Rufus Norris’ critically acclaimed adaptation of Hergé’s Tintin has rescheduled its upcoming Christmas season at the West End’s Playhouse Theatre (See News, 29 Jun 2007). The production will now run for a limited six weeks from 12 December 2007 (previews from 6 December) to 12 January 2008.

Currently on an extensive regional tour, the children’s show based on the cartoon of the same name was originally due to continue in London until 23 February 2008. A statement released today by the show’s producers explains: “Booking patterns indicate that the show will be hugely popular with families as a Christmas outing, and it has therefore been decided that the production will run specifically over the forthcoming festive period.”

In other scheduling changes at the Playhouse, current resident Footloose, an adaptation of the 1984 teen film, will finish its 15-week stint as planned on 1 December but will not now resume performances on 28 February as previously reported (See News, 23 Aug 2007). The theatre is in talks with several other potential new tenants for 2008, though none have yet been confirmed.

One of the big hits from the Young Vic’s Walkabout season during the two-year refurbishment of the theatre’s Southwark base (See News, May 2005), Tintin premiered at the Barbican Theatre in December 2005. It’s adapted for the stage by Norris and Scottish playwright David Greig. The title character is played by Matthew Parish.

Tintin, the boy reporter, began his first adventure in 1929 in the Belgian 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.

The stage play is based on Tintin in Tibet which Hergé 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.

Rufus Norris’ other recent award-winning credits include Festen and Cabaret. His stage version of DBC Pierre’s Booker Prize-winning novel Vernon God Little premiered earlier this year at the Young Vic, where Norris is an associate director.

Tintin is designed by Ian MacNeil, with lighting by Rick Fisher and sound by Paul Arditti. It’s produced in the West End by Sonia Friedman Productions, Mark Rubinstein, Michael Edwards and Carole Winter, Tulching/Bartner Productions and WTTP, in association with Watford Palace Theatre.

** Don’t miss our special Whatsonstage.com Christmas Outing to TINTIN - a FREE poster & access to our EXCLUSIVE post-show event with the cast, as well as a FREE drink for adults & FREE ice cream for children - all for just £25 for adults, £20 for kids! - click here to book now! **


Footloose centres on city boy Ren who moves with his mother to a small town in middle America where rock music and dancing are outlawed for religious reasons. Sparks fly when Ren and the minister's teenaged daughter Ariel rebel. The film version starred Kevin Bacon and Lori Singer.

Several of Kenny Loggins and Bonnie Tyler's songs from the movie - including "Let's Hear It for the Boy", "Almost Paradise", "Holding Out for a Hero" and the title song - became chart-topping pop hits. All are used in the stage musical. The current cast features Tommy Sherlock (Ren), Miria Parvin (Ariel), Julian Agnew (Reverend Moore) and Lyn Paul (Vi Moore).

The stage adaptation - with a book by Walter Bobbie and Dean Pitchford, who wrote the original screenplay - had its Broadway premiere in October 1998, running for nearly two years. The musical received its UK premiere in February 2004, launching its first tour from Plymouth (See News, 9 Jun 2004). After a second UK tour, the musical transferred in April 2006 to the West End’s Novello Theatre where it had a successful seven-month run but was forced to vacate to make way for the Royal Shakespeare Company’s annual West End residency (See News, 1 Sep 2006). Producers tried to find an alternative West End venue at the time but none were available.

Footloose is directed and choreographed by Karen Bruce and produced by Mark Goucher, Michael Rose, Tristan Baker and Jason Haigh-Ellery. The production started its current West End season at the Playhouse on 22 August 2007 (previews from 17 August).

- by Terri Paddock