Touring company Theatre Alibi will bring its children's adventure story, Why the Whales Came, to the West End over the Christmas period. The production - co-produced by Theatre Royal Plymouth, where it was first seen two years ago - will play for 40 performances only at the Comedy Theatre, running from 10 December 2003 to 7 January 2004.

In the Scilly Isles during the First World War, young Gracie and her friend Daniel discover that the Birdman isn't mad or dangerous like everyone says. It's the Birdman who warns them to stay away from Samson Island -he says it's cursed. So when Daniel and Gracie are stranded on Samson by fog they have to unravel the island's haunting secrets...

Why the Whales Came is based on the book by best-selling children's writer Michael Morpurgo and has been adapted and co-directed by Greg Banks and Theatre Alibi artistic director Nikki Sved. The production, aimed at 8- to 13-year-olds and their families, is designed by Dominie Hooper and has original music by Thomas Johnson.

The Comedy's current resident, the TMA Award-winning all-male Propeller production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, directed by Edward Hall, finishes its extended season on 8 November 2003 and is followed by the all-female cabaret group Fascinating Aida, whose One Last Flutter farewell production runs from 11 November to 6 December 2003 (See News, 30 Sep 2003).

- by Terri Paddock