The Barbican Centre's BITE:98 season moves outdoors next month when the Royal Exchange Theatre Company, Manchester brings its purpose-built mobile touring theatre to the Barbican s Sculpture Court with its new comedy Animal Crackers. This production marks the first trip by the Royal Exchange Theatre Company to London with its mobile theatre since 1984.

Based on the Marx Brothers classic film, this family production with a satirical edge includes show-stopping musical numbers, high society parties (on and off-stage) and tender love stories. The subject of the piece is the aspirational set of early 20th century America: social climbers, the nouveau riche, scoundrels, cheats and liars exploiting the well-heeled.

Animal Crackers started its life as a theatre show at Broadway s 44th Street Theatre in 1928 where it was a hit for the Marx Brothers. The film version was released two years later and remains one of the Marx s best-known classics.

The characters of Groucho, Chico and Harpo in the Royal Exchange production are played by Ben Keaton, Joseph Alessi and Toby Sedgwick respectively.