Terry Pratchett's popular children's novel Truckers, which is soon to be adapted for the big screen by Steven Spielberg, will appear first on stage, in an adaptation by Bob Eaton. The world-premiere co-production between three regional theatres - Harrogate Theatre, the Belgrade in Coventry and Bury St Edmunds' Theatre Royal - opens tonight in Harrogate before continuing until the end of June to ten further venues.

Truckers tells the story of how thousands of tiny nomes, living under the floorboards of the Arnold Brothers' department store, must escape to the great "Outside" when the store is closed for demolition. They need strong nerve, lots of pieces of string and a large truck. The play is suitable for age five and up.

Pratchett's novel Truckers was the first in a trilogy of nome books - all three of which have been snapped up by Hollywood director Steven Spielberg for filming. Pratchett is one of the UK's most successful novelists - his books have sold an estimated 23 million worldwide and attracted a fanatical following. Several of Pratchett's Discworld have previously been adapted for the stage and a musical adaptation of his Only You Can Save Mankind, the first instalment in the Johnny Maxwell novel series, is also in the works.

The Truckers includes Stephen Aintree, Matthew Bowyer, David Brett, Terry Burns, Richard Fletcher, Robin Johnson, Kate Layden and Rosalind Paul. It's directed by Rob Swain and designed by Kit Surrey with choreography by Pat Garrett.

Following Harrogate, Truckers continues to Coventry, Stevenage, Bury St Edmunds, Darlington, Crawley, Wellingborough, Sheffield, Huddersfield, Greenwich and Cheltenham.

- by Terri Paddock