NEWS: Michael Morpurgo’s Running Wild to Head on UK Tour

The Children’s Touring Partnership has confirmed that the first UK tour of Running Wild by Michael Morpurgo will begin at the Chichester Festival Theatre on the 10th February 2017.

Ava Potter as Lilly with the Orang-utans. Photo Johan Persson.jpg
Ava Potter as Lilly with orangutans. Photo: Johan Persson. 

Michael Morpurgo’s novel, based on a true story, has been adapted for the stage by Samuel Adamson and was originally produced by Regent’s Park Theatre and Chichester Festival Theatre.

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…

Featuring life size puppets, the story is an emotional and moving tale of love, loss and living for the moment.

Running Wild was inspired by 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.”

The production is co-directed by Chichester Festival Theatre’s Education Director Dale Rooks and Artistic Director of Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre Timothy Sheader. It also features set and costume design by Paul Wills, puppetry design and direction by Finn Caldwell and Toby Olié for Gyre & Gimble, 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.

Following its run at the Chichester Festival Theatre (10-17th February 2017), the UK tour of the production will then visit: Coventry, Sheffield, London, Blackpool, Leeds, Salford, Norwich, Plymouth, Northampton, Canterbury and Wolverhampton.

Running Wild will be on tour from the 10th February 2017 until the 10th June 2017. For more information visit:


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