‘”Stories are wild creatures, the monster said. When you let them loose, who knows what havoc they might wreak?”
Thirteen-year-old Conor and his mum have managed just fine since his dad moved to America. But now his mum’s very sick and she’s not getting any better. His grandmother won’t stop interfering and the kids at school won’t look him in the eye.
Then, one night, at seven minutes past midnight, Conor is woken by something at his window. A monster has come walking. It’s come to tell Conor tales from when it walked before. And when it’s finished, Conor must tell his own story and face his deepest fears’.
Visionary director Sally Cookson’s powerful adaptation of Patrick Ness’ piercing international bestseller ‘A Monster Calls’ is set to tour the UK, beginning in February 2020.
The show will open at Chichester Festival Theatre on 6th February, before heading to venues in Nottingham, Salford, Coventry, Sheffield, Aberdeen, Canterbury, Edinburgh, Malvern, Norwich, Leicester and Bristol, with further venues to be announced.
Inspired by an idea by Siobhan Dowd, on publication, ‘A Monster Calls’ became a firm favourite with children and adults alike with its dazzling insight into love, loss, hope and healing. It garnered huge critical acclaim, including an unprecedented double win of the Carnegie and Greenaway Medals for outstanding children’s literature and illustration.
An Old Vic production in association with Bristol Old Vic, ‘A Monster Calls’ ran at London’s Old Vic in July 2018, after an initial run at the Bristol Old Vic, winning the 2019 Olivier Award for Best Entertainment and Family.
Writer Patrick 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.”
Director Sally Cookson said “Being given the opportunity to adapt Patrick Ness’ 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 thirteen-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”.
The original production featured set design by Michael Vale, costume by Katie Sykes, lighting by Aideen Malone, sound by Mike Beer, composition by Benji Bower and music by Benji Bower and Will Bower, projection by Dick Straker, puppetry by Laura Cubitt, movement by Dan Canham, aerial by Matt Constain, fights by Rachel Bown-Williams and Ruth Cooper-Brown, casting by Jessica Ronane CDG, and associate direction by Miranda Cromwell.
The production will provide an extensive outreach and engagement programme across its tour, to include discussions, workshops, an education pack and participatory events for local community groups and audiences, addressing the widespread themes within the production. Access performances including BSL, Audio Described, Captioned performances and Touch Tours will also be available across the tour.
The UK Tour of ‘A Monster Calls’ is supported by Arts Council England through a National Lottery Project Grant award and The Touring Partnership. The production is suitable for those aged 10+.
After its UK tour, the production will play at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C from Tuesday 21st July to Sunday 9th August 2020.
“An exhilarating, resolutely tender imaginative feat” (The Sunday Times), “inventive and mightily stirring” (The Telegraph), “reality meets fairy-tale fantasy” (The Guardian) in this “truthful, hopeful and human” (WhatsOnStage) production of “searing emotional clarity” (Time Out).
“A monster hit” (The Times) that “packs an enormous emotional punch” (Evening Standard), “this strange, soaring yet miraculously unsentimental adaptation of Patrick Ness’ book needs seeing. It is heartbreaking, spectacular, harsh, happy” (The Times).
“Everything this director does speaks of hope for the theatre and the transcendent power of the imagination” (StageTalk Magazine).“In the hands of Sally Cookson, ‘A Monster Calls’ is an instant classic: a show that transforms both hearts and minds through the magic of authentic storytelling. Go with someone and join the masses who rose to their feet and hugged those near them” (Bristol 24/7).
Chichester Festival Theatre, 6th – 15th February – BUY TICKETS
Nottingham Theatre Royal, 18th – 22nd February – BUY TICKETS
The Lowry, Salford, 25th – 29th February – BUY TICKETS
Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, 3rd – 7th March – BUY TICKETS
Sheffield Theatres, 10th – 14th March – BUY TICKETS
His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen, 17th – 21st March – BUY TICKETS
Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury, 31st March – 4th April – BUY TICKETS
Edinburgh Kings Theatre, 7th – 11th April – BUY TICKETS
Malvern Theatre, 14th – 18th April – BUY TICKETS
Theatre Royal Norwich, 21st – 25th April – BUY TICKETS
Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff, 28th April – 2nd May – BUY TICKETS
Newcastle Theatre Royal, 5th – 9th May – BUY TICKETS
Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford, 12th – 16th May – BUY TICKETS
Theatre Royal Plymouth, 19th – 23rd May – BUY TICKETS
Curve Theatre, Leicester, 26th – 30th May – BUY TICKETS
Bristol Old Vic, 2nd – 13th June – BUY TICKETS
Kennedy Center, Washington D.C, 21st July – 9th August – BUY TICKETS