A Monster Calls UK tour announced

Lucy Nathan
News - Children Monday, 10 June 2019

Tour begins 6 February at Chichester Festival Theatre; will include outreach programme

Global Creatures and Jonathan Church Productions have announced the UK tour of the stage version of A Monster Calls. An Old Vic production in association with Bristol Old Vic, A Monster Calls will tour 15 venues starting in February 2020, with further dates to be announced. It will also play at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC in summer 2020.

The play, which won the 2019 Best Entertainment and Family Olivier Award, is directed by Sally Cookson; it is adapted from Patrick Ness's novel, which is based on an idea by the late Siobhan Dowd. It follows the story of 13-year-old Conor, whose mother is ill, and who sees a monster at his window one evening; by the end of the play he has learned that he must tell his own story and face his fears.

The tour of the play will provide an outreach and engagement programme including discussions, workshops, an education pack, and activities and events for local community groups and audiences. It will also work with CDI, a youth information and advice charity, and Kooth, a free and anonymous online counselling and emotional wellbeing support service for children and young people.

Cookson said: "Being given the opportunity to adapt Patrick Ness's beautiful book was a career highlight and I am thrilled to be able to bring it to life once more in a new touring production that will see it reach a wider audience. The story of 13-year-old Conor lost in a mire of anxiety and fear strikes a chord with anyone who's been threatened with losing someone they love. The combination of gritty realism and magic make it perfect material for theatre. Despite packing an emotional punch, it is ultimately a show that brings together audience and actors to explore some of the harder aspects of being human, and find comfort collectively as the story unfolds."

Ness said: "The stage production of A Monster Calls has been one of the most incredible experiences of my life. Not just the amazing way the show was created and performed, not that we won an Olivier (but that was pretty cool), but the audience reactions night after night. The way people talk to me about the show is like nothing I've ever experienced: how moved they were, how blown away they were by the whole production. I am so thrilled that other parts of the country can have a chance to see it. The experience goes on; not just for me, but in memory of the amazing Siobhan Dowd."

6-15 February - Chichester Festival Theatre
18-22 February - Nottingham Theatre Royal
25-29 February - The Lowry, Salford
3-7 March - Belgrade Theatre, Coventry
10-14 March - Sheffield Theatres
17-21 March - His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen
31 March-4 April - Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury
7-11 April - Edinburgh Kings Theatre
14-18 April - Malvern Theatre
21-25 April - Theatre Royal Norwich
28 April-2 May - Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff
5-9 May - Newcastle Theatre Royal
12-16 May - Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford
19-23 May - Theatre Royal Plymouth
2-13 June - Bristol Old Vic

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