. All your favourites including Bear, Little Fish and the Turtles will be making an appearance in this one-of-a-kind trilogy.

Dates and venues:
4th-5th February: Northern Stage, Newcastle 
11th February : The North Wall, Oxford
12th February: Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry 
13th-14th February: Royal Albert Hall, London
24th-25th February: Theatre By The Lake, Keswick
1st-5th March:  the egg, Bath
11th-12th March: Theatr Clwyd, Mold
19th-20th March: Gulbenkian Theatre, Canterbury 
24-26th March: The Theatre Chipping Norton
31st March-9th April: Tobacco Factory Theatres, Bristol
11th April: Trinity Theatre, Tunbridge Wells
12th April: The Albany, London
14th-15th April: Gala Theatre, Durham

Credits:
Adapted by Ian Nicholson and Sam Wilde
Directed by Ian Nicholson
Designed by Sam Wilde
Assisted by Alana Ashley
Lighting Design by Sherry Coenen
Sound Design and Composition by Jim Whitcher

I Want My Hat Back
Adapted by Ian Nicholson and Sam Wilde
From the book by Jon Klassen, illustrated by Jon Klassen
published by Candlewick Press

This Is Not My Hat
Adapted by Ian Nicholson and Sam Wilde
From the book by Jon Klassen, illustrated by Jon Klassen
published by Candlewick Press

We Found A Hat
Adapted by Ian Nicholson and Sam Wilde
From the book by Jon Klassen, illustrated by Jon Klassen
published by Candlewick Press.

THE INSTRUMENTALS
A Little Angel Theatre, Goblin Theatre, Blouse and Skirt Theatre Company and Mercury Theatre co-production
10 February – 16 April 2022
Little Angel Theatre Running time: 55 minutes (no interval)
Aimed at ages 4 – 8 years

New co-production The Instrumentals will tour extensively following its premiere at Little Angel Theatre in February.

Dates and venues:

23rd April:The Albany
29th April: Cornerstone Didcot
30th April:Jacksons Lane
6th May: Pegasus Theatre Oxford
7th May: Streatham Space Project
13th May:Luton Library
14th May: Camberley Theatre
27th May – 4th June: Mercury Theatre. Colchester
More dates to be announced

THE KING OF NOTHING
A Monstro Theatre and Little Angel Theatre co-production
Aimed at ages 5-11

MONSTRO and Little Angel Theatre’s latest Puppet Musical is an anarchic re-telling of Hans Christian Andersen’s Emperor’s New Clothes, in which the characters (and the audience) discover that people can be made to believe ANYTHING. With songs, puppetry, slapstick and more, the two Swindlers (or should we call them “actors”?) will weave their cunning magic on children and adults alike…

Dates and venues:
Feb 14 Feb 15: Bury St Edmonds – Theatre Royal
Feb 17: Dorset Arts Reach – Arts Reach
Feb 18: Banbury – The Mill
Feb 25: Folkestone – Quarterhouse 
Feb 26: Ledbury – Market Theatre 
March 2: London – Canning Town Library 
March 7: London – Barking Learning Centre (Venue 1)
March 8: London – Chadwell Heath Community Centre (Venue 2 )
March 9:London – Dagenham Library (Venue 3 – TBC)
March 11: London – Half Moon
March 12: London – Arts Depot
March 18: London – Lyric Hammersmith
April 1: Stourbridge  – Stourbridge Library
April 2: Salford – Lowry, Salford
April 6: Burton – Brewhouse Burton
April 11: Dorset – Lighthouse Poole
April 12: London – Greenwich Theatre
April 13: Norwich – Norwich Puppet Theatre
April 14: York – Helmsley 
April 15: Lancaster – The Dukes 
More dates to be announced.  For latest updates see www.monstotheatre.com

Credits:
Director – Steve Tiplady
Writer/composer and musical director – Ben Glasstone
Performers – Gilbert Taylor & Karina Garnett
Lighting design – Kate Hounslow
Set, costume and puppet design – Alison Alexander
General Manager – Rae Lee
Executive Producer – George Warren
Social Media Manager – Trynity Silk
Funded by Arts Council National Project Grants.

THE SINGING MERMAID 
By Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks
Watershed Productions present a Little Angel Theatre and Royal & Derngate, Northampton co-production

Running time: approximately 50 minutes
Aimed at ages 3 – 8 years

One day, the singing mermaid is tempted away from all of her sea creature friends and her peaceful home at Silversands to join a travelling circus. The audiences love to hear her sing, but the poor mermaid was tricked! Instead of the swimming pool she was promised, she is kept in a small tank by the wicked circus master Sam Sly, and she soon longs to return to the freedom of the sea. Will she ever escape? And who will help her along the way?

Dates and venues:
17 to 19 February 2023: Waterside Arts Manchester
For more details visit www.singingmermaid.co.uk

Credits:
Adapted by Barb Jungr and Samantha Lane
Directed by Samantha Lane
Music and lyrics by Barb Jungr
Set and costume designed by Laura McEwen
Puppets designed and made by Lyndie Wright
Lighting design by Sherry Coenen

Watershed Productions present a Little Angel Theatre and Royal & Derngate, Northampton, production of Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monk’s The Singing Mermaid.

This play is based on the original book The Singing Mermaid. Text copyright © Julia Donaldson 2012. Illustrations copyright © Lydia Monks 2012. Published by Macmillan Children’s Books.

THE SMARTEST GIANT IN TOWN
By Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler
Published by Macmillan Children’s Books
A Fierylight and Little Angel Theatre co-production
Currently running at St Martin’s Theatre until 1 January 2023
Running time: approximately 55 minutes
Aimed at ages 2 – 8 years

George wishes he wasn’t the scruffiest giant in town. So when he sees a new shop selling giant-sized clothes, he decides it’s time for a new look: smart trousers, smart shirt, stripy tie, shiny shoes. Now he’s the smartest giant in town . . . until he bumps into some animals who desperately need his help – and his clothes!

The Smartest Giant in Town is currently running at St Martin’s Theatre (until 1 January 2021) where it is the first production ever to play in tandem with The Mousetrap which has run at the theatre since 1974.

Dates and venues:
12 – 15 January: MAST Mayflower Studios
16 – 17 January: Albany Theatre Coventry
19 – 21 January: Lawrence Batley Theatre Huddersfield
22 January: The Met Bury
27 – 18 January: Derby Theatre
29 January: Lyceum Theatre Crewe
31 January: Swan Theatre Worcester
1 – 2 February: Millfield Theatre Edmonton
3 – 4 February: Rhoda McGaw Woking
11 – 12 February: Redgrave Theatre Bristol
14 – 19 February: Northcott Theatre Exeter
21 – 26 February: The Lowry Salford

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