Preview: Charlie Cook’s Favourite Book, MAST Mayflower Studios, Southampton

Preview: Charlie Cook’s Favourite Book, MAST Mayflower Studios, Southampton

Little Angel Theatre’s major new adaptation of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s Charlie Cook’s Favourite Book will run from Friday 8 – Sunday10 March at MAST Mayflower Studios.

Alongside this puppet-filled musical, which at its core celebrates the joy of reading, Little Angel Theatre will deliver a ground-breaking literacy project aimed at creating a supportive and non-judgmental environment around the exploration of reading and books themselves.

“I am delighted that Little Angel Theatre has adapted Charlie Cook’s Favourite Book for the stage,” says Julia Donaldson. “It is a book that celebrates the joy of reading in many forms – books, magazines and even encyclopaedias.

“It is a book within a book within a book – in fact there are 11 books in total – complete with pirates, ghosts, dragons and aliens, to name a few. I am excited that the story has moved from page to stage, complete with puppets and songs, and that the production will travel across the UK this year.”

Partnering with both the National Literacy Trust and Macmillan Children’s Books, this initiative – Reading Through Play – seeks to encourage adults to transcend their reading-related anxieties, thereby fostering a love for reading in the hearts of the young listeners.

These play-based workshops go beyond conventional methods, providing creative routes into the world of books.

Recognising that not all children respond to traditional reading approaches, workshops are tailored to cater to diverse learning styles.

Through interactive play and engagement, the aspiration is to assist both adults who find it challenging to read to children and children who struggle with conventional routes into the world of literature.

“Charlie Cook’s Favourite Book is very different to the other stories by Julia that I have illustrated,” Axel Scheffler adds. “As it is made up of many stories in one book.

“I enjoyed illustrating the different genres and creating the various characters, and it is great to see my illustrations now come to life on the stage. Little Angel Theatre’s clever production team has designed and created animal puppets that actually appear out of their individual books as their stories happen, which is such a brilliant idea.

“I am delighted to see Charlie Cook’s Favourite Book come to life on stage and I know that all our readers, young and old, will enjoy this production in London and on tour.”

The National Literacy Trust will be developing teaching resources to support the initiative and encourage engaging with stories through play, both in and out of the classroom.

Tickets for Charlie Cook’s Favourite Book (8 – 10 March) are on sale at or 02380 711811.

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