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13 September 2016

Hey, Presto! Magical new theatre production brings all the fun of the fair to Cumbrian libraries

Hey Presto

A new theatre production for children under 7 and their families is touring the North of England this autumn and visits libraries in Whitehaven, Barrow and Carlisle between 27 and 29 September.


Hey, Presto! is a theatre adaptation of the popular picture book by author-illustrator Nadia Shireen. Produced by New Writing North for Durham Book Festival, the carnival-themed production promises to bring all the fun of the fair to Cumbria.


The story follows two best friends, Presto and Monty. Monty is great at singing, eating ice cream and pulling funny faces, while Presto is a brilliant magician! When the carnival comes to town, Presto and Monty decide to join up with their amazing magic act. The show is a huge success, but fame goes to Monty’s head. Can the friends work out how to work together, before it’s too late? Families will have to come along to this magical production to find out!


The picture book has been adapted by Laura Lindow, a theatre-maker whose writing credits include: Your Aunt Fanny (Live Theatre), Jack & The Beanstalk (Dance City) and Wanting For Angus (Ink Productions). Ruth Johnson, who previously directed Man on the Moon and The Worst Princess for Durham Book Festival, directs. The four-strong cast of North East actors includes Ziad Jabero, Claire Tustin, Samantha Morris and Matthew Gundel.


Director Ruth Johnsonsaid: "I am delighted to be working with such a brilliant team of cats, dogs, mice and humans in bringing the magical story of Hey, Presto! to so many venues. The story is so rich in fun, friendship and magic and will be an experience for all the family to enjoy. Laura Lindow, the writer and I had so much fun sharing Nadia Shireen's wonderful book with young children and we were inspired by their reactions to it and how much they cared for the characters. This year it is so exciting to be returning to venues we have had a growing relationship with and to tour areas new to us and to make new friends."



Anna Disley, programme director at New Writing North, is producing Hey, Presto!She said: “We are incredibly excited to be touring a brand new production for under 7’s and their families this autumn. We feel very lucky to have Nadia Shireen’s permission to adapt this brilliant picture book, which is full of laughter and fun, as well as a very heart-warming message about friendship and the fact that we are all different but all have our own special talents, which should be celebrated and nurtured.”


“This is our fourth children’s theatre production for Durham Book Festival, and an important feature of the tour is that we visit many rural areas and places without their own theatres. We want to show our audiences that theatre and art can take place wherever you are. We are looking forward to returning to some of the venues we visited last year, and to meeting the children at new venues. Even if you’ve never been to the theatre before, we hope you’ll come along for a fun afternoon of family entertainment.”


Hey Presto visits the following Cumbrian libraries. Tickets for members of the public are £3 and available from each library.

Tuesday 27 September, 4pm

Daniel Hay Library

Whitehaven, CA28 7QZ

Tel: 01946 506400


Wednesday 28 September

10am & 2pm

Barrow Library, LA14 1LL

School audience only

Tel: 01229 407373


Thursday 29 September

Carlisle Library, CA3 8NX

10am: Schools only

4pm: Open to everyone

Tel: 01228 227312
A new theatre production for children under 7 and their families is touring the North of England this autumn and visits libraries between 27 and 29 September.