By Michael Morpurgo
In an adaptation by Samuel Adamson
Produced by Regent’s Park Theatre and Chichester Festival Theatre
For Will, 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 – and Oona charges into the jungle, with her young rider desperately clinging on.
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The Daily Telegraph
"A WINNER. The puppetry is exquisite, with full-sized animals manipulated so they seem to breathe with documentary life. And as the sun goes down over Regent’s Park and Paul Anderson’s atmospheric lighting kicks in, THE MAGIC REALLY HITS YOU."
"A role-swapping, puppet-wielding cast…team together to offer vivid suggestions of both the danger and beauty of this tropical wilderness…
REMARKABLE by its INVENTIVE, EVOCATIVE STAGING."
"It’s A CROWDPLEASER, mainly thanks to INSPIRING and ENERGETIC staging, namely some amazing puppet animals...brought to beautifully articulated life. This fairy-lit stage in Regent’s Park is one of the prettiest theatres in the world, and deserves to be on everyone’s summer night bucket list."
"What an AUDACIOUS and IMAGINATIVE start this is to the season....stylishly directed by Timothy Sheader and Dale Rooks. And those puppets are things of never-ending beauty."
Whats On Stage
"This ABSORBING VISUAL FEAST gradually develops from a lost-in-the-jungle survival story into a morality tale that pitches a brave child against murderous poachers intent on killing endangered wildlife for profit. The animals, all magnificent life-size puppets designed by Finn Caldwell and Toby Olié, are played with tender warmth and humour by their 'handlers', with Oona the elephant exuding charm and courage."
"Beautifully realised and modulated...the puppet-work is fantastic…and other touches from directors Timothy Sheader and Dale Rooks were dazzling: the sung music effects of the sea from the chorus and the patter of rain, the huge blue material that represented the tsunami and enveloped the audience at one point took my breath away. A BRILLIANT, LIFE-AFFIRMING SHOW."
- Director – Timothy Sheader and Dale Rooks
- Designer – Paul Wills
- Movement Director – Georgina Lamb
- Composer & Music Director – Rod Paton
- Sound Score – Nick Powell
- Sound Designer – Nick Lidster for Autograph
- Season Associate Director (Voice & Text) – Barbara Houseman
- Music Director (Performance) – Louise Anna Duggan
- Assistant Director – Oliver Kaderbhai
- Puppetry Design and Direction – Finn Caldwell and Toby Olié for Gyre & Gimble
- Casting Director – Jessica Ronane CDG
- Ensemble Casting – Verity Naughton
- Lighting Designer – Paul Anderson
- Dialect Coach – Majella Hurley
- Will – Joshua Fernandes
- Will – Tyler Osborne
- Lilly – Ava Potter
- Red Bandana / Mahout – Okorie Chukwu
- Granny – Joyce Henderson
- Mum / Geraldine – Hattie Ladbury
- Grandad / Kaya – Eric Mallett
- Dad / Hunter – Ira Mandela Siobhan
- Mr Anthony – Stephen Ventura
- Oona the elephant – Laura Cubitt, John Leader, Michael Taibi, Ben Thompson
- Mani the orangutan – Stuart Angell, Sarah Mardel
- Charlie the orangutan – Romina Hytten
- Tonk the orangutan – Fred Davis