The Old Vic and Bristol Old Vic have announced the full casting for the world premiere of A Monster Calls, playing at the Bristol Old Vic from the 31st May and the Old Vic from the 7th July.
Based on the novel by Patrick Ness and directed by Sally Cookson, the world premiere production is set to star Hammed Animashaun, Nandi Bhebhe, Selina Cadell, Matt Costain, Georgia Frost, Stuart Goodwin, Felix Hayes, Jonathan Holby, John Leader, Marianne Oldham, Matthew Tennyson and Witney White.
Thirteen-year-old Conor and his mum have managed just fine since his dad moved to America. But now his mum’s very sick and she’s not getting any better. His grandmother won’t stop interfering and the kids at school won’t look him in the eye. Then, one night, at seven minutes past midnight, Conor is woken by something at his window. A monster has come walking. It’s come to tell Conor tales from when it walked before. And when it’s finished, Conor must tell his own story and face his deepest fears.
When the novel was first published, it became popular with children and adults for its insight into love, loss and healing, garnering critical acclaim and winning both the Carnegie and Greenaway Medals for outstanding children’s literature and illustration.
Talking about the production, Sally Cookson said: “The prospect of adapting Patrick Ness’ beautiful book is a tantalising one and I am chomping at the bit to get started. The story of thirteen-year-old Conor lost in a mire of anxiety and fear strikes a chord with anyone who’s been threatened with losing someone they love. The combination of gritty realism and magic make it perfect material for theatre – I love a challenge and the big question will be ‘How are they going to create a Tree Monster on stage?’ Come and find out!”
Meanwhile, Patrick Ness commented: “‘A Monster Calls has always been a collaboration, in all its forms. I like to say I took the baton from the late, great Siobhan Dowd, then handed it on to our illustrator Jim Kay, and what came out was something bigger than anything the three of us could have done by ourselves. I’m now so excited to hand that baton on to the amazing Sally Cookson. She’s assembled an outstanding company. What a treat this is going to be!”
The production will feature set design by Michael Vale, costume design by Katie Sykes, lighting by Aideen Malone, sound by Mike Beer and puppetry by Laura Cubitt.
A Monster Calls will play at the Old Vic Theatre from the 7th July until the 25th August. To book tickets click here or visit: Encore Tickets, See Tickets, Ticketmaster.co.uk, Theatre Tickets Direct.co.uk, Love Theatre.com or From the Box Office.