Tintin, the famous French comic strip, will take to the English stage this Christmas. Festen’s award-winning director Rufus Norris will direct the world premiere of a new dramatisation, written by Norris himself along with prolific Scottish playwright David Greig. Produced as part of the Young Vic’s Walkabout season during the two-year refurbishment of its South Bank base, Tintin will run at the Barbican Theatre from 14 December 2005 to 22 January 2006 (previews from 14 December).

Tintin, the boy reporter, began his first adventure in 1929 in the comic strip Le Petit Vingtieme. Created by illustrator Georges Remi, aka Hergé, Tintin became an icon with his trademark crested quiff, plus-four trousers and his faithful dog Snowy. Each year more than three million copies of Tintin’s adventures are sold across 50 countries in 40 different languages.

Norris and Greig’s play is based on Tintin in Tibet which he described as “a song dedicated to friendship”. The story follows our Tintin’s quest to save his friend Chang, into the snow fields of the Himalayas where the legendary abominable snowman is rumoured to live. Tintin is joined on his journey by a host of characters including the irascible sea dog Captain Haddock.

Tintin will be the first production Norris, associate director of the Young Vic, has staged for the theatre since last Christmas’ reprisal of Sleeping Beauty, which he also adapted and presented at the Barbican. His other credits at the Young Vic include Peribanez and Afore Night Come for which he won the Evening Standard Outstanding Newcomer award. His other theatre credits include Small Change, Dirty Butterfly, Under the Blue Sky and, at the Almeida, Festen, for which he won the Critics’ Circle and Evening Standard awards for Best Director, and the current production of Blood Wedding featuring Gael Garcia Bernal.

Tintin will reunite Norris with his creative team for Afore Night Come and Peribanez - designer Ian MacNeil (who also designed Festen as well as Billy Elliot The Musical, A Number and An Inspector Calls), lighting designer Rick Fisher and sound designer Paul Arditti. Co-adapter David Greig’s other credits include Pyrenees, The American Pilot, The Cosmonaut’s Last Message to the Woman He Once Loved in the Former Soviet Union and Outlying Lands.

- by Terri Paddock