David Baddiel’s ANiMALCOLM
Based on David Baddiel’s bestselling children’s novel, ANiMALCOLM is a new full-length comedy musical written by Adam Fletcher-Forde with music by David Perkins. It follows the fortunes of Malcolm who discovers a love of animals in a very first-hand way – he becomes one, several in fact.
The story opens on Malcolm’s 11th birthday. His family are all animal lovers and like nothing more than to spend a day at the zoo but Malcolm doesn’t get it. He doesn’t really like animals and cannot understand why the rest of his family are so smitten by any and every creature. What he really wants for his birthday is a state of the art laptop but what he gets is a pet chinchilla. His disappointment is eased when his final present is a place on the year 6 school trip but any joy is shattered when it turns out the trip is to a farm… full of animals.
The children are introduced to an ancient goat, K-PAX, that the owners of the farm jokingly suggest has magical powers and tell the children they can ask him questions about their lives. A cynical Malcolm asks K-PAX why he doesn’t understand the love of animals and what must he do to like them in the same way as everyone else. As he talks to the goat, Malcolm falls asleep and is bemused and horrified to wake up and find he has been transformed into a tortoise.
He quickly works out that he has had a spell put on him and that whenever he sleeps he wakes up as the last animal he saw. He learns that he has just three days before the spell becomes permanent and when the cockerel has crowed three times, he will stay as the last animal he wakes with. In his efforts to get back to being a human boy he becomes a cat, a sheep, a piglet, a chimpanzee, a pigeon and a chinchilla before he finally regains his real shape.
On his weird and wonderful journey, Malcolm learns what it is like to be an animal and begins to appreciate the brilliant qualities of the animal kingdom.
ANiMALCOLM is full of sharp and witty dialogue, ingenious puppetry, hugely energetic performances with spectacular movement and, of course, a score that reflects the characteristics of all the animals Malcolm meets along the way. It is faithful to Baddiel’s novel and will delight all who have read it and who are fans of his other children’s novels such as The Parent Agency, The Boy Who Could Do What He Liked and Birthday Boy.
The show is designed by Jackie Trousdale who has worked for theatres throughout the UK. She is best known for her work with the Birmingham Stage Company as designer of the company’s Horrible Histories shows and the world-wide smash hit, Gangsta Granny based on the novel by David Walliams. She also designed the most recent Walliams stage show, Awful Auntie.
Lighting design is by Declan Randall who has worked in opera, musicals, theatre and dance across the world including the West End and Broadway. He designed the lighting and effects for David Baddiel’s solo show My Family: Not the Sitcom which has been seen all over the world and which will be touring the UK throughout 2018.
Adam Fletcher-Forde is Story Pocket Theatre’s resident writer and director and adapted the awardwinning Arabian Nights and A Pocketful of Grimms as well as Michael Morpurgo’s King Arthur which toured the UK during 2016 and 2017. He and Julia Black have co-directed all of Story Pocket’s shows.
David Perkins has composed for more than a dozen musicals that have been performed all over the world. He and Adam Fletcher-Forde have collaborated on successful adaptations of Arabian Nights, Emil and the Detectives and The Wind in the Willows.
Friday 29th March, 5pm
Age recommendation 5+