Stage version of The Iron Woman to open this autumn
Faber hosted tea at the Sanderson Hotel to celebrate the 50th anniversary of publication of Ted Hughes' children's classic The Iron Man, the 25th of his sequel The Iron Woman, and new editions with introductions by Hughes' friend Sir Michael Morpurgo.
The Ted Hughes Estate has announced a new production of The Iron Woman to be staged in October - the 20th anniversary of Hughes' death - at the Other Palace theatre, near Victoria.
Guests at the tea included Hughes's widow Carol; Mike Kenny, Olivier-Award winning writer of the stage adaptation of The Railway Children, and now adapting The Iron Woman; and director of the workshop production Luke Sheppard, formerly associate director of the RSC's Matilda.
The story is timely for its environmental theme: the Iron Woman is furious at the pollution of the world, and finds allies in children. Morpurgo, also present with his wife Clare, described Hughes as a prophet and a poet, who pulled no punches.
Joining the Faber team at the celebration - Leah Thaxton, Stephen Page and Hannah Love - were illustrators Chris Mould, currently working on a new edition of The Iron Man, and Olivia Lomenech Gill, who has illustrated Hughes' poems among others in an anthology by Michael and Clare Morpurgo. Also joining the festivities were Jill Coleman, director of children's books at BookTrust; journalist and Hay children's director Julia Eccleshare; and Carol Hughes' brother, journalist and presenter Robert Orchard.
Photos: (top) Leah Thaxton (left) and Carol Hughes; (left) Chris Mould and Stephen Page.