Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks’ award-winning book What the Ladybird Heard makes West End debut

What the Ladybird Heard © Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks 2009, published by Macmillan Children’s Books

What the Ladybird Heard © Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks 2009, published by Macmillan Children’s Books

Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks’ bestselling picture book What the Ladybird Heard makes its West End debut this summer. This glittering tale of two crafty robbers, one tiny ladybird and a whole farmyard of fun will open at the Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue on 5 July, running until 10 September, prior to a major UK tour in early 2018.

 Hefty Hugh and Lanky Len have a cunning plan to steal the farmer’s fine prize cow. But they don’t reckon on the tiniest, quietest creature of all: the Ladybird who has a plan of her own!

Join the woolly sheep, the hairy hog, the fat red hen and the dainty dog as they take on the villains in this musical stage adaptation of What the Ladybird Heard, Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks’ colourful farmyard adventure, published by Macmillan Children’s Books. With original songs and music, puppetry, plenty of audience participation and lots of laughs, this action-packed 55-minute production is the perfect treat for families with children aged three and up.

Julia Donaldson says of the show: “I love the songs, the farmer’s song at the beginning is wonderful and the lovely, lively acting set against Lydia’s [Monks] farmyard is a joy”.

The cast includes: Rosamund Hine (Farmer), Emma Carroll (Lily / Ladybird)Edward Way (Hefty Hugh) and Matt Jopling (Lanky Len)

Director: Graham Hubbard

Set & Costume Design: Bek Palmer

Design Consultant: Lydia Monks

Lighting Design: Ric Mountjoy

Composers & Sound Design: Jon Fiber and Andy Shaw for JollyGoodTunes

WHAT THE LADYBIRD HEARD is the first of three titles in the What the Ladybird Heard picture book series, followed by What the Ladybird Heard Next and the highly-anticipated What the Ladybird Heard on Holiday which is due to hit UK bookshops on 29th June 2017.

The Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks author and illustrator partnership began 14 years ago, when they first worked together on Princess Mirror-Belle. What the Ladybird Heard and What the Ladybird Heard Next have sold 1.5 million copies in all formats worldwide, with 20 foreign editions currently in-print. What the Ladybird Heard on Holiday is Julia and Lydia’s ninth picture book together.

JULIA DONALDSON, the Children’s Laureate 2011 – 2013, is the prize-winning author of the world’s best-loved children’s books, and was the 2011-2013 Children’s Laureate. Her picture books include the modern classic The Gruffalo, which has sold over 17 million copies worldwide and has been translated into over 75 languages, and the hugely successful What the Ladybird Heard and What the Ladybird Heard Next. Julia also writes fiction, including the Princess Mirror-Belle books illustrated by Lydia Monks, as well as poems, plays and songs – and her brilliant live shows are always in demand. Julia and her husband Malcolm divide their time between West Sussex and Edinburgh.

LYDIA MONKS is one of the most original and bestselling picture book artists working today. Lydia illustrates several bestselling series including, What the Ladybird Heard and Princess Mirror-Belle, written by Julia Donaldson. Her distinctive use of colour and collage has won her critical acclaim and several awards, including the Royal Mail Scottish Children’s Book Award, the Stockport Children’s Book Award and multiple nominations for the Kate Greenaway Children’s Book Award. Mouse’s Big Day, written and illustrated by Lydia, is the first book in her new Twit Twoo School series.

GRAHAM HUBBARD – Director, trained at LAMDA (Evelyn Laye Award) and was fortunate to work, as an actor for fourteen years with directors such as Kenneth Branagh, Matthew Warchus, Gregory Doran, John Doyle and John Caird. Credits as an Associate Director include: Sweeney Todd (West End/Broadway/National tour), The Sound of Music (London Palladium), Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (Palace), Mack and Mabel (Criterion), Amadeus (Wilton’s Music Hall). Directing credits include: For New Rep Theatre; The Taming of the Shrew, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Caucasian Chalk Circle (Peter Brook award nomination 2012). Graham is also artistic director for the Salvation Army on their annual charity concert at the Royal Albert Hall. Graham is currently writing a musical The Colonel’s Lady (based on a short story by Somerset Maugham). For further information visit grahamhubbard.co.uk

 What the Ladybird Heard Live – Wed 5 July to Sun 10 September 2017 – Listings Information

Kenny Wax Family Entertainment in association with Matthew Gregory Presents

What the Ladybird Heard

Live on Stage

The musical adaptation of Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks’ best-selling picture book

Visit www.whattheladybirdheardlive.co.uk to watch the trailer.

Press Performances: Fri 24 November 2017 at 11am, Saturday 25 November 2017 at 10am & 12pm

Venue:                           Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue

Address:                       Shaftesbury Avenue, London W1D 7ES
Dates:                             Wednesday 5 July – Sunday 10 September

Box Office:                   0330 333 4812

Website:                       www.whattheladybirdheardlive.co.uk

Venue Website:         www.nimaxtheatres.com

Nearest Tube:             Piccadilly Circus – 5 Mins

 Daytime performances under Thriller

Running time: 55 minutes no interval
Age recommendation: 3+
(Guide only)


Tickets: £14.50 – £25.50

Family Ticket: £65 (admits four, applies to £18.50 – £19.25 price tickets only)

Call the Box Office on 0330 333 4812

Schools & Groups 10+: £10 Each plus the 11th ticket FREE!

Call Groups on 0330 333 4817

Access Rates Available

Call Access on 0330 333 4815

BSL Interpreted Performance – Thu 13 July 11am

Audio Described Performance – Thu 20 July 11am

Relaxed Performance – Tue 8 Aug 2pm

National Theatre Wales announces next productions tackling the history of Wales’ Labour Movement

National Theatre Wales is today (Mon 1st May; International Workers’ Day) announcing projects that will focus on two totems of Wales’ long history of collectivism and industry; the birth of the National Health Service, brainchild of Tredegar-born Aneurin Bevan in 1948, and the Port Talbot steelworks.

  • We’re still here, a new production inspired by the real people behind the politically-charged headlines in Port Talbot, is about the town’s steelworks, and the community that relies on them. It will be performed in a warehouse in the town in September 2017, and is on sale now. It is created with common wealth and written by Rachel Trezise
  • To mark the 70th anniversary of the national health service in 2018, the company calls on people in wales to share their stories of the impact it has had on their lives, for a series of seven live and digital productions made across wales
  • Both productions are in keeping with the company’s tradition of making work inspired by real stories told by the people most affected
  • Further productions to be announced later in the year

Port Talbot, September 2017

Rachel Trezise

Rachel Trezise

Six years after National Theatre Wales staged its iconic The Passion in Port Talbot on Easter weekend 2011, the company returns to the town this September, with multi-award-winning theatre company Common Wealth, to stage a brand new play written by Rachel Trezise.

Inspired by conversations with steelworkers, union members and the wider community, We’re Still Here will be the first theatrical response to one of the biggest recent news stories in Wales – which resonates with steel towns the world over – and will feature evocative soundscapes and visual feats in a jaw-dropping setting.

Port Talbot steelworks, one of the last heavy industries in Wales, where generations of steelworkers carry their craft.
Standing shoulder to shoulder, sharing their space. These are the leaders, workers, fathers and sons.
It gives you a funny feeling, right here in your solar plexus, when people come together to speak up for themselves.”

Speaking about We’re Still Here, National Theatre Wales’ Artistic Director Kully Thiarai said: “The community of Port Talbot embraced us wholeheartedly and participated fully in the extraordinary event that was The Passion. We are delighted to be returning to the town this year, with a brand new production tackling a hugely important local, national and global issue, as told to us by that same community.

Common Wealth make award-winning site-specific theatre events that encompass electronic sound, new writing, visual design and verbatim. Their work is political and contemporary – based in the present day, the here and now. It is relevant and addresses concerns of our times. Common Wealth seek out places to stage their work that are right at the heart of a community; a residential house, a boxing gym, places where people who might not go to the theatre might come to instead. They see their plays as campaigns, as a way of bringing people together and making change feel possible.

Common Wealth said: “We were drawn to Port Talbot because of the powerful voices that were coming out of the recent Save Our Steel campaign. Watching the campaign unfold and the community rally together gave us hope in a time where we don’t usually see people stand together for what they believe in. For us, seeing working class leaders organise and inspire communities felt so necessary in a time when working class people are often marginalised from public debate.

“Interviewing steelworkers and union leaders has taught us so much about looking after each other, dignity and the importance of saying ‘no’. We see this production as an opportunity to champion and share the wisdom from the Save Our Steel Campaign, for us to remember who we are, where we come from and what we can be.”

Writer Rachel Trezise was born in Rhondda in south Wales, where she still lives. She studied at Glamorgan and Limerick Universities. Her novel In and Out of the Goldfish Bowl won a place on the Orange Futures List in 2002. Harpers & Queen magazine voted her New Face of Literature, 2003. In 2006, her first short fiction collection Fresh Apples won the Dylan Thomas Prize. She was writer in residence at the University of Texas, Austin in 2007. Her most recent novel isSixteen Shades of Crazy. Her second collection of stories, Cosmic Latte, won the Edge Hill Readers’ Award in 2014. Her debut play, Tonypandemonium, was produced by National Theatre Wales in 2013, and performed at Treorchy’s Park & Dare Theatre.

Book your tickets now for this major new production.
Full listings information for We’re Still Here:
National Theatre Wales & Common Wealth present

Created by Rachel Trezise and Common Wealth
Writer: Rachel Trezise
Co-Directors: Evie Manning & Rhiannon White
Composer/Sound Designer: Wojtek Rusin
Designer: Russell Henry
Lighting Designer: Andy Purves
Movement Director: Vicki Manderson
Dates: Friday 15th – Saturday 30th September 2017
Location: Byass Works, Old Dock Road, Port Talbot

Box Office
Online: www.nationaltheatrewales.org/were-still-here
By phone: 029 2037 1689

Tickets: £15, £12.50 conc, £10 local ticket

@ntwtweets @Common_WealthHQ

Locations across Wales, 2018
On 5th July, 1948, one of the biggest ideas ever to come out of Wales was born. The brainchild of Ebbw Vale MP and the UK’s Health Minister Aneurin “Nye” Bevan, the National Health Service was a revolutionary idea, formed along with the Welfare State during Britain’s austere post-war period, and under the principle of collective responsibility.

Working with communities and artists, National Theatre Wales will celebrate the NHS’s 70th birthday in 2018 with a series of seven multi-platform productions, made and performed live across the country and online. Digital storyteller Lisa Heledd Jones and director Marcus Romer join National Theatre Wales today in inviting the public to share stories about their own experiences with the NHS in Wales; from straightforward GP appointments to life-saving operations, from patients, doctors, porters, surgeons, relatives, and everyone in between, from cradle to grave. The company will use those stories as inspiration for the seven artistic works, collectively forming a love letter to the NHS from the country of its birth. National Theatre Wales’ Artistic Director, Kully Thiarai, will direct at least one of the seven productions.

Get in touch…

Speaking about NHS70, National Theatre Wales’ Artistic Director Kully Thiarai said: “The National Health Service was a big idea, born in Wales at a time of austerity. Its core principles of a health service free at the point of use and available to all has affected the lives of millions of people across Britain, and 70 years on, NTW joins the people of Wales in celebrating one of its biggest and far-reaching achievements.”