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 CHILDREN'S THEATRE

By Neil Duffield
The Emperor of China has never in his young life set foot outside his palace in the Forbidden City, and he knows nothing of the world outside. But one day an important visitor arrives and tells him about the Nightingale. Then everything begins to change. Based on a story by Hans Andersen and packed with adventure, songs and humour, The Emperor and the Nightingale is a tale of dragons and tigers, of sacred mountains and stolen treasures, and a little bird who manages to win the heart of an Emperor.  Minimum cast size 5. Original songs. Many previous productions. READ REVIEWS

 

THE JUNGLE BOOK
Adapted from the Rudyard Kipling stories. Minimum cast 6. Original songs. Many previous productions – including Dundee Rep, Manchester Library Theatre, Cheltenham Everyman and the Arden Theatre, Philadelphia. READ REVIEWS

THE LOST WARRIOR
A magic circle, a dragonfly girl, and a land where time stands still. Drawing on ancient myths and legends, The Lost Warrior is an exciting fantasy which will thrill children and adults alike. Oisin (Usheen) is a young Celtic warrior who guarded the shores of Lough Leane a hundred lifetimes ago. Aideen is a modern day Irish teenager. When fate draws them together, strange things start to happen. Stones talk. Horses gallop across the water. And an army of elves and goblins take to the air. Minimum cast 6. Original songs. Commissioned and first produced by the Dukes Theatre, Lancaster. READ REVIEWS

THE FIREBIRD
Draws together the threads of three traditional Russian fairy-tales and weaves them into one bewitching and fantastical story which includes a jealous sister, a friendly wolf, a beautiful princess, a house on chicken legs, and the infamous and terrifying witch, Baba Yaga. Minimum cast 5. Original songs. Many previous productions, including The Byre Theatre, St Andrews, The Watermill Theatre, Newbury, commissioned and first produced by The Dukes Theatre, Lancaster. Published by SAMUEL FRENCH Ltd. READ REVIEWS

THE SECRET GARDEN
Straight non-musical adaptation of the Frances Hodgson Burnett novel. Minimum cast size 6. Previous productions include Nottingham Playhouse and Polka Theatre for Children, London. Published by SAMUEL FRENCH Ltd. READ REVIEWS

DANCING IN MY DREAMS
Tells the story of a young wartime evacuee from London, who is placed with an unwilling foster family in Cheshire. She copes with the hostility and prejudice by escaping into a world of dancing and the music of the 1930’s. Commissioned and first produced by Action Transport Theatre. Minimum cast 5.  READ REVIEWS

THE UGLY DUCKLING
Minimum cast 6. Original songs. Previous productions include The Gateway Theatre, Chester, The Dukes Theatre, Lancaster, and M6 Theatre, Rochdale. READ REVIEWS

THE SNOW QUEEN
Armed with her magic mirror, the Snow Queen leaves her ice palace in the land of everlasting night and embarks on a campaign to freeze the hearts of men and women everywhere and destroy spring and summer for ever. Will Kai and Gerda be able to resist looking in her mirror and falling under her spell? A show to melt the hearts of the whole family. Minimum cast 6. Original songs. Many previous productions. READ REVIEWS

ALADDIN AND THE MAGIC LAMP
Minimum cast 6. Original songs. Previous productions by Manchester Library Theatre, Byre Theatre, St Andrews, M6 Theatre, Rochdale. READ REVIEWS

THE ARABIAN NIGHTS
When Sheherazad is brought to the palace to be the Sultan's new bride, her very life depends upon her skill as a storyteller. She tells him of lost cities and buried treasure, of slave girls and robbers, of genies and sorcerers. But will it be enough to save her? Minimum cast 5. Original songs. Many previous productions. READ REVIEWS

THE EMPEROR'S NEW CLOTHES
Adaptation of the famous Hans Andersen story. Set in India at the time of the Raj. Minimum cast 5. Commissioned and first produced by The Midlands Arts Centre, Birmingham (2005)

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
Minimum cast 5. Original songs. Previous productions by M6 Theatre, Rochdale, Action Transport Theatre, Cheshire.

TALES FROM THE MAGIC STORY BOWL
For 3 – 8 year olds. Cast 4. Original songs. Commissioned and first produced by the Octagon Theatre, Bolton. READ REVIEWS

STRIPY TALES
For 3 – 8 year olds. Cast 5. Original songs. Commissioned and first produced by the Octagon Theatre, Bolton. READ REVIEWS

NANNA’S NIGHTINGALE
For 3 – 8 year olds. Original songs. Cast size 4. Commissioned and first produced by Action Transport Theatre at the Haymarket Theatre Studio, Leicester. ‘When Sally and her dog, Che, move to their new home they soon make friends with their next door neighbour, Nanna Sidhu, who tells stories to make a young girl’s hair curl. But making friends with Lloyd, who lives in the house on the other side, is not as easy. That is until Nanna Sidhu starts to tell them about the nightingale.’

PICKIN’ PICKIN’
For 8-12 year olds. Cast size 4. Commissioned and first produced by Cleveland Theatre Company. ‘Dog and Rat live on the city tip. They survive by picking through the rubbish other people through away. Dog is tough. Top of the pile. No-one messes with her. Rat is sharp and quick. Never misses a trick. Knows all the scams. There’s no love lost and no rules. Amongst the rubbish it’s every creature for himself. That is, until Rabbit arrives. Fresh from the sticks. Never set foot in the city. She behaves differently, talks differently, and she doesn’t know the first thing about rubbish. Pickin’ Pickin’ is a fantasy which takes place anywhere anytime. Animals are people and people animals. They pick sides, pick fights, pick friends, and pick out an existence in a world of rubbish.

TALKING WITH ANGELS
Based on the story of Joan of Arc. For 8-12 year olds. Cast size 4. Commissioned and first produced by Quicksilver Theatre Company, London.

THE MINOTAUR
'
Beyond the realms of place and time, exists a land where dreams are truth and truth is dreams, where the world of the flesh meets the world of the spirit. The name of this land is Myth.' The Minotaur is a story for all time and all people, a tale of adventure and intrigue, of love and betrayal, of fear of the unknown, and of two cultures each bent on revenge. Minimum cast 4. Suitable for audiences aged 8-14 and families. Commissioned and first produced by The Crucible Theatre, Sheffield. READ REVIEWS

LEOPARD
Commissioned and first performed by The Crucible Theatre, Sheffield. For 5-9 year olds. 'In a time before there was time, in a land before there was land, the Earth had no trees, no plants, no animals, no people. Only rocks and sand. In this desert only one creature lived...'. East African myths combine with music and dance. This is the story of how the world of three friends, Leopard, Rat and Jackal gets turned upside down when one decides to cheat and steal and the fate of all the creatures and plants lies in balance. It is a tale of friendship, of trust and of learning to cooperate to protect the world we live in. Minimum cast size 3 actor musicians.

SMALL FRY
Commissioned by York Theatre Royal for the Playhouse Project (2008), a joint initiative between York Theatre Royal, Dundee Rep, Plymouth Theatre Royal and Polka Theatre, London. A 35 minute play suitable for performance by a large cast of junior school children or youth theatre group (actual cast size flexible). First performed at Dundee Rep, York Theatre Royal, Plymouth Theatre Royal and Polka in the summer of 2008.              'Neil Duffield has created a play that pits dragons, predators, scavengers and small fry all against each other in a battle for power, ownership and belonging. This play is an excellent example of how drama can encourage and support team work, and also explores the intricate nature of how the different types of people living in the world interact with each other. Small Fry is an excellent example of ensemble theatre and makes us remember that not all of the big bullies have the power.'

THE UGLY DUCKLING (TIE version)
Originally commissioned by Tiebreak Theatre, Norwich. For 5-8 year olds. Productions include Northampton Theatres, Sheffield Crucible, Nottingham Playhouse, National Youth Music Theatre. Minimum cast size 4. Based on the Hans Andersen story.


ALICE IN WONDERLAND
Adapted from the Lewis Carroll stories. Minimum cast 3. Commissioned and first produced by Oxfordshire Theatre Company (2010). READ REVIEWS



©2002 Neil Duffield, All Rights Reserved.