Everybody knows that Koalas are just about the cutest critters alive but the Dorset heartlands are a long way from their tropical Australian home so for residents of Christchurch, getting to see one can be a bit tricky.

However, thanks to the Regent Centre’s presentation of a brand new show called How The Koala Learnt To Hug, the joy of koalas can come to everyone!

Written especially for parents to enjoy with their children, How The Koala Learnt To Hug is a charming, tale about the magic of family and, of course, the importance of a nice warm hug!

The show is based upon the book How The Koala Learnt To Hug and Other Australian Fairytales, a charming collection of short stories written especially for children and their families.

Beautifully illustrated and wonderful for reading aloud, it covers themes ranging from the belief that anything is possible to the importance of friendship and of course the magic that is a nice warm hug.

With heartwarming characters including Natalie Wombat, Natascha the Witch and Karen the Koala this little gem of a book is filled with all the wonders of the land down under.

The book was written by author Steven Lee who runs The People’s Theatre Company, and also wrote children's favourites The Witch's Bogey and Bink And The Hairy Fairy.

The People’s Theatre Company are remarkable for producing top class family entertainment and making it affordable and accessible to everyone whilst receiving no regular funding.

However, following eight years of national touring, producing sell out shows from The Isle of Wight to the tip of Northumberland the company has been granted Arts Council Funding for this show and have used the extra money to make it one of the most beautiful they have ever created.

Having already played to packed houses at the famous Hull Truck Theatre, Roses Ormskirk and Cornerstone Didcott, How The Koala Learnt To Hug has proved to be positively perfect entertainment for everyone aged from four to one hundred and four!

The show will be at the Regent Centre in Christchurch on Thursday 19 August 2.30pm and on tour throughout the country until the end of the 2010 with dates available from The People’s Theatre Company website at www.ptc.org.uk