Michael Morpurgo’s RUNNING WILD to tour the UK in 2017

RUNNING WILD by Morpurgo, , Writer - Michael Morpurgo, Adaption - Samuel Adamson, Director – Timothy Sheader & Dale Rooks, Designer – Paul Wills, Puppetry Design and Direction – Finn Caldwell and Toby Olié for Gyre & Gimble, Regent's Park Theatre, 2016, Credit: Johan Persson/Children’s Touring Partnership is delighted to announce, on Elephant Appreciation Day (22 September), the first UK Tour of Running Wild by Michael Morpurgo in an adaptation by Samuel Adamson, beginning at Chichester Festival Theatre on 10 February 2017. Michael Morpurgo’s novel, based on a true story, is brought to life in this award-winning production, which has been described by critics as ‘inspiring’, ‘evocative, ‘imaginative’ and ‘life-affirming’. Originally produced by Regent’s Park Theatre and Chichester Festival Theatre, this epic production, complete with spectacular life-size puppets, tells an emotional and moving story of love, loss and loyalty and of living for the moment.

Running Wild is the story is of a girl named Lilly, who, whilst on holiday with her mother in Indonesia, takes an elephant ride. During the ride, Oona, the elephant, suddenly becomes anxious and runs from the beach deep into the jungle. With Lilly on her back, they escape moments before the tsunami hits the island. Miles from civilisation, at first there’s wonder, discovery and tree-top adventures with the orangutans, but, as thoughts turn to her mother left behind on the beach, and wild tigers prowl, and hunger hits, Lilly must now learn to survive the rainforest. And then the hunters come…

Michael Morpurgo, the former children’s laureate and author of War Horse, was inspired by the real-life story of Amber Owen, who was on holiday in Phuket with her mother and stepfather in 2004, when she went on an elephant ride. While riding Ning Nong along the beach, the eight-year-old noticed the elephant was attempting to pull away from the receding sea water. “He ran away and, as the water came in, I was safely on his back. He saved my life.” When he read Amber’s story in the newspaper, Michael Morpurgo said it was the one bit of hope amid the destruction of the Boxing Day tsunami which hit South East Asia. The production will work to support the Born Free Foundation’s global elephant conservation projects.

Originated by Chichester Festival Youth Theatre, when it won a prestigious UK Theatre Award, before receiving its London premiere at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, Running Wild is co-directed by CFT’s Education Director Dale Rooks and Artistic Director of Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre Timothy Sheader, with set and costume design by Paul Wills, puppetry design and direction by Finn Caldwell and Toby Olié for Gyre & Gimble, both previous Associate Puppetry Directors on War Horse, original songs and composition by Rod Paton, additional music by Nick Powell and Louise Anna Duggan, sound score by Nick Powell, and lighting design by Paul Anderson. Casting director for the UK Tour is Polly Jerrold, with original casting for Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre by Jessica Ronane CDG.

The UK Tour of Running Wild has received Arts Council funding.

Photo: Johan Persson


10-17 February 2017
Chichester Festival Theatre
Now on sale
www.cft.org.uk 01234 781312

22 – 25 February 2017
Belgrade Theatre, Coventry
On sale soon
www.belgrade.co.uk 024 7655 3055

7 – 11 March 2017
Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield
Now on sale
www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk 0114 249 6000

14 – 18 March 2017
Wycombe Swan
Now on sale
www.wycombeswan.co.uk 01494 512 000

22 – 25 March 2017
Hackney Empire, London
On sale soon
www.hackneyempire.co.uk 020 8985 2424

4 – 8 April
Grand Theatre, Blackpool
Now on sale
www.blackpoolgrand.co.uk 01253 290190

11 – 15 April
West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds
Now on sale
www.wyp.org.uk 0113 213 7700

18 – 22 April 2017
The Lowry, Salford
On sale soon
www.thelowry.com 0843 208 6000

25 – 29 April 2017
Theatre Royal, Norwich
On sale soon
www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk 01603 630000

2 – 6 May 2017
Kings Theatre, Edinburgh
Now on sale
www.edtheatres.com/king 0131 529 6000

9 – 13 May 2017
Newcastle Theatre Royal
On sale soon
www.theatreroyal.co.uk 0844 811 2121

16 – 20 May 2017
Theatre Royal Plymouth
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www.theatreroyal.com 01752 267 222

23 – 27 May 2017
Royal & Derngate, Northampton
On sale soon
www.royalandderngate.co.uk 01604 624811

31 May – 3 June 2017
The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury
Now on sale
www.marlowetheatre.com 01227 787787

6 – 10 June 2017
Wolverhampton Grand Theatre
On sale soon
www.grandtheatre.co.uk 01902 429 212

Running time: 110 mins including interval

Age guidance: 6+