1. The original source material.
This play is an adaptation of the wonderful children’s book by Peter Stamm & Jutta Bauer. Bauer won the Hans Christian Andersen award for the book this year, so it’s great timing! Although it is little known in the UK, this fabulously surreal and beautifully illustrated book was described by the Guardian as ‘the Peter Greenaway of children's literature’.
2. The Finegan Kruckemeyer touch.
Maverick and imaginative Tasmanian-based writer Fin has written countless children’s plays that have been performed across the world. His award winning play, The Tragical Life of Cheeseboy is what prompted Wendy Harris from tutti frutti to commission Fin to adapt this children book. Fin is not precious, quirky and great to work with. He has an imagination the size of the world, so the fact that we had to go across the world to meet him seemed apt.
3. The sound.
An ensemble of four multi-talented actor-musicians produce wonderful live music as well as songs composed by Dominic Sales. Creating beautiful harmonies and playing a wide range of instruments really will delight all the children – and the adults – who see the show.
4. The look.
The show design is inspired by the fantastic award winning illustrations in the book and have been realised by designer Alison Heffernan. This piece has a minimal but beautiful design that allows this actor-centred pieced to be brought to life with creative movement (movement director Ruth Tyson-Jones) and strong imagery and story telling.
5. The funny, rich and quirky nature of the play.
The play will appeal to children and families alike. It’s absolutely designed and made for children aged from 5 to 9 years and their families. tutti frutti and York Theatre Royal have brought all their skills to the fore once again after their hugely successful productions Visiting Grandad, Under the Parasol and Silly Billy.
When We Lived in Uncle's Hat plays at York Theatre Royal from 30 September–16 October. Visit www.yorktheatreroyal.co.uk or call 01904 623568 for more information. It will also play at the Ilkley Literature Festival on 17 October. Visit www.ilkleyliteraturefestival.co.uk or call 01943 816714 for more information.